Date: March 22 & 23 (check-in Thursday, March 21, check-out on Sunday, March 24)
Location: Sangha Wellness Retreat by Octave
199 Yang Cheng Ring Road, Suzhou Industrial Park, Jiangsu Province, China 中国江苏省苏州市工业园区阳澄环路199号

Introduction to Metacognitive Teacher Training

Metacognitive teaching gets students to think, self-regulate, self-analyze, and self-reflect. It doesn’t only apply to academics, but to behavior, task completion, and overall well-being. It’s an awareness of one’s thinking, learning, and performance ABOVE the subject matter.
In this two-day intensive training, teachers will gain practical, evidence-based skills they can implement in their schools immediately.
Through the metacognitive approaches introduced at this training, attendees will adjust their teaching to promote:
  • Learning independence
  • Executive functioning
  • Feelings of safety and security in the classroom
  • Language acquisition and speech development in a multilingual environment
  • Reading and dyslexia interventions
  • and more!


In addition to over 5 hours per day of workshops, Octave will provide wellness and social activities at their peaceful retreat center.

Target Audience

This training is for international school teachers looking to further their knowledge of how students can become more engaged and independent learners.
The principles apply to all age levels (kindergarten to high school). Some sessions will be age-range specific; attendees can choose which sessions are most applicable. During each time slot, there will always be a session available that is relevant to all grade levels.

Detailed Session and Speaker Information

With the exception of the keynote talks, each training is 2.5 hours in duration. Click the speaker names below to read their complete biography.

Keynote: Introduction to Metacognitive Teaching

Shari D. Rosen, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, ELG Speech-Language Pathologist, Founder & Senior Consultant &

Kimberley McKenna, ELG Speech-Language Pathologist

Metacognitive teaching is about creating a school environment where everyone is encouraged to think about what they are thinking, feeling or doing, and what the potential solutions are to any problems they are facing. In one simple form, metacognitive teaching is about turning pervasive command statements such as “sit down” and “get a pencil” into metacognitive questions such as “where should you be right now?” and “what things do we need?”. Metacognitive teaching involves collaborative whole-class solution-finding, through getting children to work together to answer questions such as “what can I do if I am stuck?”. Asking metacognitive questions provides children with the opportunity to become self-regulated, independent and organized learners, while also improving their overall cognitive capabilities. It is beneficial for children (and adults) of all ages, so let’s get practicing!

Keynote:  How to Look at Stress with Mindfulness 

Olivia Xiao, Octave Life Coach & Mindfulness Trainer

Through mindfulness we are equipped to face today’s fast-paced world as well as the uncertainties that rise within us with greater clarity, composure and emotional intelligence. It breaks us from our repeat cycle of numbed autopilot and allows us to observe, think and feel, in real time, the whole variety of emotions we encounter on a daily basis. This short workshop will introduce some tools and strategies that enhance our personal life and professional life with skill, compassion and wisdom. Join us to understand how to incorporate this age-old practice into our present lives and thus not only survive, but thrive in our daily lives. 

The participant will learn how to use mindfulness to alleviate stress and anxiety through strategies (e.g. meditative) as well as insight (e.g. on self-love).  This includes exploring one’s model of the world, and overcoming the tendency to produce stress-inducing expectations.


The Neurological Development of the Child: Stimulating Development Through Metacognitive Teaching

Shining Sun, Ph.D. Candidate, ELG Clinical Psychologist

This training starts with deep-dive psychoeducation on children’s neurological development, particularly during early years’ and primary education. Through gaining insight into how the brain is designed to evolve, we can more easily step into, and understand, the world of the child at each age and stage. Equipped with this knowledge, you will then learn metacognitive teaching methods that specifically fit young children’s unique neurological development profile, which in turn will better stimulate their global development in the classroom setting.

Metacognitive and Multisensory Approaches to Dyslexia Intervention

Miriam McBreen, Ph.D. Candidate, ELG Reading Specialist

Julia Rose, M.A., ELG Director of Programs

When supporting a child with suspected or diagnosed dyslexia, it can be hard to create effective coping strategies through basic resources. This training focuses on how to help the child understand their own unique dyslexia profile and how to undertake individual and classroom-based intervention activities in differentiated, metacognitive ways. Further, you will learn about how to build-in more multisensory learning for the benefit of the individual and whole class: making use of sound, sight, movement and touch at the same time. Evidence shows that this enhances memory, and the learning of written language (reading) in particular. Ultimately, the goal is to create long-term impact through self-understanding (I understand my unique dyslexia), self-reliance (I have strategies that work for me…and I know how to create new strategies, too) and self-confidence (I can do this!).  

The Metacognitive Way to Learn Through Play and Manage Tricky Behavior

Shari D. Rosen, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, ELG Speech-Language Pathologist, Founder & Senior Consultant

This session will provide practical classroom solutions and ideas regarding how to implement a learning-through-play approach within a classroom structure; how to maximize the use of themes as it relates to learning-through-play; and how to measure student progress in the context of play-based work. Further, we will explore metacognitive ways to manage tricky behaviors in the classroom, by recognizing and responding to the function of the behavior, which can be understood simply as either attention or avoidance.

