On a recent Thursday afternoon at BASIS International & Bilingual School Chengdu, teachers across divisions participated in professional development sessions. These weekly hour-long collaboration meetings are a staple at all the schools across the BASIS China network and are geared toward encouraging, sustaining, and supporting effective learning and teaching.

The founding teachers at the new Chengdu campus were introduced to the BASIS model of professional learning during the Summer Institute training in the fall of 2022. Now that the school year is underway, teachers and administrators have been taking advantage of collaboration hour every Thursday–connecting not only with peers in their school but also at other BASIS China schools to pursue network, school, and departmental work.

On this particular day, the teachers in Chengdu splint into two groups based on their interests. The first group focused on reviewing and discussing the recently collected MAP scores from students in grades one through nine. The MAP test is an important tool for measuring student growth and progress in school. This information helps teachers know where their students’ strengths lie, allowing them to tailor their planning and instruction.

The second group of teachers explored Understanding by Design, a researched-backed approach to curriculum planning. Teachers used this framework to highlight each standard’s most important learning targets and sort them into knowledge, understanding, or skills. During the session, teachers looked at the standards for an upcoming unit and planned with other teachers. Through the collaborative discussions, teachers were able to gain a deeper understanding of what is happening in different grades and subjects, which facilitates transdisciplinary learning among students going forward.

There are many challenges and opportunities associated with opening a new school. Still, the BASIS International & Bilingual School Chengdu founding faculty continue to rise to the occasion thanks to the ongoing learning that ensures teachers have the skills, resources, and support to be successful in their daily teaching. They look forward to continuing their quest for high quality teaching sustained by professional development throughout the year.

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