Workshops and Presentations

Here is a list of recent presentations and workshops Dr. Gleason has delivered around the world.
Contact him today if you would like to schedule him for your event.

Strike the Balance: When Students’ Abilities and School’s Expectations Collide

Anxiety, disillusionment and depression emerge, sometimes with devastating outcomes, as conflicts between school expectations and students’ abilities persist. Unprecedented insights from human brain research now reveal that environment not only affects adolescent identity, but shapes the brain itself. For all our students, striking the right balance has crucial lifelong implications.

Presented at:

  1. Great to Greater Institute, San Francisco, CA. January 2017
  2. Educational Collaborative for International Schools (ECIS), Amsterdam, November, 2013; Nice, November, 2015; Copenhagen, November, 2016
  3. East Asia Regional Conference of Overseas Schools (EARCOS), Manila. March 2016
  4. American Community Schools – Athens, Greece. April, 2015
  5. Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MATCE). Keynote Speaker, December, 2015
  6. Beacon School, Manila; Parents Workshop, October, 2014
  7. International School of Manila, The Philippines (ISM): Faculty Workshop, March, 2014

The Challenge of Parenting Adolescents in a Fiercely Competitive Era

Each year, parents face enormous challenges when trying to prepare their children for success in school, for admission to college, and ultimately, for success in their children’s adult lives. To that end, many parents have genuine hopes and set goals for their children and for themselves, and work hard to help their children achieve. However, all too frequently, and against their best intentions, many parents experience frustration and fear in these endeavors, and then react to these feelings in various unhealthy ways.

In this presentation, parents will discover a rich theoretical framework * and engage an interactive exercise designed to help them recognize and understand these frustrating dynamics, with the hope that this new understanding will enable them to set more realistic and effective goals for their children and for themselves.

*Based on The Immunity To Change, by Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey

Presented at:

  1. Parents Independent Schools Network (PIN). February 2015
  2. International School of Manila, The Philippines (ISM): Parents Workshop, October, 2014

Facing The Immunity To Change

Educators annually prepare and execute curricular and extracurricular programs for their schools. Many strive to make changes so to promote their primary mission: educating students for a demanding world. Often, unforeseen barriers impede progress toward these changes. This workshop involves an interactive exercise designed to dislodge “hidden barriers” to change.

Presented at:

  1. American Community Schools – Athens, Greece. April, 2016
  2. East Asia Regional Conference of Overseas Schools (EARCOS), Manila. March 2016
  3. Leadership Conference for School Improvement, Montreal. August 2016
  4. Central and Eastern European Schools Association (CEESA), March 2014
  5. St. Paul’s School, Concord, NH. October 2013
  6. New Hampton School, New Hampton, NH. November 2012

Neuropsychological Testing: Demystifying the Data

Many educators struggle to grasp the interpretive value of comprehensive assessments. This workshop will “demystify the data” conveyed in every neuropsychological report. Discussing how to read complex evaluations will help participants to understand students’ needs and intervene more effectively. Participants should bring reports and questions of their own.

Presented at:

  1. Independent Educational Consultants Association Conference (IECA), Boston, Massachusetts. Featured Speaker. April, 2012
  2. Millbrook School, Millbrook, New York. September 2011
  3. Lawrenceville School, Princeton, New Jersey. September 2011

“May I Have Your Attention, Please?”

Learning challenges and mental health problems frequently overlap. Consequently, students get treated for depression, anxiety, learning disabilities and even poor school fit, when too often, the true culprit is an undiagnosed attention problem. This workshop will review these overlapping conditions and clarify how to make accurate diagnoses for effective interventions.

Presented at:

  1. East Asia Regional Conference of Overseas Schools (EARCOS), Manila. March 2016

Challenging “The Way We Do Things Around Here!”

In your administrative role, what important changes would you make – if you were certain about being able to make them – that would not only excite you, but that would also result in your being even more effective in your leadership? Each year, school heads and their co-administrators face enormous challenges such as coordinating the academic, athletic, artistic and other extracurricular programs of the entire school; supervising faculty and staff members; handling all employment and retention matters; and working effectively with the board of trustees. Through it all, school administrators work hard to manage the often-competing demands of their various school constituencies, including students, faculty, parents and trustees. Although flooded by this deluge of executive tasks, to their great credit, most administrators still strive to make helpful changes in their effort to promote their primary mission: to educate and prepare students for an ever-demanding world. To that end, most administrators set genuine improvement goals and then work hard to achieve them. However, all too frequently, and even with the best intentions, many administrators encounter unforeseen – and unacknowledged – barriers that not only impede progress toward their goals, but also, that result in a return to “the way we do things around here,” an established pattern of well-reinforced ways of functioning. How can we recognize and understand these hidden barriers? Most importantly, how can we dislodge these barriers not only to make the changes we so desire, but also, to enrich our overall school leadership and fulfill the mission of educating and preparing our students effectively?

In this workshop, participants will discover a rich theoretical framework ** and engage an associated interactive exercise designed specifically to help them recognize, understand and dislodge “hidden barriers” to their desired changes. Bolstered by this new information, administrators will be empowered to set new goals that respectfully bypass their previously hidden barriers, and that lead, ultimately, to deep, effective and lasting changes.

**Based on The Immunity To Change, by Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey

Presented at:

  1. Near East South Asia Counsel of Overseas Schools (NESA), Leadership Conference, Kathmandu, Nepal. October 2013

Trouble in Paradise: Counseling Vulnerable Adolescents. 

Over the past decade, the demands and risks associated with providing counseling services in independent schools have intensified. Growing up in a stimulating and highly competitive world, students often feel a tremendous pressure to “prove their worth by mastering curriculum, the student culture, and their own vulnerability.” Further, given the peripatetic lifestyle of many international school students, the seemingly ordinary pressures to “prove their worth” are often exaggerated by frequent transitions in and out of various international schools.

While most adolescents experience developmentally appropriate concerns such as conflicts with their parents or with their peers, or questions about their emerging identities, many are also experiencing increasing levels of social isolation, anxiety and depression, conditions that when overlooked can lead to self-destructive and, at times, suicidal behavior.

Adolescents’ developmental vulnerabilities and the school’s primary educational mission can collide. Essentially, when social-emotional and/or learning-style challenges outweigh the available supports, students suffer, and their “worth” sinks in jeopardy. This potential collision raises critical questions: How should schools respond? What are the school’s responsibilities, and where do their responsibilities and parents’ responsibilities overlap? When does school “counseling” become psychotherapy, and where is the balance between offering appropriate help and support, and fulfilling the school’s primary educational mission?

Workshop participants will learn about a continuum of interventions meeting the wide range of clinical matters daily encountered within their schools, drawing upon clinical examples. We will also explore appropriate lines of adult communication for dealing with student crises, review effective record keeping procedures, and discuss limits to confidentiality when working with children and adolescents in schools.

Presented at:

  1. Near East South Asia Counsel of Overseas Schools (NESA). Bangkok, Thialand, March, 2013