Ms. Balakkrishnon received her Bachelor’s in Commerce degree from Bharathiar University in India. She chose to work at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley because she was attracted to the advanced curriculum that engages and challenges students’ minds. As a Subject Expert Teacher in Humanities, her main goal is to facilitate the growth and development of her students with enthusiasm, positive attitude, and hands-on experience. Ms. Balakkrishnon is extremely passionate about creating relationships with her students and putting together an ideal learning environment with a focus on active learning. She instills a love for learning in her students, through analysis and critical thinking.
In her experience, Ms. Balakkrishnon has seen that students learn best by connecting new knowledge with concepts they already know from the classroom. She incorporates interesting and challenging lessons to keep the students’ intrinsically motivated. Along with this, she frequently asks thought-provoking questions, uses games, flash cards, music and art to maximize student engagement.
One of her favorite lessons that she did in her class included an activity where she introduced story writing to her students. They brainstormed many settings, characters, and plots for the stories and came up with innovative ideas. The class enjoyed their group sessions where they would develop stories together and it was a fun process! Outside of the classroom, Ms. Balakkrishnon enjoys reading, listening to music, and cooking. She also loves trying new cuisines and coming up with innovative recipes for her family.
Ms. Baybayan received her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Social Work, along with a preliminary Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential from San Jose State University. She also holds a Certificate of Competency for Early Childhood Education from San Jose City College. As a Learning Expert teacher, Ms. Baybayan’s goal is to support students in all aspects of their educational journey, so they can develop their talents, skills, and creativity, with joy. She chose to work at BASIS Independent as she wanted to be in an environment that places high regard on a well-rounded education to support the whole child.
Ms. Baybayan believes that it is important to create an environment that nurtures students’ growth, both personally and academically. The classroom and the school are made up of a community of learners. She wishes that her class share knowledge and curiosity, kindness and support, along with joy and enthusiasm to help each other in their learning journey. Students learn best when they feel valued. To show that they are valued, Ms. Baybayan celebrates each students’ unique qualities so they can flourish and make an impact within themselves and the world.
When she is not teaching, Ms. Baybayan likes to soak in the wonders of nature and capture them in photographs.
Ms. Bhatnagar holds her Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the National Institute of Technology in Surat, India. NIT Surat is one of the premier Engineering colleges in India that is known for placements in top global and local companies. She is also an NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) Certified Educator from the California Academy of Sciences and a National Geographic Certified Educator. She is trained in Design Thinking Techniques by the Stanford School of Design and in Question Formulation Technique (RQI) by the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Ms. Bhatnagar has years of experience in STEM education and over a decade of experience in Software Engineering.
As a Subject Expert Teacher in Engineering at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley Lower campus, her goal as an educator is to nurture future innovators by engaging students with engineering in a way that promotes 21st-century skills that excites a passion for innovation. The Engineering Design Process is at the heart of her curriculum and is used by engineers to solve real-world problems. Through proper guidance, Ms. Bhatnagar aims to help her students innovate fearlessly and prepare them to be ready to try again and persist in the face of a difficult challenge. She teaches her students to take risks and to believe in their ideas even if they seem weird or different. She encourages them to ask as many questions as needed to dig deeper until they understand the problem, to learn how to collaborate with their peers, and most importantly, to bring their own unique selves to the classroom and reflect that in their work.
It was an easy decision to choose BASIS Independent Silicon Valley Lower for Ms. Bhatnagar because her teaching philosophy aligns with the mission and philosophy of BASIS Independent Schools. The engineering program at the primary school level sealed the deal for her. She believes that introducing students to engineering early on is a great way to set them up for success in the future. She’s learned from her experience that when you integrate engineering with design, literacy, and hands-on projects, it helps students retain the information for much longer.
When Ms. Bhatnagar is not teaching and has some free time, she enjoys being out in nature either biking, walking, swimming, or playing basketball with her friends and family. She loves watching science fiction movies and romantic comedies. One of the most memorable moments of her life was when she scaled a peak in the Himalayas from where she was able to view Mount Everest.
Ms. Firdausi impressively triple majored and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Microbiology from St. Francis College for Women in Hyderabad, India. She later received her Master of Science degree in Microbiology from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India. After completing her Master’s degree, Ms. Firdausi obtained her Cambridge International Diploma in Teaching and Learning from Cambridge Assessments International Education.
