Exupery International School (Latvia) in partnership with scholars from the University of Latvia (Latvia) and Georgia State Institute of Technology (USA).

‘Being a Teacher in 2022:
Technologies, Tools, Approaches’

Teacher Professional Development Conference
March 29, 2022, Pinki, Latvia

Exupery International School embraces innovation and fresh thinking. Our pupils are remarkable people with exciting futures, and we encourage them to think for themselves and to develop a spirit of independence that will enable them to thrive in a rapidly changing world. While educating young people is a great responsibility that we take seriously, our school is also a place of happiness, inquiry, and discovery – a place where open-minded, confident, and well-rounded individuals are formed.

Guided by the ideals of the United Nations, and as an IB World School, Exupery International School provides a caring and challenging learning environment which fosters international mindedness and multilingualism. We inspire our students to become creative, resilient, and responsible citizens, who will thrive and be happy within our ever-changing technological world.

About the Conference

Exupery International School in cooperation with scholars from the University of Latvia and Georgia Institute of Technology (U.S.) have invited educators of international and public schools to share their knowledge, experience, and expertise with other teaching professionals at the Teacher Professional Development Conference “Being a Teacher in 2022: Technologies, Tools, Approaches”.

The aim of the conference is to share professional approaches in didactics and methodology in the framework of the subject groups (Languages, Humanities, Mathematics, Arts, Sciences, Preschool, Interdisciplinary). The conference is an opportunity for faculty, staff, and community members to share their work across disciplines and programmes and to learn more about a variety of topics. For teachers, this is a valuable opportunity to present their experience in didactics and methodology in the learning process.

Organising Team

On behalf of the entire Exupery community, we would like to extend a very warm welcome to speakers and conference attendees!

Keynote speakers

Morning session:

“Language as a Key to Learning”

Language is the most crucial prerequisite for the successful acquisition of all subjects, not only in language lessons because if the student does not understand the words, linguistic structures, and task formulations used by the teacher, there is a high probability that the student will not be able to thoroughly learn and develop the required subject and cross-curricular competencies. Therefore, promoting the development of language skills is a shared responsibility of all subject teachers. During the lecture we will address different ways to promote the development of language skills in various subjects.


About the speaker: Ieva Margeviča-Grinberga, Dr.paed., Associate Professor, has worked at the Faculty of Education, Psychology and Art, University of Latvia, for 22 years. She has developed and delivers study courses in general, adult, and tertiary pedagogy, language acquisition, intercultural education, and inclusive education in different teacher education programmes at bachelor, master, and doctoral levels. Since 2014 she has been the leading researcher of the Scientific Institute of Pedagogy, University of Latvia. Expert of the Latvian Science Board. Expert of Higher Education Quality Agency. Member of the Promotion Council of the doctor study programme in pedagogy, University of Latvia. Director of the second level professional higher education study programme “Teacher.”

Afternoon session:

“Instructional Scaffolding:
Motivation and Momentum”

Incorporating scaffolding in the classroom allows the teacher to become more of a facilitator of knowledge rather than the dominant content expert. This teaching style provides an incentive for students to take a more active role in their own learning and can help motivate students to study. The presentation provides some guidelines for effective scaffolding that allows students to solve a task or achieve a goal that would be beyond their unassisted efforts.


About the speaker: Valerija Chekalina, PhD, Russian educator at Georgia Institute of Technology (USA). Lecturer on the subject of functional grammar at the Faculty of Philology of the Moscow State University, instructor of Russian as a foreign language. Member of the authoring team for the online advanced Russian language course for the students of economics at the Ruhr-University Bochum (Germany). Certified Test of Russian as a Foreign Language (TORFL) examiner, author of tests for the TORFL Testing Centre of the Faculty of Philology of the Moscow State University. Organizer of off-site TORFL exam sessions in Greece and Czech Republic as well as a TORFL tutorial workshops for the teachers of Russian as a foreign language in Cyprus. A member of the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (AATSEEL) since 2013 and author of over 40 other scientific publications, including study programmes and articles.



