DF Education was established in 2014 by Deidre Fischer and she has worked with clients in international schools around the world, from Madagascar to Saudi Arabia, Brazil to Vietnam, China to Australia and many countries between. Her regular clients include the IBO as well as the Council of International Schools and Search Associates Australia NZ. Deidre’s work with schools has included engaging with different stakeholders (Boards, leadership, teaching and non-teaching staff and students) to help them identify how they can maximise the effectiveness of their role in the school and hence support student learning.
Who is Deidre Fischer?
Head of School
Deidre is not only an experienced educator for students and adults, but also a former Head of Pre-School to Grade 12 International Schools.This includes:
- Director of the International School of Ulaanbataar (Mongolia),
- Superintendent of Cebu International School (Philippines) and
- Interim Head for Bali International School (Indonesia).
In addition to her extensive head of school experience, she has also completed projects for the Council of International Schools (www.cois.org), volunteered time for the EARCOS Board of Trustees (www.earcos.org), Basketball South Australia Commission (www.basketballsa.com.au) and Rotary International.Apart from Australia, some of the countries that Deidre has worked in include: Indonesia, the Philippines, Mongolia, Cambodia, Japan, Thailand, India, PR China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Brunei, Singapore, and Malaysia.
Making a Difference
Clients value her ability to stimulate strategic thinking that is aligned to the mission and vision of the school, and developing positive, practical strategies to foster teamwork within the community. She has a warmth of personality coupled with genuine interest in others, be it students, teachers, parents, non-teaching staff or Board members, that puts others at ease and generates an easy, respectful environment within her workshops.
Deidre has a range and depth of experiences in teaching and leadership from 30+ years spanning public and private schools in Australia as well as international schools. She is known for the way in which she is able to work collaboratively with others to achieve practical results that make a measurable difference to individuals and their organisations.
As well as consulting across the region, Deidre has presented at a number of conferences about building organisational capacity from within, developing inclusive practices that promote diversity of leadership within schools and nurturing women for leadership. Deidre believes that all schools should foster the potential of all those within their community.
As a teacher, my core business has been delivering quality teaching. As a school leader/head of school, it has been about developing quality schools and developing the ‘brand’. Therefore this business is an extension of what I have been doing for more than 30 years – developing the quality of teaching so that students can be successful.
Schools exist so that students can learn and achieve success. A teacher, and school leader’s, responsibility is to the students they serve.
DF Education helps schools/individuals by building practical skills that can be applied immediately following the workshops. It is not just about the learning, it is about process and skill building that can help transform practice in schools.
“Deidre led a very successful biennial governance training session for the Board and Council of St Michael’s International School, Kobe in February 2018. With very little time to prepare, she grasped the ethos and spirit of the School. Her understanding of the journey we have made in the past decade and our present concerns resulted in a day of learning well tailored to our current situation. Not only did Deidre meet all the objectives she had been asked to address, she did so in a style that engaged all the participants and which they all enjoyed. Feedback from members was unanimously positive, one saying it was the best training session she’d attended. The variety of activities aided in keeping attention during a long day; as a result, enthusiasm didn’t flag throughout. The training was particularly useful at a period of change in governance of the School. It allowed newer and perhaps shyer members of the Council to express their views and develop confidence in their ability to benefit the governance of the School. Deidre’s comments on the governance of the School were very reassuring and it was most helpful to be shown we have already taken many of the necessary steps to tackle issues on our agenda in the coming months.
We wholeheartedly recommend Deidre as a governance trainer and would be happy to have her back for future sessions at St Michael’s.”
Chair of the Council
St Michael’s International School, Kobe, Japan
“Deidre has provided me over many years with great support and advice as an educational leader. Since meeting her at international recruitment fairs, I have gone to her many times for advice both in recruiting teachers and in my own search for opportunities. She has such a wide range of knowledge, contacts and experiences in international education that her advice is always honest, meaningful and insightful. Personally she has helped me and other through some very challenging situations with a common sense approach that cuts to the chase, and helps you to understand what is important in supporting student learning.”
Chadwick International School, South Korea
“Deidre has been an invaluable mentor. Particularly during times when a difficult decision has to be made, she has enabled me, through her coaching, to focus on what is important, to prioritise and decide on things that are non-negotiable. This has helped me to make informed decisions with more objectivity which, I feel have guided me in the right direction.“
Year 3 Teacher (Team Leader)
Discovery College, Hong Kong
“Deidre provided three workshops for us in July 2015 as part of our teacher in-service week. One workshop led the staff through a review of the Mission statement and our new tag line. This workshop fostered great conversations that have continued throughout the school year. Deidre organised the workshop in a way that was engaging and resulted in concrete outcomes that have continued to be beneficial for the school.
The second workshop was for middle management, both academic and administration, in leadership skills and challenges. This was a small group with very different cultural backgrounds and understandings of leadership. Deidre took on this challenge and supported each participant to grow in his/her understanding of his/her own leadership role in the school. This was our first foray into small, tailored workshops and it was quite successful and appreciated.
The last workshop was a two-day Board training workshop. Deidre immediately switched gears and led our Board to a deeper understanding of its function. She engaged both new and returning Board members and ensured that all members felt encouraged to participate. Her work with the Board helped set us up for our successful CIS/WASC visit that just occurred last month.
As you can see, Deidre is very versatile and can support many strategic PD aims. It was invaluable for us to have her with us for these days; covering so many of our identified needs. This was done through a very thorough planning process and input from myself as Head of School, which I appreciated. Deidre doesn’t just take her same old presentation /workshop out of the closet and bring it, she considers the needs of the particular school and comes up with a differentiated program – modelling what we are asking of our teachers!”
Head of School
Bali International School, Indonesia