Professional development at BASIS International & Bilingual Schools • China is an ongoing process woven into our everyday routines. It begins with new teacher training and extends throughout the academic year with weekly collaboration meetings, professional learning communities, in-house development days, and one-on-one coaching sessions. There is a strong emphasis on creating a supportive environment where teacher growth and excellence are daily, collaborative efforts. 

Our recent professional development days reflect this dedication to teaching growth and excellence. Across our campuses from Guangzhou to Hangzhou, these days were carefully planned by our internal teams, creating a space where teachers were encouraged to share their knowledge and learn from each other’s experiences. Our professional development days, tailored to each school’s specific needs and goals, allowed teachers to refine their skills through relevant workshops and meaningful dialogues. The workshops covered topics ranging from co-teaching methods and creative use of technology to examining teaching domains and developing strategies for ELL learners, all contributing to our teachers’ ongoing development. 

Keep reading to learn more about the professional development days at our campuses across China. 

BASIS International School Guangzhou: Deep Focus 


In Guangzhou, the professional development day focused on various highly relevant topics presented by teachers and administrators, including co-teaching methods, play-based learning, and even using Canva in the classroom. Charlene van Schalkwyk, Head of High School at BASIS International School Guangzhou, shared, “Implementing professional learning is crucial for the growth and confidence of our teachers, and although it is embedded in the daily interactions, we reserve these days for a deeper focus on growth mindset and reflection.”  

BASIS Bilingual School Shenzhen: Divisional Focus  

During the professional development day, the ECE division conducted two workshops on classroom management and social-emotional learning (SEL). The first workshop focused on maximizing learning and building relationships with students, while the second workshop highlighted students’ SEL needs and support for different emotional states. 

The Lower Primary division focused on collaboration and skill development, incorporating co-teaching strategies to enhance classroom effectiveness and learning stations to improve students’ reading, writing, speaking, and listening abilities. The focus was on teamwork and delivering an excellent education for BASIS students. 

The Upper Primary division offered three sessions: one on becoming an effective homeroom teacher by focusing on student engagement, setting clear expectations, and enhancing parent communication; another on fostering positive behavior for learning by creating a positive classroom environment and implementing Bloom’s Taxonomy for learning objectives; and a third on creative thinking and developing questioning skills to scaffold student learning.  

Eve Downing, a math teacher at BASIS Bilingual School Shenzhen, shared, I enjoyed our professional development day. I particularly enjoyed having the chance to become a student again. We have teachers with so much experience and knowledge to share with us—it’s awesome to learn from them.”     

The Upper School division focused on classroom behavior management, assessment for learning, and supportive assignment creation for ELL students. Teachers attended two sessions and collaborated within their departments to implement the strategies into future lessons.  

BASIS International and Bilingual School Chengdu: Collaborative Learning Sessions  

After enjoying a delicious breakfast prepared by the kitchen staff, our teachers headed off to their workshops, ready to collaborate and learn.

In the lower and upper school divisions, the day consisted of departmental groups focusing on the BASIS teaching domains, a session on ELL strategies and supporting ELL learners, and a final session where faculty shared insights from the Harvard Project Zero online course ‘Teaching Students to Ask Their Own Questions: Best Practices in the Question Formulation Technique.’ 

Our ECE teachers explored various types of materials to understand their impact on children’s play in the classroom. Drawing inspiration from Sally Haughey’s materials wheel, teachers took part in challenges and workshops. By pushing themselves out of their comfort zones, designing activities, and presenting new ideas, they promoted growth and community through mutual learning.  

BASIS International School Park Lane Harbour: Recharging and Realigning 

Teachers at BASIS International School Park Lane Harbour took advantage of the professional learning day to recharge, reflect, and realign. The ICT team leader organized commonly used online resources, with teachers subsequently sharing their experiences using these tools, enhancing understanding and providing fresh ideas for using the platforms to aid student growth. Afterward, departments met for in-depth discussions of the vertical alignment of each subject by grade level, focusing on skill development and student progression. Teachers examined the strengths and weaknesses of students’ knowledge in different grades and collaborated on strategies for building a strong knowledge foundation in each subject, preparing students for future AP courses. This collective exchange of ideas echoed the school’s commitment to nurturing an innovative and robust learning community. 

BASIS International School Nanjing: Cultivating Interconnected Teaching 


Discover the insights and highlights from BASIS International School Nanjing’s recent Professional Development Day! Our dedicated faculty shares their key takeaways firsthand. Tune in for a glimpse into our commitment to continuous improvement! #ProfessionalDevelopment #TeachAbroad #EducatorInsights #Teachers #InternationalTeachers #SchoolNetwork #Learning #SchoolCommunity #BASISInternationalSchools

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At BASIS International School Nanjing, teachers delved into the interconnectivity of the BASIS teaching domains, exploring how student engagement, checks for understanding, and lesson objectives impact other areas of instruction. They acquired new strategies to make lessons more engaging and enhance critical thinking in students. The day culminated with teachers reflecting and sharing what they learned. Kevin Poehner, a history teacher at BASIS International School Nanjing, shared, “Days like this are so important not only for our professional development but also our social development. Gathering together and sharing best practices is just essential and really welcomed.” 

BASIS International School Hangzhou: Peer-led Professional Development 

Our teachers were excited to show their experiences and what works in their classrooms during the recent professional development day, with nine administrators and 13 teachers leading workshops for their colleagues. 

In these moments, teachers also receive feedback and additional ideas from their peers, grade-level team members, and administrators. It is the beginning of building teacher leadership roles in a school. 

Building teacher leadership also gives educators the capacity to make important decisions around teaching and learning. Teacher-led professional development is an opening to empowerment, encouraging teachers to direct their own professional development and rise to the challenge to be engaged, focused, and positive teachers who have a tremendous impact on student achievement. This teacher-led professional development day promoted collaboration as we worked to solve problems together. 


These professional development initiatives are not just isolated events but integral components of our collective journey toward excellence in education. They embody our dedication to creating a supportive and collaborative environment where teachers continually refine their skills, share insights, and ultimately contribute to the holistic development of our students. The commitment to growth, collaboration, and innovation resonates across our campuses, reinforcing BASIS International & Bilingual Schools’ mission to provide a world-class education.

Learn more about teaching abroad with BASIS International Schools on our careers website.

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