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No matter what your age, or where you went to school, everyone has a story to tell about a teacher. Perhaps you were taught by someone with a particularly engaging teaching style, or maybe you were taught by someone who demonstrated patience and encouragement when a subject was challenging.
It’s fair to say that a great teacher can make a huge impact on how positively a student views education and how well they progress. That’s why the teachers are at the core of Singapore American School (SAS): they actively invest in their staff through professional development and coaching, robust research and advancement, and resources that empower their staff to deliver their best each day.
This unwavering focus on employee excellence is one of the reasons why SAS was named one of Singapore’s top 10 employers in 2020 and 2021: the school’s average turnover rate of seven percent is less than its peers, and it attracts over 60 high-quality candidates per opening. Read on for how SAS are continuously evolving and maintaining their place in the top spot.
“For 30 years, I have been given unmatched opportunities for growth as an educator. Singapore American School attracts some of the best teachers in the world and then invests in helping them see and realise their full potential”
David Hoss, Elementary School Principal
Professional development & coaching
At SAS, teachers work together in teams to align their lessons and assessments. They share the best and worst of what happens in their classroom so that every member of staff learns and grows. Throughout the school, there are teacher-coaches who split their time between being in the classroom leading lessons, and visiting their colleague’s classrooms to observe and provide additional coaching.
As new teachers join these groups, they bring their own specific strengths that contribute to the overall growth of the entire team. Additionally, all teachers and instructional assistants have access to professional development funds to address other areas they might be interested in growing.
Research & development
In 2012, SAS embarked on a multi-year research and development project to observe and curate the best educational practices around the world in order to find new and innovative ways to serve students. In all, 75 educators visited over 100 high-performing schools which resulted in over 100 recommendations centered around improving excellence, care, and unlimited learning possibilities for all students.
Here are just a few of the programmes that are now in place at SAS today that came as a direct result of commitment and dedication to the R&D process:
- 80/20 Chinese Immersion programme that mirrors the English curriculum. Students don’t simply learn a new language, they use their language for learning
- Quest is a programme for students preparing to graduate that resembles a college-level work-study programme where they gain real-world experience and insight
- Tri-Time is a project-based experience for middle school students that offers the freedom to explore interests while learning project management skills at the same time
“I’ve worked at schools around the world and have never been in an environment that puts so much emphasis on teacher growth. I have the tools, resources, and support I need to deliver engaging and meaningful learning opportunities every day”
Ana Maria Torres, Middle School Teacher
What also came out of the research and development process was a recommendation to create purpose-built structures that would unlock a teacher’s potential. In 2021, SAS began construction on phase one of a new $400 million campus. These structures are being designed intentionally to enhance learning and to improve the overall wellness of the educators and students who use the buildings each day. No more stuffy spaces and scratchy blackboards – the revamp at SAS will give teachers greater flexibility, a deeper connection to nature, and more exciting and engaged learning opportunities for connection.
The new campus is using the WELL standard as a roadmap in the design process. Educators are involved at every stage of the design process to ensure that each room, space, playground, cafeteria, and venue can be used to meet the needs of students. One example of this can be seen in the 175 percent increase in play space that is planned for the new elementary school. Research reveals a direct positive connection between learning and movement, so the school has been mindful about expanding areas for purposeful play across campus, not just for today’s young generation, but for all the SAS students to come.
If you’re interested in learning more about how your child can take advantage of the excellence, extraordinary care, and possibilities provided by teachers at SAS, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit sas.edu.sg.