Growing Strong at Springboard International Bilingual School
As the majority of grade levels in schools across Beijing remain closed with no set date for when they'll reopen, and teachers remain stranded around the world on account of China's travel ban, it's becoming more and more likely that many of Beijing's institutions will start the next year with a reduced staff. But while many schools have adapted to the prospect of dwindling staff, those teachers who stuck around are now privy to a whole host of job opportunities that may not have otherwise been available to them.
It's exactly these qualified and enthusiastic individuals that Shunyi's Springboard International Bilingual School (SIBS) is hoping to find for their six available positions, spanning everything from elementary level homeroom teachers to instructors in sport, art, science, and music.
The openings come during an especially momentous year for the school as it celebrates 20 years of inclusive, hands-on, and inquiry-based learning. Since its founding in 2000, SIBS has prided itself on small classes with a focus on Chinese language and culture learning alongside a curriculum of US Common Core State Standards.
One of the school's longest-running staff, Sara Norberg, says that there are a number of benefits to teaching at SIBS. Originally from Seattle in the US, Norberg decided to kick off her career in teaching when she moved to Beijing in 2012, getting her certification and student teaching experience here before starting as a first-grade teacher. She's been at SIBS ever since, as have all five of her gregarious children, who are enrolled in the school.
Norberg says what she loves most about SIBS is that, "The social language is Chinese, so my children have learned Chinese quickly because they need it to communicate with friends." She adds that rather than approaching school as a chore, her "children are always excited to see their friends and teachers," which she chalks up as proof that they enjoy being there.
It's not just the children that have demonstrated their fondness for the school. As with many schools in China and throughout the world, SIBS has had to adapt to e-learning during the coronavirus pandemic. Norberg says that teachers during this "special time" have provided additional support, guidance, and exemplary dedication (especially those who remain outside the country and work at less than ideal hours) to their fellow colleagues and students.
While she concedes that SIBS may not be as big as Beijing's other international schools, Norberg says that she's "learned a lot from our current admin and I think the organizational structure," and the the current "resources, as well as the teachers, are some of the best the school has ever had. These are people who are passionate about trying to help these kids progress and they've pushed me to be a better teacher." In return, the school rewards its staff with access to professional development opportunities as well as the usual housing, insurance, and travel stipends. Additionally, for teachers new to Beijing, an onboarding team is always on hand to walk them through daily necessities like Didi and Taobao.
The feeling of a close-knit and supportive community translates to strong bonds outside of work hours, Norberg says, describing how she and her colleagues often hang out and explore what the city has to offer in their free time.
The result, Norberg explains, is SIBS having provided an environment for her "to grow as a professional" and build a strong foundation for her future in teaching.
You can read more about Springboard International Bilingual School via their website here and browse all of the current teaching opportunities here. Finally, click here to browse the school's profile on our sister site beijingkids.
Images courtesy of Springboard International Bilingual School