Walker, TobyPlease join our Head of School, Mr. Toby Walker, as he shares insight into the creation of our incredibly successful Teacher Mentor program. 

I have often noted that one of the challenges we face when considering professional development opportunities for educators, is that the best PD examples are regularly happening in the classroom next door. I am a firm believer that we can all improve through observing others. This is especially the case with classroom instruction. Too often, administrators and professional pedagogy ‘trainers’ are too far removed from the classroom to provide authentic feedback based on experience. Essentially, for teachers, fellow professionals are regularly the best resource to support professional growth and improvement.

"BASIS Independent Silicon Valley students are passionate, urgent, thirsty for knowledge, focused committed, determined, and self-motivated." -Dr. Zhao

It was with this in mind that I established the Teacher Mentor program for BASIS Independent Silicon Valley back in 2015. Since that first year, our program has grown in number and in scope. We now have a dedicated group of eight Teacher Mentors and two Master Teachers. They all work closely with our faculty and give particular support to new members of our teaching community. Teacher Mentors host PD Sessions, they provide direct feedback (and receive it) from colleagues, and they assist school leadership with recruitment for open positions.

"BASIS Independent Silicon Valley provides me with the opportunity to be an internal mentor for capstone projects.  It is a humbling experience to interact with these bright minds and be able to guide them on to the next chapter of their lives. This also keeps me relevant, and in touch with new and exciting topics that the kids are interested in."  -Dr. Murthy

Having passionate, qualified, subject experts in every classroom is a big part of what makes this school so special. Please meet the 2019-2020 Teacher Mentor team.

Teacher Mentors-1

From left to right: Dr. Murthy, Dr. Zhao, Dr. Davies, Ms. Jones, Ms. Abdelaziz, Md. Odell, Mr. Vermouth, Ms. Wendel, Mr. Ryan and Mr. Meyerowitz. Ms. Wendel and Mr. Meyerowitz are Master Teachers.

BASIS Independent Silicon Valley is a grades 5-12 private middle and high school based in San Jose, California, providing students an internationally benchmarked liberal arts and sciences curriculum.