As a Subject Expert Teacher in Physical Geography and Science at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley Lower campus, Ms. Furdausi strives to help students succeed both academically and socioemotionally. She strongly resonates with the values of reflection, evaluation, progression, and innovation and holds her students accountable to uphold these school values.
Ms. Furdausi’s teaching philosophy can be best explained by the wise words of Kahlil Gibran, “The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.” It is her mission to make her students more reflective about their learning rather than simply obtaining facts from the teacher. She focuses on establishing personal connections and tailoring the content being taught to each student.
Ms. Firdausi loves a good book and crossword puzzles when she has some free time. Her favorite author is PG Wodehouse. She spends as much time as she can with her family visiting new places on the weekends.
Ms. Florando earned her Early Childhood Education credits from Mission College and completed a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education at Pacific Oaks College. She has worked in Early Childhood Education since 2012, most recently as a Pre-Kindergarten English-speaking teacher at an English and Chinese Bilingual school. Her goal as a Grade 1 LET is to inspire and guide students to be successful in their educational journey. She helps them learn by connecting the lesson to the real world and engaging with their interests. Ms. Palacio also allows children to collaborate and share what they are learning with one another, and offers them the opportunity to share their own opinions and ideas in a respectful environment.
She chose BASIS Independent because our curriculum provides children the opportunity to gain new knowledge by making connections between their classes. The foundational skills and knowledge that are imparted to students in our program inspires and motivates her to excel as an educator. She believes children are capable and passionate learners. Ms. Florando’s teaching philosophy focuses on the uniqueness of every child’s learning abilities and personality, while guiding them to achieve their educational goals and beyond. By providing children the support and engagement in a stimulating learning environment, they are able to gain independence and become critical-thinkers. She continued, “Students learn best when they are faced with challenges and problem-solving opportunities, when teachers support their learning and are empathetic towards their needs, and when student and teachers create a trusting and respectful relationship.”
When she is not in the classroom, Ms. Florando loves to experience new places! Whenever she gets the chance, she also loves to go to Disneyland! Spending time with loved ones and her two dogs is always a treasured opportunity. Some fun facts: she loves to sing, dance/choreograph hip hop, and draw!
Ms. Gao obtained her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Music Education from Dalian University in China. She then went on to receive her Master’s of Arts in Music Education from California Baptist University. Currently, Ms. Gao teaches Music and Drama class for students in the early learning and primary program. Her goal is to create dynamic, interactive, and fun lesson plans that engage the students, encourage them to be creative, and help them to be successful in musicals and plays.
As a music and drama teacher, Ms. Gao believes all students are unique individuals who learn in unique ways. Due to this, she utilizes multiple methods of teaching (linguistic, visual, auditory, kinesthetic) to cater to each child, helping make sure that no one is left behind. Ms. Gao explains how students learn best when they take an active role in what they are learning. The more often an act is practiced and repeated, the more quickly and permanently it is remembered.
One of Ms. Gao’s favorite activities to do in class is a music listening and responding game with her students. The students walk in a circle with the music on and stop at certain points of the music. Students perform different motions every time they stop. Listening skills are key here as they need to listen to the music carefully and respond to it accordingly.
Outside of the classroom, Ms. Gao loves hiking and travelling. As for music, she is a big lover of Rock and Roll songs!
Ms. Gera holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Maharishi Dayanand University in India. She later received Early Childhood Education units from West Valley College in Saratoga, California. As a Subject Expert Teacher at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley Lower campus, Ms. Gera’s goal is to inspire her students to explore, learn, and reach their full academic potential. She strives to provide the support students need to overcome any challenge they face and help them find confidence within themselves.
Ms. Gera chose BASIS Independent because her teaching values matched the school’s philosophy of guiding students to become self-reliant, hard-working, and productive individuals. Before joining BASIS Independent, she heard from family and friends that BASIS Independent Schools fostered a safe learning environment and excelled in academic excellence that strengthened the community.
