In the United States, Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate and give thanks for all of the blessings and good things in our lives. While the fourth Thursday of November is traditionally the day set aside for a feast, the entire of month of November is frequently used to remember and observe everything we have to be thankful for.

Teaching abroad often gives teachers a new family in their new country. Our school communities strive to be that “home away from home” for our expat teachers, and have annually celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday with celebrations and a short school holiday.

Our multi-national team of faculty shared with us what Thanksgiving means to them, and what they are thankful for about the BASIS International & Bilingual Schools community. Across our network, there is much to be thankful for!

Messages of Thanks to the Community

I’d like to say a big thank you to the middle school team of returning faculty, particularly for welcoming me back in. I was a teacher here before, and now after two years away I’ve come back so it’s been nice to meet a lot of the teachers I used to work with and get a welcome from them.

I’m also really grateful to the new teachers that have come in. They brought a lot of energy and new ideas.

– Stephen Howard, Head of Middle School, BASIS International School Shenzhen

I wanted to thank everybody. Specifically, I would like to thank my fellow teachers who have opened up and allowed me to join them in their instruction and in their curricular planning to integrate ICT and CS, or technology and design principles into their class.

I’m also thankful to the management, administrative, and operations team that gives us the facilities to do so. The administrative team allows me to align with other classes and have that co-teaching model, that co-planning model that I found to be quite effect, where the students are exposed to real-world concepts in their theoretical classes, with the practical application that happens from the technology and design, or from computer science.

I think most importantly, though, I would want to thank the community at large for being so embracing and welcoming. If I have an idea, it’s never immediately shot down. They are willing to think about a proposal we have and we can work through problems or take suggestions. Ultimately, it seems like the community at large is accepting of what we’re trying to do here. I’m thankful for that.

– Michael Davison, Chair of Information and Communications Technology, BASIS International School Shenzhen

Thanksgiving is coming, and I’d like to say a big thank you to the BASIS International Schools network for everything you’ve been able to provide to us as teachers and also for our children. We’ve had a wonderful experience working with the BASIS team. To all my colleagues, I really appreciate all that I’ve learned and the friendships that I’ve gained being here.

– Ashley Ely, Humanities teacher, BASIS International School Guangzhou

I would say thank you to all of the teachers, the staff for being family, and for all they do. I especially would give thanks to the operations team, the kitchen staff, how hard they’ve worked. The food is delicious, so I would give thanks to all of them.

– Mark Propp, Astronomy, Economics and AP Computer Science teacher, BASIS International School Park Lane Harbour

First, I want to say thank you to Ken (Head of Operations) and Lily (General Manager). They’ve always been so kind to us and so supportive of our family through all of the hard times, through all the good times. Everything with our baby, Ken and Lily have been awesome. I also want to say thanks to our current Head of School, John Quirk. He’s been really supportive and helped me grow as a teacher, and the previous Head of School, Mark Lewis, as well. I’m really grateful for their leadership. I’m thankful for all my co-workers and I’m thankful for all the operations staff. I’m really thankful for the canteen staff because we love the food at school.

Joey Lotus and family at the BASIS International School Park Lane Harbour Senior Breakfast 2022.

Everyone at school is just very nice. We talk to all the cleaners and they play with my baby. Sometimes the cleaning staff will even hold my baby during dinner so that we can eat. It’s just a great community and I’m really grateful that my family gets to be a part of this community.

Joey Lotus, Biology & Economics teacher, BASIS International School Park Lane Harbour

I want to thank you teachers, for your selfless devotion and service to inspire our students to be the best version of themselves that they can be. Let us also be thankful for the opportunity to influence the lives of the young generation through education. Let’s be thankful for all that we do have. So I wish you Happy Thanksgiving. May your hearts always be filled with love, purpose, and gratitude.

