English Homeroom Teacher
What drew you to Keystone?
As a family we decided to have an Asian experience before our teenage children finish school and after much research on schools and countries we chose Keystone Academy in Beijing.
Having looked at the high quality website and spoken to recruitment consultants in England, we decided that Keystone Academy would be a good fit for all of our family. Our children would integrate with Chinese children facilitated by the dual language programme and complete the IB program in small sized classes. I would work in a progressive and supportive environment, where the senior management appeared interesting and also interested in all members of staff. The equal treatment of expat and local staff appealed to me.
What do you find most rewarding about teaching at Keystone?
My two classes of 18 children are wonderful. Like many children in the world they are naturally curious about the world around them and keen to do their best. It is a pleasure to come to school every day!
The facilities within the school are outstanding and the resources are of a very high quality. My classes have wonderful Chinese Learning Assistants and I work with a team of Chinese and foreign teachers. Within a working environment where people’s ideas and opinions are valued, it is a great opportunity to learn something new from colleagues from a different background.
In addition to the above, the buildings and atmosphere within Keystone Academy are terrific and I appreciate them both on a daily basis, along with the high quality air system present in all buildings.
Why would you recommend Keystone to prospective faculty?
Keystone is a super place to work for many reasons. Obviously the facilities are fantastic and many teachers get together to share common interests such as yoga, Tabata, art classes, Zumba , football, basketball etc. outside of working hours.
There are regular meetings to share best practices and a thorough programme of Professional Growth. If you are interested in being on a committee then there are many to choose from, where you are able to have a voice and help guide the school.
Keystone has a fabulous Performing Arts Centre where many events are held. They are open to faculty, parents and sometimes members of the public. I am amazed at the variety and number of events available to us on campus.
With two children enrolled at Keystone, could you describe their transition into grades 8 and 10, coming from the European School of Luxemburg? What do you hope for them when they graduate?
Our children are very happy at Keystone Academy and found the transition incredibly smooth and easy. Their peers have made them feel extremely welcome. Obviously they miss their friends from the European School of Luxembourg, but they have found new friends.
The school in Luxembourg was very academic, so they are used to a lot of independent work, which is certainly the case in Grade 10!
Living on a campus is a wonderful experience especially when you have children.Our children are able to enjoy the great sporting facilities and use the well-stocked and attractive libraries after school hours. They are welcomed into all events and are encouraged to be part of the school teams. At present our children are in the football, golf, volleyball and table tennis teams. If your child is not so sporty, there are other activities available for example one of the older students has started a beginners bridge club and of course there are the numerous and varied KAP activities.
When our children finish Grade 12, we hope that they will be able to continue their further education, building on their diverse educational and service experiences at Keystone.
What advice would you offer an incoming family with a non-teaching spouse?
If a non-teaching spouse is keen to come, then there is no reason why they should not.There are quite a few non-teaching spouses here at Keystone, so there is always someone to do something with (squash, going to the gym, pubs, restaurants, using the track etc.). Life can be as busy as you make it - there are plenty of interesting things to do in and around Beijing.