Metacognitive Strategies for Supporting Speech-Language Development in the Multilingual Context

Shari D. Rosen, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, ELG Speech-Language Pathologist, Founder & Senior Consultant &

Kimberley McKenna, ELG Speech-Language Pathologist

This training will focus on speech-language development in the context of working with multilingual children. It will seek to facilitate a deeper understanding of childhood language development, and support teachers to explore the practical applications of this understanding to their classroom setting. We will look at how to respond to children with speech-language challenges and/or low engagement, through visual schedules and aids and metacognitive prompts that encourage the development of positive thinking strategies. We will role-play different challenging situations and practice the strategies on one other.

How to Manage Children’s Behavior Through Emotional Engagement?

Carol Wang, Ph.D., AITIA Family Learning Center Director

Through a series of activities, Dr. Carol Wang will take teachers through self-analysis and strategies they can employ to engage their students emotionally. She will begin with an analysis of communication patterns, discussing the importance of understanding emotions in communication. She will discuss how to develop EQ and “make friends” with your emotions. Teachers will then consider the perspective of students through an activity which will promote self-exploration or how emotions, thoughts, behaviors, and needs are connected. She will help you assess your self-awareness and point out common mistakes we make in listening.

In the workshop, participants will gain ideas about how to address mood in order to more effectively manage a student’s behavior, including a “5 step plan” for emotional engagement. You will have an opportunity to review examples of how the five steps can be put into place.


Attachment-Informed Teaching: The Neuroscience Behind a Safe and Secure Classroom

Sarah Bilodeau, M.A., ELG Dramatherapist

School and the classroom setting can be frightening for children of any age. They may be unsure about whether or not they will have their needs met by the teacher, feel comfortable enough to engage with the learning and peers, or have the ability to comprehend and communicate effectively. All these and more create stress-driven social, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral struggles. Such struggles get in the way of learning and add complexity for the teacher. In this training, you will learn about the impact of attachment patterns: how to recognize and meet these needs in the students and the neuroscience behind it. We will explore practical strategies you can use to build a safe and secure environment for every child to internalize, so that they can have the psychological stability to learn and thrive. We will also explore effective methods for managing and supporting tricky emotions, and emotionally-driven behaviors, when they arise.

Creativity for Wellbeing: Encouraging Self-Expression and Group Engagement

Sarah Bilodeau, M.A., ELG Dramatherapist

In this training, you will learn interactive activities that give children permission to tap into the dynamic, creative, and vulnerable parts of themselves. Such activities facilitate metacognitive thinking about self and others and can be designed to raise self-confidence, self-expression, awareness of feelings, social competencies, cohesion, and collective wellbeing. In this experiential training, we will practice techniques and activities that can be easily built into the school curriculum, while also exploring broader techniques for whole group engagement, whatever the lesson. 

Preventing Teacher Burnout: Supporting Yourself and Others at Your School

Tingting Chen, M.S., ELG Art Therapist

Note: Tingting is the only Mandarin-speaking US-registered art therapist practicing in mainland China.
Like their students, teachers and leaders at international schools are often high-achieving individuals under immense pressure to achieve standards of excellence. For teachers and leaders who have relocated away from ‘home’, there is a sudden deficit in support network at a time when it’s often most needed. As a result, burnout – exhaustion, anxiety, apathy, and self-neglect – are all too common. Through counter-transference with students and colleagues, burnout can spread to the detriment of the whole school community. In this session, we will explore the critical importance of care towards self and others, trying out self-expression and other creative therapeutic activities you can use at home and school. Lastly, we will strategize about how we can share and model these practices with colleagues to support whole school wellbeing.


Send a group! Take 10% off each ticket if you send 3 or more teachers from the same school.
The 8,800 RMB registration fee includes
  1. 2 days of intensive metacognition workshops led by qualified therapists (speech-language pathologists, psychologists, reading and learning support specialists)
  2. 3 nights’ accommodation in Sangha’s Fellow Travelers Hotel (check-in Thursday, March 21, check-out on Sunday, March 24)
  3. Dinner on Thursday, March 21; all meals on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23; breakfast and lunch on Sunday, March 24
  4. Wellbeing and self-care activities led by Octave
  5. Taxes and fees
The registration fee does not include
  1. Transportation to and from Sangha
  2. Additional spa or wellness services (discounts will be offered to attendees)


Email [email protected] for payment options and to lock in space for you and your colleagues!

Training Language

English. Bilingual slides (English and Simplified Chinese) will be offered for all sessions except the dyslexia workshop.


This training is located at the beautiful SANGHA BY OCTAVE retreat in Suzhou. Attendees will stay in the Fellow Travelers Hotel and additional wellness activities will take place onsite.

SANGHA BY OCTAVE is based in the immersive ex-urban retreat spread over 189,000 square meters of lakefront peninsula on Suzhou’s Yang Cheng Lake. SANGHA BY OCTAVE is only 15 minutes away from downtown Suzhou and a short 1-hour jaunt from cosmopolitan Shanghai. It is a place for mindful learning designed to enhance your connections with yourself, with others and with nature.

SANGHA BY OCTAVE is an integrated complex of wellness residences and learning facilities consciously created by master architect Calvin Tsao to be the embodiment of a vision of how such a community might work. One of the spaces within SANGHA BY OCTAVE – The Sanctuary – has won numerous architectural awards for its stunning design, elaborate interiors and exteriors, including UK Blueprint Awards, 2017 APIDA, and the A&D Trophy Awards.

Built with natural materials, OCTAVE’s aesthetics and design choices for SANGHA BY OCTAVE re-think the whole idea of space utilization, reconsidering the balance between personal space and communal space, to create a greater sense of closeness, of community.

Questions or difficulty registering? Email [email protected].