Keystone Magazine - Page 32

Interview Q: What should teachers expect of their experience at Keystone? What training and professional development opportunities will they receive before and after they join Keystone? A: Teachers can expect very lively conversations. We will be building a program together, so there are choices and adjustments that will need to be made with respect to program, content and approach. Teachers should expect to move beyond the tension resulting from this building process into something that is very creative. Teachers should expect to work hard, and know that professional development is part and parcel of what we do. There will be three strands of professional development, which include: 1) Professional development that our curricula will demand of us. The International Baccalaureate (IB) and International Primary Curriculum (IPC) organizations require us to have a deepening knowledge of these curricula over time; 2) Practical training within the curriculum - there are a number of school priorities where we would like our teachers to move forward. In our bilingual immersion setting, for example, how is it that we all become language teachers even if I am not teaching in an English or a Chinese class? These types of trainings will be incumbent on the school to design, and will require the school to bring a number of people to campus to train our teachers; and 3) Conversations between the school and individual teachers about where they want to grow professionally. We all have ambitions and areas for further growth. It may be gaining a second master’s degree in a particular academic area. It might be learning how to work with students with learning differences in the primary school. There are a number of things that teachers will want to do. And professional development will be funded very generously. We will engage in profitable conversations about what the school needs of its teachers and what the teachers want to develop in their own professional lives “We are a world school, meaning that our ambition is to learn from the world and to learn for the world.” 30 The Keystone Magazine Q: We know that a typical Chinese student’s personality and learning approach is different from that of a foreign student’s. Many of Keystone’s teachers will be foreigners, some of who might not have had previous experience working with Chinese students. So these teachers will require an adjustment period. How will Keystone provide support for these teachers during this period? A: In my experience, the Chinese students that I have taught in the United States have a way of listening, taking in, considering, and then responding out of that listening. That is a real strength of those kids. I would love my American students, whose first response is often to simply start talking, to take a page out of my Chinese students’ book and really think about the role of listening carefully, of reflection, and then moving forward. The id X\›و