We’ve been shouting our delight with Will, our new intern, from the rooftops. Will is not just any intern, he is a BASIS Oro Valley Alumnus, heading into his third year at Princeton University. Will is spending the summer helping us spread the word about BASIS Independent McLean in the northern Virginia community. Could you imagine a better way of spending your summer? We thought we’d bring some of Will’s brilliance to you, put him on the hot seat, and ask him to share with you, our readers, answers to some tough questions about his experience as a BASIS.ed student.
Question: Everyone’s favorite word: homework. What is homework like at BASIS Independent McLean?
This is a question I get a lot- and for good reason. While a student’s life is primarily about academics, there ought to be time for our lives outside the school setting. Even with an academic program as advanced as BASIS.ed’s, students have very manageable amounts of homework and can focus on what is important to them elsewhere – sports, community service, hobbies, etc. At a BASIS.ed-managed school, teachers know the context of a whole student’s academic schedule. They realize at any given time, their students have six or seven other classes, each providing its own challenges and responsibilities. BASIS.ed teachers take student suggestions seriously and will often move due dates to accommodate students if, for example, another class has a large assignment due
the same day. Additionally, I almost never found myself thinking what I was assigned was busywork. Everything we were given to do had a point, typically to reinforce the skillsets we learned in class. And when we did begin to find that the benefits of particular assignments didn’t justify the time commitment, we could voice that to teachers and have them adjust their plans. In the classroom as well as in what we as students take home from the classroom each day, it is important and powerful to have an open door policy.
A typical night might look like this: a math problem set of 30 questions, a reading/writing assignment for foreign language, pre/post-lab work in the sciences, reading and analysis for the humanities and electives, and occasional work on a larger project. This might seem like a lot, but I never found it to be too much. BASIS.ed students learn to be efficient workers, and one of the greatest skills I gained from my education at BASIS Oro Valley was prioritization. Knowing when I had put enough effort to an assignment and that it was time to move on to something else was critically important and has helped me find time outside of academics to pursue additional interests.
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