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Feb 21 2020


Dennis Wang

We have now completed the third week of online learning at Beijing City International School (BCIS) and through student and family support and the efforts of teaching and administrative staff are meeting and addressing the challenges posed by these circumstances.Reflecting on these three weeks, we asked BCIS teachers to shared with us of their perspectives, tips and encouragement for their students and other teachers in delivering online learning.

Nan Zhang, G1-2 Art Teacher

I was a Grade 1 student when the SARS outbreak occurred in Beijing in 2003. At that time, TV shared lessons were the only medium available for learning whilst we stayed at home to be better protected. 17 years later, another virus has once again affected people's lives in China, but my role has changed from being a student to becoming a teacher at BCIS. My experience has given me different perspectives on how to make online learning successful and how to collaborate across teams, but beyond that, my job has become to protect my students. Now, my first year of learning and my first year of teaching have taken on extra special meaning for me.

Shardea Brown, Prekindergarten Teacher

My main approach for online learning is to keep it online learning as close to my way of teaching in person as possible so that children are able to have some sort of consistency in this situation. By creating a collection of activities that students can choose from has been helpful by allowing children to take ownership in their learning. Something that has surprised me about online learning is the creativity and engagement of the parents and children when working with limited resources. Some of our students are not at home so to see them still working on the activities really shows the BCIS spirit and the commitment from our parents and children to early childhood education. I think the greatest success has been working together to create meaningful learning experiences for our children through videos, emails and photos.

Eleanor Flesher, IBDP Business Management Teacher & IDEATE Project Mentor

Online Learning can be very isolating and so BCIS is taking every step towards making the online experience one that is fun and keeps us connected. Advisors are sending their advisory groups a daily video and I have chosen to make each video into a question that encourages students to respond via another video or through a photo. I recently met up with my sister and so I used her in my daily video. I then asked my advisory group to send a video back with a loved one... I received many photos of kids with their cats! One thing that this approach does is that it gives me a sense of what their lives are like at home and the people they're surrounded themselves with.

April Halverson, Grade 4 Teacher

I really appreciate how connected the BCIS community has stayed during this time. Even though I know we are widespread, I still feel support from administration, other staff, and parents. I feel that each one of these people knows that everyone is trying their best, and is eager to do their part to help further learning for students. And speaking of students, it's been such a joy to video chat with them starting this week! They are adapting quickly, putting forth their best effort, and rising to the challenges! Jia You, BCIS.

David Cooney, ES PE

As a PE teacher where our lessons are generally active, finding ways to make the online lessons engaging and meaningful has put my creativity and pedagogical knowledge to the limits. However, despite the challenges, the connectedness and resource sharing between the BCIS teachers has given me immense inspiration to create the best lessons possible in such circumstances. Despite the incessantly evolving nature of the situation we find ourselves in and many members of staff being in other countries, we are always connected with each other because we are all in this together, we are all affected but yet we find comfort in knowing that we are all only a message away, we are always connected.

Chantelle Parsons, PYP Coordinator

When I see the videos being posted by both staff and students, the constant flurry of daily messages, and video calls with the team, I don't feel anything but connected to the BCIS community. Although I miss the face-to-face interactions and dazzling smiles of the students in the classrooms, in these challenging times, the BCIS family are truly doing their utmost to keep the learning going and to stay in contact with one another. I feel even more privileged to be a BCISer during this time and humbled and appreciative of all the work everyone is doing.

While we wish to return to onsite teaching and learning as soon as we can, we appreciate and are inspired by our teachers and students for the amazing efforts they have put into our online learning environment. They truly embody #BCISpirit!

Take a look at BCIS teachers in action below!