Growing up in India, Ms. Gera was inspired by her mother’s efforts to encourage adults and children in the surrounding neighborhoods to enroll in school and continue their education. Her mother instilled the value that a good education will lead to a life of success and abundance. Following in her mother’s footsteps, Ms. Gera strives to inspire and strengthen her community by educating young minds in a safe learning environment where students can explore and learn real-life experiences. She prides herself in fostering educational excellence in her students by incorporating tested and fun learning methods and teaching techniques. From the first day of school, Ms. Gera sets clear guidelines and high expectations for her students and this has helped students create a sense of self-worth and determination to do well in their studies.
When Ms. Gera is not in the classroom, she loves to go hiking on local trails with her family and friends. She has found that time flies when she is amidst nature and strolling along lakes or creeks. She has recently started to learn how to cook different cultural cuisines and really enjoys learning about the cultural background of the recipes she cooks. She mentioned that she is currently learning Mexican cuisine and absolutely loves making chicken enchiladas for dinner.
Graduating from the Yunnan University of China with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Computer Science, Ms. Guo is currently one of our brilliant Mandarin teachers here at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley. Her goal as an educator is to stimulate students’ enthusiasm for learning Chinese, guide them to find correct and effective ways to learn Chinese, and help them understand the characteristics of Chinese so they can firmly grasp what they have learned.
Ms. Guo explains how Chinese and English belong to two completely different language systems, with Chinese being pictographic and English being phonetic. She believes if students learn these two languages at the same time, it can better develop their intelligence and improve their learning. Ms. Guo also emphasizes how her teaching philosophy is to allow students to learn happily and effectively. She uses a variety of teaching methods, according to the age, interests, and hobbies of my students to stimulate the learning interest of students and the students’ passion for self-driven in-depth exploration.
Outside of the classroom, Ms. Guo likes dancing and watching sports competitions. She also enjoys trying different kinds of food!
Mr. Haberlach has a Bachelor of Science in Education with a Major in Physical Education from Western Oregon University, as well as a Master of Science in Exercise Science from Concordia University – Chicago. He is also a National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Personal Trainer.
As a Physical Education Subject Expert Teacher at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley Lower School, his goal is to teach the students that exercise is important for physical, mental, emotional, and social health. He teaches different exercises that are fun, but that also build strength and endurance. Mr. Haberlach ensures that his classes encourage and motivate students to make exercise as part of their everyday routine so that they eventually turn into lifelong habits. Students will participate regularly in a wide variety of exercises and sport activities. They will learn that exercise can be done individually or in small groups and that both methods can be fun and rewarding. They will learn that exercise will make them feel more alert and more energized and that it is an important daily activity.
Some of his favorite activities to teach TK- Grade 5 students are motor skills with a focus on how to move the body correctly. Developing motor skills at a young age is the foundation for all types of exercise, sports, or activities that they will participate in throughout their lives. Students learn best in physical education classes by using a progression method that starts at an easy level that slowly builds to more difficult skills. The progression method allows many repetitions and practicing those skills before advancing to another level of skills.
In his free time, Mr. Haberlach enjoys going backpacking in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with his wife and three children. Backpacking is a great opportunity to spend quality time with family, away from the distractions of everyday life.
Ms. Han earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from the Hunan University of Science and Technology in Xiangtan, China. After moving to the United States, she earned her Master of Arts degree in Education from Cleveland State University in Ohio and also received her K-12 Single Subject Teaching Credential. After graduating, Ms. Han became the first Mandarin teacher in a public school district in Ohio. She was invited as a lead teacher at Kent State University in Ohio to aid in the STARTALK Chinese Immersion Program. When coming to California in 2012, she obtained her Single Subject Teaching Credential.
Ms. Han is a Subject Expert Teacher in Mandarin at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley Lower campus. Having over ten years of teaching experience, Ms. Han’s goal is to help students master the Chinese language, know Chinese culture, and respect and love the diverse customs that come with it. Her teaching philosophy is that in order to fully understand the Chinese language, students must learn both reading and writing skills. Having this firm foundation will help students to have confidence and interest in exploring Chinese culture. Ms. Han incorporates Chinese games, crafts, and singing Chinese songs in her lesson plans to help make learning fun and easy for her students.
When she is not teaching Mandarin, Ms. Han enjoys hiking in the Bay Area with her family and friends. She loves to read, cook delicious meals, and watch movies during her downtime.
