January 24, 2023
When you step into a BASIS Independent Bellevue classroom, you know you are somewhere different. There is an energy in the classroom with students eager to learn and Subject Expert Teachers who are excited to teach students to love their discipline as much as they do.
BASIS Independent Bellevue opened fall 2022, and the sixth campus to open in the BASIS Independent Schools network. As a school new to the area, many families are curious about the classroom dynamic and teacher difference. We recently sat down with Mr. Tyler, a History Subject Expert Teacher, to articulate the classroom and teacher difference for families, and bring to life our learning community. From their teaching strategies to their personal insights, our teachers have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share.
This school year, Mr. Tyler teaches middle school world history and Grade 4 history. He is new to the BASIS Independent Schools family and offers a fresh perspective on how he and his peers ignite the fire, soul, and mind of their students.
Who is a BASIS Independent Bellevue Student and what are their characteristics?
Mr. Tyler: What stands out to me about our students is that they are not only advanced learners; they are more than I expected. They have an itching to dig deeper and expand their learning into real avenues and apply their learnings in real ways. They always have a drive to complete their work and go beyond what is expected to expand the connections in the world around them. They have a ton of curiosity, and this is so rewarding as a teacher. My classroom slogan is “Come in with a smile, work hard, and leave with a smile,” and my students are equipped to do just that. They themselves want to discover what they are made of and that excites me each day in the classroom.
What stands out about the BASIS Curriculum?
Mr. Tyler: Our curriculum is aligned with the skills needed to take on high level content, which we provide. Our students are prepared for the Advanced Placement (AP) curriculum that is utilized in our High School Program, as they will already have the fundamental thinking skills from their time in our middle school, which are needed to excel in college related content, such as the AP curriculum provides. The BASIS Curriculum is balanced in focusing on both liberal arts and STEM, and teaching students deep content within history. The curriculum is also collaborative in nature, which allows students to create connections and motivate them to step away from memorization of facts to developing historical content knowledge skills.
Who is a BASIS Independent Bellevue teacher?
Mr. Tyler: All of the Learning Expert Teachers (LET) and Subject Expert Teachers (SET) at BASIS Independent Bellevue are not just experts in their field but also do an exceptional job of passing their knowledge down to their students. The teachers continuously collaborate between Subject Advisors at other campuses across the BASIS Independent Schools network, and in the Primary Program, between LETs and SETs. The teachers are willing to make it happen, they believe in the model, and no teacher is too much of an expert to learn from one another. Everyone is open and willing to learn and this partnership between the teachers is what builds collaboration.
How would you describe the classroom dynamic and culture?
Mr. Tyler: It is not just that we have an advanced curriculum, but we have a learning culture that brings it to life. Teachers and students push each other in productive ways, which helps the expansion of the curriculum. We owe so much of the success to teachers and students; they create an environment where everyone is at their best and students needs are met. Each co-hort of students is supportive. What is also unique to our culture is that the competitiveness is focused on ‘wow isn’t it incredible I can achieve this,’ versus a pursuit for the top score.
We are grateful for the hard work and dedication of our teachers, and are excited to share their stories and perspectives.
BASIS Independent Bellevue, a private school, opened with Grades 2 – 7 to start and will add a grade level each school year as we expand to a full middle and high school (Grades 5 – 12).