Incorporating higher order thinking skill activities helps students to think more deeply about content and concepts. It requires active processing as opposed to passively listening and regurgitating memorized knowledge. Higher order thinking skills help students to improve their cognitive ability by requiring students to understand, infer, connect the information to other facts and concepts, categorize, manipulate, and put information together in new or novel ways. Through this presentation I will share different activities that can be adapted and applied to different curriculum areas and age groups.


Dealing with the unknown has increased the general stress level and depleted teachers’ mental resources. The key to keeping balanced – to practice stress management. Cognitive restructuring is a technique used in stress management by producing more balanced thoughts to contradict automatic thoughts that impact our emotions and stress levels. In the workshop participants will learn more about links between thoughts, emotions, and behavior, and will be introduced with a tool that can increase a more balanced view of everyday situations.


Society and the labour market are increasingly demanding that students come out of education equipped with skills beyond subject knowledge. The so-called transversal skills will be essential for university study, work, and life, which is why the Ministry of Education included them in the new standard. We will look at how ELT professionals can help students develop these and, in particular, critical thinking skills.


English acquisition is oftentimes a cause of frustration and trauma much like Baba Yaga, El Coco and Le Croque-mitaine have been to kids around the world. This presentation aims to show different successful strategies that can be implemented in order to not only create a stress-free environment but also to boost confidence in second language learners and by doing so help students beat their personal “Baba Yaga”.


The presentation is going to provide an overview of methods used in the Australian English classroom with reference to evidence-based practice, as well as consideration of how recognized High Impact Teaching Strategies (HITS) can be applied to reading when improving student literacy.


The aim of the presentation is to provide more insight into the contemporary concept of school environment development. As a result, the participants will be aware of how the soft skills can be used, maintained and enriched in the classrooms.


The Cat House Project, designed and delivered in collaboration between the English, Biology, Design Technology, Computer Science and Mathematics teachers, is an example of learning which responded to our goals and truly inspired our students. The aim of our presentation is to share this interdisciplinary project with our professional audience, and advocate for providing students with opportunities to engage, take action and serve our communities in real ways.


How can we tell if a die is fair? We could, of course, roll it a large number of times and then … then what? How unexpected must the results be before we start to suspect that the die is not fair? How can we even measure the unexpectedness of our results – or interpret such a measurement if we had one – in the first place? And would answering these questions help us with testing hypotheses in science?


The aim of the workshop is to update the aspects of teachers’ confidence in teaching according to the new competency-based approach, and to find answers to the question of how students may be taught transversal skills. The workshop will give participants a chance to follow the author’s current experience in learning about creative confidence as a key point in the thesis. The participants will explore design thinking activities as a tool for enhancing creative confidence in English lessons.


Mathematics is often taught as a set of discrete skills to be memorized and applied. Using area models as an example, Rex Summa (M.A. Math Education with 17 years' experience teaching mathematics at grade 6-12 in the USA and Latvia, culminating in AP Calculus and DP Mathematics: Applications and Interpretations, respectively) will show how mathematics can be taught as one system, instead of the traditional thousands of topics. Teaching as many discrete topics is common in many subject areas and consideration of unifying ideas to connect across an entire discipline helps students bridge connections that they will remember in the long term.


The concept of Blended learning technology is a widely followed technique in the present scenario. It is used to serve multiple learning styles or needs, engage learners, prepare students for life after school, and bring the brick-and-mortar classroom into the 21st century. The aim of this presentation is to investigate the impact of blended learning in course application by optimizing students’ 21st century skills and Grade Point Average.


Practical tools will be presented to allow students and teachers to apply intercultural communication research, with a focus on the IB mission of developing “inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through education that builds intercultural understanding and respect." Non-IB teachers can adapt these tools to match their school’s vision.


Is it possible not to make any mistake at all? No! But how do we teach children (or even adults) to reduce the number of mistakes? Especially in the case of mathematics lessons, when a lot of students feel upset... During this lecture I will present some methods and ideas on how to solve these problems. As a result, we will make several engaging tasks that can help every mathematics teacher reach the goal of reducing their students’ mistakes!


This presentation will look at the following areas: What are global competencies and a global mindset? Why are they important? How can we assess whether our units address these? What are some practical ideas for building global competencies and mindsets into our Arts units? Objectives: To understand how to develop global competencies and develop a global mindset in our classes.

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