Ms. Jayapal received a Bachelor of Arts in Engineering with Distinction from Madras University. More recently, she completed 13 core units of Early Childhood Education from Ohlone College in Fremont.
One of the reasons our school is a good fit for her is that she appreciates the challenging curriculum. She believes that each student is unique and helps to create a warm learning environment in the classroom by their specific participation. She takes her role in education very seriously, feeling that schools have an incredible responsibility. “Both substantial morals and academic knowledge must be imparted to students during their education to help them do well in society and beyond school.” Ms. Jayapal explained that her part in this is a commitment to understanding the concepts well enough to be able to explain them to the students in a formulated way. Her main goal in the classroom is to spend time on concept building and helping kids develop a productive learning ethics. Ms. Jayapal finds it especially rewarding to witness students achieving academic excellence.
Ms. Jayapal loves outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and going on walks. She is also a licensed Zumba instructor.
Ms. Ju earned a Bachelor of Arts in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language at Shanghai Normal University, and then a Master of Science in TESOL at University at Albany-SUNY. Teaching is her passion. She has taught at other private schools in the Bay Area and is very excited to work for BASIS Independent Silicon Valley Lower School. Our school mission is to educate students to the highest international levels, which Ms. Ju feels perfectly matches her teaching philosophy. “BASIS Independent school has intelligent students, excellent expert teachers and an amazing curriculum,” she explained. This is a wonderful environment for me to continue to hone mydevelopment as a teacher.”
As an educator, her goal is to guide students while they explore, follow, and achieve their dreams. Another key goal is to help her students understand and appreciate that learning is an ongoing process that never ends. Ms. Ju feels that it is important to teach students about respecting others and to treat others how they would like to be treated. She believes that each student is unique and should be valued. She commits to assisting stu-dents in discovering who they are and what they need, so they can express their own opinions and nurture their own ideas. Ms. Ju helps students to fulfill their potential by believing in them as capable individuals. She believes that it is her responsibility as a teacher to facilitate the learning process, and to promote a safe, productive and inclusive environment, which in turn improves her students’ social, intellectual, and emotional skills. She hopes that her students feel comfortable in relating to her as a tool to help lead them to success.
As a Chinese language teacher, Ms. Ju believes that students not only learn various linguistic knowledge, they also develop skills on how to use Mandarin as a tool of communication. An important part of her teaching is to guide students to learn and understand Chinese culture. For example, to incorporate all kinds of cultural elements in her lessons, such as history, social values, customs，beliefs, traditions and so on. These help guide classroom discussions and encourage students to participate in cul-tural events. She enjoys using tools like group discussions in these lessons, so that they can collaborate together and think of things they might not have otherwise on their own. She will include music whenever possible, as it maximizes engagement on any topic. And it’s a lot of fun!
When Ms. Ju is not teaching, she enjoys hiking, traveling, watching movies, cooking, and spending time with her family.
Ms. Lin earned her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Music Communication at the Communication University of China in Beijing. She then went on to get her Master’s of Science degree in Music Therapy at the State University of New York – New Paltz. As a Learning Expert Teacher, Ms. Lin cares to create a supportive, respectful, and trustful environment for her students. She chose BASIS Independent as she can believes that their curriculum is strong and comprehensive, allowing students to prepare for success.
Ms. Lin wishes to be a strong support system for her students, and strives to build a trustful rapport with them. She believes that in an engaging and inspiring learning environment, students can learn how to find and activate their positive resources when they are having a challenging time. Ms. Lin also explains how being patient and consistent is the key to learning best. She feels that each student can go above their limits and climb to the highest, if they have strong confidence while they practice their skills.
In her free time, Ms. Lin enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with her family. Playing music is always her way to restore energy and helps her to be resilient.
Ms. Matsuoka holds a Master of Education degree in Inspired Teaching and Learning Sub-Plan with an emphasis in Inspired Teaching Practices from San Jose State University. Prior to completing her Master of Education, she earned her Bachelor of Arts from San Jose State University and completed her Associates in Liberal Studies degree from the College of San Mateo.
