Prior to the start of each academic year, every SABIS® Network school around the world holds a teacher orientation program for new and returning teachers. At the onset of the 2014-15 academic year, teachers throughout the network participated in a 2-week workshop designed to introduce new teachers to the SABIS® approach to education and at the same time enhance and refresh the knowledge of returning teachers.
The orientation program, which has been created and developed by the SABIS® Professional Development Institute (SPDI), includes a number of modules including SABIS® teaching methods, the SABIS Point System®, classroom management, use of IT in the classroom, and frequent testing methods to name a few. At the end of the orientation program, teachers have a clear overview of the curriculum and how to best engage their students in the learning process through the SABIS® teaching methods. They know how to positively address and handle potential disciplinary issues and are familiar with the various technological tools that are available for use in SABIS® Network schools.
Teachers are reaping the benefits of the orientation program. From their perspective, the program ensures that capable educators are able to work a manageable number of hours and maintain a high level of instructional quality. Instead of having to suffer from the stress of having to work at a super-human pace, the teachers’ role in a SABIS® Network school is a manageable job. As one teacher from ISC-Choueifat put it, “The teacher orientation gave me insight into what SABIS® is all about and highlighted the areas that I will be working on in the course of the year. It helped everything fall into place.”
School directors are also pleased with the orientation program and its impact on the school. Mr. Ghassan Abdel Baki, Director at the International school of Choueifat in Choueifat, Lebanon, said, “Teachers who are well-trained in the SABIS® Educational System will naturally perform better in the classroom. Mastery of the SABIS Point System® and superior classroom management will translate into better teaching and, therefore, better learning.”
A half a world away, in Arizona, U.S., Mr. Will Henry, Director at the SABIS® International School – Phoenix, shared Abdel Baki’s sentiments. “The [SPDI] Teacher Orientation Program is a significant benefit because it allows teachers to fully understand the academic cycle. It is important for teachers to grasp the understanding that the cycle must be fully implemented consistently in the classroom to reap the full academic benefits,” said Mr. Henry. “All our teachers – new and veteran – have learned that any missing link from the academic cycle can do a disservice to the learning process.”
Prior to the next academic year, existing teachers will return for a follow-up orientation training session, while new teachers will learn all about the SABIS® Educational System. By either refreshing their knowledge or learning about SABIS® for the first time, teachers are able to perform optimally in the classroom and help their students achieve their full potential.