During our annual Summer Institute, new teachers and administrators have the opportunity to come together to not only connect with their new colleagues at their own school, but with others in their subject across the BASIS International Schools network. Experienced BASIS teachers from across our global network, known as Subject Area Advisors, lead subject specific training to guide new teachers in learning the BASIS Curriculum, share ideas, tips, and best practices, and establish mentoring relationships.
As we prepare to begin a new school year, over 100 new teachers will join the teams at our six campuses in China. Because of the current travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of these teachers are unable to be with us in person for training sessions. However, through the hard work of our creative, resilient, and agile technology team, Heads of School, trainers, and support staff, we not only successfully completed another year of teacher training, but also fostered connection and community both on the ground in China, and wherever our teachers may be across the world.
A few of our teachers and training leaders shared their thoughts with us on this unique Summer Institute. Read on for their reflections!
Tom Owen, Grace 3 Humanities teacher, BASIS International School Hangzhou
The BASIS Summer Institute for new staff has been tremendously informative. Despite a prodigious amount of new information and the introduction of many intimidating administrative and academic online platforms, simply seeing what we will be using to plan, grade, and guide our instruction in the classroom has given myself and my new colleagues a productive insight as to what we can expect when our learners arrive at the end of August. However, there is no doubt I will still have many questions for our experienced team members for many months yet to come!
Jamie Davis, Assistant Head of School, BASIS International School Nanjing
The start of any school year is about preparing staff to have a school that is learning focused. That said, it would be naive to suggest that preparing for 2020-21 has been like any other year…because it hasn’t been!
From a school leadership lens, the start of this year has been incredibly challenging. Balancing the on-boarding of accomplished, agile new teachers, who literally remain all over the world, with the professional learning of our fantastic founding-year faculty, has me feeling like I need to keep my head on a swivel. BASIS International School Nanjing’s August training has focused on the value of school culture, the importance of relationships, and the continued evolution to be successful, student-driven educators. We value our culture and community at BINJ deeply, and throughout our summer training we challenge each other, we question each other, and we continue to enhance our capacity as a community of learners–leadership, teachers, and students alike.
I feel blessed to be part of a team that continues to laugh together, learn from each other, and support one another, in a period of time that continues to provide unique challenges.
Bring on 2020-21, BINJ will be ready!
Jeff Engle, AP US History teacher, BASIS International School Park Lane Harbour
Experienced teachers who are new to the BASIS International School Park Lane Harbour community gathered from all over the world to learn the ropes at BASIS with great anticipation. Laughter, deep thinking, and sharing were the protocol for us all. We absorbed so much, our brains bulged with new knowledge. The teachers, administrators, and support staff made us feel at home. The 2020-21 Summer Institute has set us up for unrivaled success.
Madalina Ailincai, Head of Math Department and trainer, BASIS International School Park Lane Harbour
I am so pleased to have had the opportunity to lead the Upper Math training sessions during the Summer Institute 2020. I have met and worked with some outstanding educators who are so excited to join BASIS International Schools, China. During the training, we discussed a wide range of topics from the specifics of teaching mathematics in a BASIS school, using the Saxon curriculum, writing syllabi and creating tests in BeLA (internal system), getting ready for Pre-Comp and Comprehensive exams up to teaching AP Calculus and post AP courses, and best ways to prepare our students. It was great and I look forward to seeing all the faculty and students back on campus in a few days.
Dorota Sim, Kindergarten lead teacher, BASIS International School Hangzhou
First of all, I would like to say thank you for the training. I find it well-organized and structured. The material is interesting and discussions are truly inspiring. The school has high expectations for students, and for teachers. I feel everybody is extremely supportive and the overall atmosphere is great. I am very excited to be a part of this amazing team and can’t wait to meet my students.
Henry Burch, Grade 7 – 8 Chemistry teacher, BASIS International School Shenzhen
BASIS International School Shenzhen Summer Institute this year was intense! As someone coming from the U.K. system trying to learn all the terminology, forms, and procedures in a week was a real challenge. Luckily, the trainers were very patient and helpful, and really made us feel there are no stupid questions.
The best part was we had a social event every evening that helped us get to know each other and unwind. I beat all comers at the board games evening, but had an embarrassing first round knock-out at the table tennis. I think we were all glad on Friday to head to a bar to see a teacher’s band perform.
Jacob Burton, Grade 10 – 11 AP Language teacher, BASIS International School Hangzhou
The induction period at BASIS has been very well structured. Having daily training sessions with a subject head, and group sessions with fellow English teachers from other BASIS schools was invaluable.
I am looking forward to working in such a supportive environment, with a diverse faculty who collaborate and help one another to learn and grow.
Elizabeth Lotus, AP Economics teacher and trainer, BASIS International School Park Lane Harbour
BASIS International Schools hires amazing educators who come with so much experience and passion. I am so thankful for the opportunity to work with the new economics teachers in China this year. I loved being one of the first people to welcome and introduce these new teachers to all the things that makes BASIS International Schools special. Being a trainer, I was able to give my attendees tips and tricks that I hope will help them as they start this school year. Over my years with BASIS I have made my share of missteps. It was great to be able to not only learn from those mistakes personally, but to use those to help others. I was also able to learn a lot from the attendees who brought with them years of economics education experience as well as experience teaching ESL students. Being a part of Summer Institute is an opportunity for trainers to really be mindful of their practice and have conversations with some of the world’s best educators, which is an opportunity that I would never turn down.
Summer Institute training at BASIS International School Bangkok featured a fun professional development activity: Educational Resource Speed Dating. Read more about this innovative idea in this blog post.