As a Learning Expert Teacher, Ms. Matsuoka partners with the Subject Expert Teacher to find the best ways to deliver lesson plans, engage students, and create an environment where students understand and retain information learned in class. She utilizes her expertise in different pedagogical methods to provide individual or small group instruction to meet the different needs of students, while also establishing and maintaining standards of student behavior that is needed to achieve an optimal learning atmosphere in the classroom.
Ms. Matusoka believes that it is important to build effective relationships with other staff members to obtain advice and overall support. She focuses on keeping up with current research and findings, networking with other educators through support groups, and attends professional development sessions to better her teaching style and ways to grow as an educator. Ms. Matsuoka’s values align with BASIS Independent Silicon Valley Lower and she contributes greatly to our community.
Ms. Matsuoka has worked for employers and parents that entrusted her with their most valued assets, their children, and she’s empowered to guide them to learn and explore their environments. She is successful at what she does because of how well she can make a connection with students and their families. She prides herself in being able to clearly communicate with parents to better understand how to support their child. She shows compassion and empathy towards students and builds on their learning capabilities and personal needs. Ms. Matsuoka strives to mentor students and provide an exceptionally high level of support toward reaching their goals. She values differentiated instruction because it makes the learning experience more effective and is necessary to make students feel more successful, and allows for personalized instruction.
One of Ms. Matsuoka’s favorite moments in the classroom with BASIS Independent students was when she held a lesson with her Grade 2 class where they practiced empathy and communication with their classmates and teachers. In this lesson, students learned that empathy and communication are linked to an increase in school success and a decrease in problematic behavior. Students were able to come up with some rules that helped create respect for one another and they wrote their suggestions down and created common rules to follow throughout the school year. When she is not in the classroom, she likes to spend quality time with her two sons and enjoys traveling, watching movies, and reading.
Ms. Moraba graduated from Gulbarga University in India with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Secondary Education with a GPA of 4.0! She also holds 27 units in Early Childhood Education from De Anza College in Cupertino, CA with a GPA of 4.0 as well. As a Learning Expert Teacher, Ms. Moraba’s goal is to support each student for all their requirements. As all students are different, she wants to make sure that each student will achieve their academic goals and get ready for the next level. Ms. Moraba also wants to help her students understand basic life essentials such as social-emotional learning, taking accountability, having respect for individuals, and listening.
Ms. Moraba believes every student has potential and the teacher has to believe in them individually and support them to achieve their goals, not only academically but also in their endeavors outside of school such as sports and more. She feels that teaching children is an art that requires full commitment from the teacher. She wants to create a friendly environment that encourages creativity and freedom, based on responsibility. Ms. Moraba also enjoys organizing interactive activities in the classroom, such as arranging a classroom discussion in a debate-style activity.
Outside of the classroom, Ms. Moraba likes cooking and experimenting with new recipes for healthy food. She also loves watching movies in her free time!
Ms. Nichols earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology from California Baptist University.
Ms. Nichols is a Subject Expert Teacher in Visual Arts at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley Lower campus. Her goal is for her students to develop a sense of ownership in their education and character development. She believes that students have a choice in how much they learn and in the person they want to become. What intrigued Ms. Nichols about BASIS Independent Schools is the freedom to tailor the curriculum to the needs of her students. She is free to give the best of herself as an educator and focus on her area of expertise.
Ms. Nichols loves debunking the misconception that in order to produce art, students need talent. She believes that talent has very little to do with the creation of “good” art and that art is using skill and play to create. In her class, her students practice skills, observe the skills of other artists, and then play with those skills. She’s noticed that over time students will improve their skills and increase their knowledge, all while having fun doing so. At BASIS Independent Silicon Valley Lower, students thrive on confidence and challenge. In her lessons, Ms. Nichols finds the balance between making work challenging enough to be rewarding, but also not so difficult that it creates discouragement. This teaches students that they can overcome challenges and use their knowledge and skill to have a positive outcome.
Ms. Ocampo brings her passion for education and expertise in applied behavior analysis to BASIS Independent Silicon Valley. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, followed by a Master of Education in Applied Behavior Analysis from Arizona State University in 2018. Ms. Ocampo is dedicated to the comprehensive curriculum at BASIS Independent, which fosters the development of life skills and helps students excel in all aspects of their lives.
