When the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, schools were forced to close, teachers and students quarantined, and some teachers who traveled outside China and other countries were unable to return to the country where they were teaching. It was a moment for schools to show the degree to which they value their teachers. BASIS International Schools has stood out among schools in caring for our teachers during COVID-19!
14 days is an eternity, when there’s nowhere to go and not much to do. It gives you a lot of time to reflect and think. Yet, the BASIS International Schools community really came through for us. The school’s chef provided breakfast, lunch, and dinner delivered to our rooms, every day on a timely basis. The school at large became a refuge, and the teachers were phenomenal! – Darline Coupet, Senior ELL Coordinator & Head of Department at BASIS International School Park Lane Harbour
Quarantine can seem like a scary word, and one we have all undoubtedly heard more often in the past 9 months than ever before in our lives. However, as many of our teachers underwent the mandatory 14 day quarantine upon returning to China, our school operations staff, other teachers, and leadership did everything they could to ensure this experience was as smooth as possible.
When China’s quarantines were initiated in early 2020, BASIS International Schools proactively provided our teachers priority access to healthcare, delivered food to teachers’ apartments, and provided transportation to medical facilities for those with previous medical needs.
I’d like to give shout outs to a number of people, including our front desk staff and drivers, cleaning staff, school nurse, the chef and servers, and numerous members of both the local and expat teams who have answered questions ranging from curriculum and Zoom, to volleyball and mental health support. – Jenny Lau, Honors English Literature teacher, BASIS International School Park Lane Harbour
Even beyond the basic temporal needs cared for, our schools provided ways to support the teachers’ social and emotional well-being. Each community had different quarantine rules, and our schools customized how it met those needs by providing communications, and arranging ways for people to stay virtually connected with colleagues, family, and students to continue the bonds of the school community.
I would like to publicly thank our fabulous operations team. […] They sent school supplies to our apartments so we could carry on working from home, provided healthy and nutritious meals in the cafeteria, translated documents and emails, carried on interviewing prospective parents to ensure eligible students are able to attend, reassured our new hires and processed their documents, kept us updated on the latest travel restrictions and quarantine regulations, and they maintained the school grounds.
They picked us up when we were feeling down. They are the best! – Dr. Mark Starbuck, Head of School, BASIS International School Nanjing
When it became evident that borders were going to close, teachers received assistance in coordinating immediate flights to ensure their safe return. As teachers returned to China, they were given assistance in navigating the quarantine, and provided enhanced support to teachers and their families.
As part of the Music Department, Arts Department, BASIS International School Guangzhou faculty, and BASIS International Schools network, I’m embedded in some fair and fertile communities. Whilst many of my friends and family at home are feeling the crush of unemployment, I had the gift of financial support from BASIS International Schools, China. – Samuel Warne, Music Subject Expert Teacher, BASIS International School Guangzhou
For new teachers with contracts set to begin with the 2020-21 school year, and unable to enter China, the schools went beyond simply guaranteeing their employment contracts for this year, and provided not only funding to help them get through the waiting time, but global healthcare coverage as well. Orientation training was still provided and expedited visa support granted. The clear commitment to our teachers has never been more clearly demonstrated than what we have seen through the COVID pandemic.
As an employee at BASIS International School Hangzhou, I literally felt my stress levels dropping one day when I got a message informing me a box of supplies was awaiting me filled with apples, oranges, bread, milk, and even a few bottles of wine. It didn’t stop there though, when China was running out of face masks […] we got another welcomed message. ‘If in need, face masks will be available for every staff member at our school’s front gate.’
It was quite something to see many teachers from other schools also living in Hangzhou who suddenly got a much smaller paycheck, or worse, waking up one awfully isolated morning without a job. The peace of mind of our usual paycheck and the knowledge that we have jobs (and will keep them) in such an uncertain time made all the difference. – Thandiela Goldman, Elementary Humanities Teacher, BASIS International School Hangzhou
BASIS International Schools stand committed to providing unrivaled support to our exceptional teachers; support the continues to attract great teachers for our great schools.
Tim Smith is the VP of Global Talent Strategy at BASIS Overseas Educational Services.
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