– Alan Adame, Director of College Admissions, BASIS Bilingual School Shenzhen

Thankful for Our Community and Colleagues

This year I am especially thankful for my co-workers. I’ve said it before, and I say it all the time: the people I work with make my job such a joy. I really enjoy the relationships and friendships I’ve had through this school. I feel like we are a family away from home. This Thanksgiving I am especially grateful for all of the relationships I have with members of our team.

– Livia Dilts, Head of Primary School, BASIS International School Guangzhou

I am thankful for the warm family environment that we have here. It’s a close-knit group of people. They’re all good-quality people. I would also like to say a special thank you to the driver who took me to the airport and made sure I got home and saw my family members this summer.

– David Britten, Middle School History teacher, BASIS International School Hangzhou

In this Thanksgiving 2022, I want to say thank you to all my colleagues, to all my friends here that we can count on with our colleagues as a team. We are friends, we are colleagues, we are a team of workers that want to make this learning community a good place. I want to say thank you for every single moment in the meeting that a teacher contributed something, when they listen to me as the Head of the Department, and also to my colleagues, heads of other departments, our Head of School, and the operational team that welcomed me in a way that felt really good.

– Conchita Kennedy, Head of Early Childhood Education, BASIS International School Hangzhou

I wish all my colleagues a Happy Thanksgiving. Because I’m from Germany, we usually don’t celebrate that day in my home. But I Googled the meaning of it and it says that this day is to worship the harvest, and the blessings of the harvest. Since the lunch at school is so good, I would like to give a special thanks to our BASIS International School Nanjing cooks and canteen staff this year. Thank you very much for cooking such delicious food for us every day.

school meals cooking

BASIS International School Nanjing canteen staff

– Sarah Knop, Drama teacher, BASIS International School Nanjing

Thank you for the community, the culture that you’ve been working to provide and give us. I’m very grateful to be here. I have a great sense of security and stability and future here, which is really nice to have. I feel supported.

– Christopher Gray, ELL teacher, BASIS International School Nanjing

I’m really thankful for my students, most of all for the work that they do. I try to make the class as challenging for them as possible. Sometimes they hate it, but they show up every day and they have a good attitude and they do their best for it. I appreciate them. I really appreciate the parents for giving their trust to us teachers to really know what’s best for their students.

I’m really thankful for the leadership team here in Nanjing for being so supportive of the teachers, and really being willing to stick their necks out and make sure that we have quality education.

– Kevin Poehner, History teacher, BASIS International School Nanjing

Ultimately, I am extremely grateful to be here working with very dedicated and talented and caring professionals. I am thankful to have the opportunity to share this Thanksgiving experience with everyone here.

BASIS International School Nanjing teachers 2022

Daniel Hovland, Head of School, BASIS International School Nanjing

I want everyone to know that I feel very grateful to be a part of the BASIS team, to be a part of this hard-working team and very dedicated team. I want to wish everyone a beautiful and lovely Thanksgiving Day with family and friends.

– Shirley Torres, ECE Music teacher, BASIS Bilingual School Shenzhen

I would just like to say thank you to BASIS because they’re all now my family here. They are my home away from homeland and I’m thankful that they made me feel comfortable and welcome and feel like I’m not alone. I’m just thankful for this amazing opportunity, this beautiful school and the opportunity to really teach students and live my dream and passion.

– Isabel Billup, Primary Subject Expert Teacher, BASIS International & Bilingual School Chengdu

I’m from Ireland, so we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but I’m aware of it as a holiday. I think fundamentally everyone who works in this campus, and everyone who studies here is tremendously thankful to be here. I think as a staff member, and I also speak as a parent, we feel tremendously privileged and thankful to have the opportunity to be part of this project from the side as an educator. But then also as a parent, I’m extremely thankful my daughter is in Grade 4 and I know she loves every day of her life at this school. I think personally I’m extremely thankful for this.

– John Doyle, Chair of English, BASIS International & Bilingual School Chengdu

For more information about teaching with BASIS International Schools, visit our careers website.

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