As a Learning Expert Teacher, Ms. Ocampo’s primary goal is to create a safe and inclusive environment where every student has an equal opportunity to fulfill their potential. She believes that every student possesses the ability to succeed, regardless of their starting point on the learning journey. With the right tools and support, students can overcome any challenge they encounter. In her classroom, Ms. Ocampo employs effective strategies such as behavior management, hands-on learning, individualized lessons, and collaboration with parents. By establishing clear rules and behavioral expectations, students develop independence, self-reliance, and a focused mindset, creating an optimal learning environment.
Beyond the classroom, Ms. Ocampo has a vibrant range of interests and hobbies. For eleven years, she has been an avid dancer and has been part of competitive dance teams. In her free time, Ms. Ocampo embraces her love for all things Disney and eagerly looks forward to visiting Disneyland each year during the holiday season. She has a deep affection for animals, particularly her pet guinea pig Rosie, and all types of cats. Ms. Ocampo harbors a life-long dream of traveling across Asia to immerse herself in different cultures and broaden her horizons.
Ms. Pincus brings a deep passion for Classics and Latin to her role as the Grade 5 Subject Expert Latin and Classics Teacher. She graduated with honors from Stanford University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Bachelor of Arts in Classics. Her undergraduate experience was highlighted by writing a thesis in Classics, focusing on women in the ancient world. Ms. Pincus extensively studied Latin language and literature, immersing herself in the rich history of the Ancient Mediterranean.
As a teacher, Ms. Pincus strives to ignite the same enthusiasm for Classics and Latin in her students that her own teachers instilled in her. Through the exploration of Roman history, her students develop critical thinking skills and recognize the lasting impact of these narratives in the contemporary world. They expand their vocabularies by exploring English derivatives of Latin words. By demonstrating the relevance of Classics and Latin to their own lives, Ms. Pincus ensures that these subjects are not perceived as ancient or distant. Instead, they become powerful tools that prepare students to be thoughtful and well-rounded global citizens, with a deeper understanding of how the past shapes the present.
Outside of the classroom, Ms. Pincus enjoys spending time at the beach, exploring new coffee shops, and indulging in her passion for drawing. As a fascinating tidbit, she named her family dog Augustus, after the first emperor of Rome. Ms. Pincus’s dedication to fostering a love of learning, her engaging teaching methods, and her commitment to student growth make her an invaluable member of the BASIS Independent Silicon Valley faculty.
Dr. Singh earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Lucknow in India. She found a special interest in Zoology, Botany, and Chemistry while in her undergrad studies and enjoyed learning everything that she could about those subjects. After earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, Dr. Singh went on to earn her Master of Science degree in Environmental Studies and then her Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Lucknow in India. Dr. Singh researched the effect of pesticides on the growth and development of prawns and of spent wash on the growth and biomass of the sugarcane plant while obtaining her Master of Science and Doctorate of Philosophy degrees.
Dr. Singh is a Subject Expert Teacher in Science and Math at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley Lower campus. Her goal as a SET is to make studying science and math fun for all students. She incorporates hands-on activities in her lesson plans that are centered on the application of key concepts to stimulate interest and curiosity. Dr. Singh has found that incorporating hands-on activities into her student’s learning enables them to apply and connect science and math concepts learned in class with real-world applications. Her teaching philosophy is simply to inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and foster a love for learning. She believes that every child is different and therefore it’s important for an educator to know their strengths and weaknesses and come up with a plan accordingly for the effective delivery of the content.
Dr. Singh chose BASIS Independent because of its great reputation amongst parents and the nation. She believes that the curriculum is well thought out and gives students an edge over competitors. Dr. Singh recognized that BASIS Independent hires well-qualified individuals and provides enough freedom to run the class as they deem fit, which for her is a big motivation for joining the BASIS Independent community.
When not teaching her students math and science, Dr. Singh enjoys cooking in her kitchen and trying new recipes. She loves to play music in the background and has a fun time dancing while cooking.
Ms. Vuong has a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Educational Studies from the University of Washington – Bothell. She specialized in the concentration of Curriculum, Instruction and Equity and was a member of the Tau Sigma National Honor Society during her time at university. After completing her undergraduate degree, she obtained her Master’s of Arts degree in Teaching at the University of Washington – Seattle and received the Bilingual Educator Capacity (BECA) Scholarship. During this time, she was a member of the Pi Lambda Theta honor society and professional association for educators.
