Passionate, expert teachers who believe that with the right support and encouragement, any student can excel
Our Teaching Philosophies
The spark of a masterful teacher who loves their material is a key driver in student success. We believe academic degrees or experience in disciplines taught, whether calculus or beginning Mandarin, and passion for that subject are the most important tools to inspiring deep content understanding in students. Our selective hiring process screens for candidates who are committed to sharing their expertise and helping students become the best versions of themselves. All final candidates are invited to conduct a Teacher Demo, where they are given the opportunity to teach a lesson, challenge students, and show their subject expertise, while also demonstrating their ability to communicate high-level subject matter to young students. Our students take these sessions seriously; they know their feedback weighs heavily in our hiring decisions.
Learning at the highest international levels is hard work. Our teachers strive to make it rewarding.
Our students grow to delight in working hard and tackling challenges head-on; they know their teachers and peers are championing them along the way. Our world-acclaimed academic program asks a lot of our students and our teachers’ work hard to help them understand success in school isn’t about being the best, but giving your best and discovering the joy that the learning process offers. It turns out, when students love to learn, they excel. BASIS Independent Schools students are both among the highest achieving in the world and among the most satisfied with their teachers. The 2021–22 OECD Test for Schools (Based on PISA) places BASIS Independent students among the highest in the world for knowledge and critical thinking in reading, mathematics, and science.
Our teachers try new techniques and collaborate toward the best outcome for their students. Both new and seasoned BASIS Independent Schools teachers have professional training that takes place throughout the school year via a peer-mentoring program and collaboration with Subject Advisors (SADs), other experienced teachers, and on-site managers. SADs are typically veteran faculty who share pedagogical best practices and are the developers and gatekeepers to their discipline’s core curriculum. SADs partner with teachers to brainstorm ways to optimize their approach and teaching techniques. As collaborators, they inspire teachers to present material to students in ways that are challenging, fun, and meet learning objectives.
The balance between autonomy in the classroom and shared accountability is what maintains academic quality control across all BASIS Independent Schools. Subjects taught and standards for the scope and sequence of instruction in that subject are defined centrally, but pedagogic autonomy is given to teachers to develop innovative ways to meet (and exceed) these standards. We don’t hand a teacher a fully written curriculum for a course, but rather freedom and guidance in line with these shared classroom principles:
- With hard work, dedication, and the support of parents and teachers, students can achieve more than what is typically expected of them.
- Instructional time is precious. Every minute of every class should be filled.
- Mastering the basics is the precondition for going beyond them.
- Homework, as long as it is an extension of what is being learned in the classroom, is valuable. Practice leads to mastery.
- Summative tests that assess content mastery and learning skills (BASIS Independent Schools Comprehensive Exams and the College Board Advanced Placement Exams, for example) are foundational for learning.
- The evaluation of teacher performance is based both on classroom instruction and on student learning results on assessments.