As a Humanities Subject Expert Teacher, Ms. Vuong is committed to providing her students with high-quality education that meets each individual’s learning needs to ensure they reach their fullest potential. She incorporates different activities and modalities in her lessons to maximize student engagement, stimulate students’ minds and help gain confidence in learning. Ms. Vuong believes students learn best when they are in a classroom where they feel secure. As part of this, she seeks to educate her students about different cultures as she believes this will help them learn to appreciate each other’s differences, through empathy and acceptance. In order to help foster a love for learning and prepare them with the right skills, she wants to motivate her students to think outside the box and explore beyond the classroom walls.
Outside of the classroom, Ms. Vuong really enjoys cooking. She sees it as a way for her to show love to family and friends, along with teaching her children about her Vietnamese culture!
Ms. Wang holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chinese Language and Literature from Shanghai Fudan University. Two years after obtaining her Bachelor of Arts degree, she received her Master of Science in Teachers of English Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from the University of Rochester.
Ms. Wang is great at creating an interactive and innovative adventure through a curriculum that motivates students to engage in interdisciplinary projects and activities. She believes that through every subject that her students learn and every project that they participate in, they will grow to become lifelong learners who always view the world with curiosity, humbleness, and an open mind.
Ms. Wang prides herself in being the “bridge” of connection and communication when teaching her students Mandarin. She knows that like any other skill, language learning can be very tedious and difficult. Ms. Wang is aware that ongoing motivation for her students is needed to help them continue in their studies, and once they embark on their Mandarin learning journey, students will become critical thinkers because they will view the world from multicultural perspectives.
When Ms. Wang is not teaching Mandarin, she spends her free time singing. Over the past 25 years, she has been closely associated with choir and vocal performance. She has taken private voice lessons with her coach for years and she really enjoys how she is able to perfect her pitch and sound. The Hakone Garden in Saratoga is one of Ms. Wang’s favorite spots to relax. The ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha allow her to channel inner peace and stay focused on finding the Zen inside her heart and mind.
Ms. Zhang earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Nanjing University of Arts in Nanjing, China. After moving to California, she obtained her Master of Music degree in Music Composition and Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. There have been many moments in her singing career that Ms. Zhang takes pride in. She won 1st place in the Jiangsu Chamber Music Competition and the Excellence Award at the Jiangsu Music and Dance festival. As an award-winning professional musician, she has performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., and has received commissions for music composition in China and the United States. She is currently a member of the Music Teachers’ Association of California.
Ms. Zhang is a Subject Expert Teacher in Music at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley Lower campus. Her goal as an educator at BASIS Independent is to help students understand music, enjoy music, and more importantly, learn about themselves and the world we live in from a musical angle. She strives to use her expertise in music to stimulate the thinking process and imagination of her students. She views music as a healthy outlet for her students to release their thoughts and emotions and by learning different styles of music, students learn to recognize their emotions and how to manage them.
The balance and innovation of the BASIS Independent curriculum are what sparked her interest in BASIS Independent Silicon Valley and her teaching philosophy is consistent with the school’s mission and philosophy. She enjoys a positive working environment where everyone makes connections, supports one another, and excels together.
For Ms. Zhang, music is a life-changing subject and plays a unique role in the hearts, minds, souls, and spirits of her students. She thinks that music lessons are not only for fun and entertainment but also an important way for students to deepen their thoughts and cultivate their sentiments and temperament. It allows them to feel the world in a sensitive way. Her greatest hope is that when her students learn music, it helps them blossom into well-rounded individuals who believe in themselves. Ms. Zhang likes to give students appropriate autonomy to stimulate their new, innovative, and brilliant ideas in singing and choreography. She believes that a positive attitude and fascinating lessons are the best things to promote engagement in the class. In her classes, she always creates a fun learning environment and uses contagious teaching to encourage the students to explore. One truth she has found is that no matter how old they are, students all love musical games and movements.
When she is not teaching music, Ms. Zhang likes watching films and listening to film soundtracks. She has found that these soundtracks and films provide different life stories and experiences that enrich her inner world and inspire her artistic creation.