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    We provide international education to over 1,100 students ages 1-18. We are at the heart of our community, a hub for many expat families in living Beijing.

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    We teach the English National Curriculum, offer a German curriculum at primary level and IB Diploma for Years 12 & 13 students.

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Teacher Profile – Randall Crismond

Click to read in Chinese and Korean

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For each newsletter, we will interview a BSB Teacher so that parents and students can get to know more interesting facts about our teachers. This month we interviewed Mr. Randall Crismond who joined BSB in 2020 as our Secondary English Teacher, Theory of Knowledge Coordinator and also our IB CAS Coordinator.

1.What brings you to BSB Shunyi?

An extremely extended gap “year” between undergrad and grad school…I decided to take a year to teach in Japan before going to grad school in 1999, and discovered I really did like teaching, and just stuck with it!  I moved to China in 2004 and taught at a handful of universities – first The Southwest University of Science and Technology and the Dalian University of Technology, until a position at Tsinghua University brought me to Beijing in 2006.  I then moved back to high school with the International Curriculum Centre at The High School Affiliated to Renmin University (RDFZ) for a little over 10 years, where I held a number of roles, including Head of English, IB Coordinator, and Academic Principal.

What brought me to BSB was the community.  It is just a nice group of people – the students, the teachers, the parents.  I think it will be a good place for my own daughter to grow academically and socially, and it really is a pleasure teaching the students here.


2. Please describe your role and responsibilities at BSB.

I wear a couple different hats.  I teach English, currently to Year 7 and 8 in Key Stage 3, and have just seen a group of students through their IGCSE English Language and English Literature exams in Year 11.  I also lead the Theory of Knowledge course for the IB Diploma, and teach both Year 12 and 13.  As Assistant IB Coordinator, I also oversee CAS and help out with some of the administrative side of IB. I am also the Form Tutor for Year 12B.


3. Please tell us more about the IB CAS component, what projects have our BSB students participated in and what have they learnt?

CAS is a compulsory component for the The IB Diploma (Years 12 and 13), but it’s the only non-graded component, as well.  Students must engage in and document their own progress through Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) to the school and community.  I think this is extremely important – the final years of high school have the potential to be an academic grind for many students, and it’s important that they have opportunity to stretch themselves, and show off their whole personality and interests in many different ways.  A very important part of CAS is goal-setting and reflection, and it’s those sorts of learning-how-to-learn moments that give it so much power.

There’s so much going on with CAS that it’s hard to choose what to write about – and it’s been particularly amazing how students have dealt with the challenges of school closure over the year.

  • For Creativity, we have a student-organized rock band, the school musical, students learning to run new vlogs and blogs, debating, and a new cultural magazine in the works. 
  • Activities range from all of the sports on offer through BSB after school activities to more personal activities, like various forms of training, and even creating space for pick-up soccer in local communities. 
  • Service has a huge range of impacts, from outreach to parents through translation of official school communication into different languages, a new peer tutoring initiative to help KS3 students, to external volunteer activities with animal shelters and organizations like Roundabout and MCF.


4. What's "A Day in the Life at BSB" for you?

I like to get in early and try to clear any administrative business and marking that needs to be done in that quiet time before students arrive.  I am also the Form Tutor for Year 12B so from there, it’s welcoming my Form students to school, helping them get ready for the day, and reminding them of upcoming deadlines.  Teaching and planning take up most of the rest of my day – it’s my first year here, so taking what I know and have, and working to suit it to the context and students here is my biggest job!

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5. What do you enjoy most about teaching?

I’ve always held that a decent teacher can teach their subject, but a really good one can teach the individual human beings in the room.  Being able to find that key idea that can link in what we’re trying to learn with a student’s personal lived experience, so they can see why it’s interesting and important – that’s the moment that brings me the most joy, because that’s the spark that can take a person from dry, rote learning to truly making an idea, and hopefully a whole subject, their own.


6. Are you involved in any ASAs?

Right now, I run the calligraphy ASA.  It’s still small, so please encourage your children to join! I quite like pointed pen, can sometimes draw straight lines with a broad-edge pen, and am absolutely hopeless with brushes…but we have a lot of fun!


7. Please tell us about other members of your family in Beijing and any interesting places you’ve visited in China?

I’ve been here for a while…my wife is a Beijinger, and we have a daughter who will be turning two this September (and hopefully getting started in Teddies!)  For travelling around China, it’s an impossible task to list all of the interesting places I’ve seen – I’ve spent a lot of time trying to get to every corner of the country.  If you like nature, I’d say it’s a toss up between Zhangjiajie and Jiuzhaigou for the most beautiful places I’ve been.  For cities, it’s an impossible task – each part of the country has such a unique character that I find it impossible to narrow down!  But Sichuan has the best food.  Unless I really want Hunan.  Or Dongbei.  Or Yunnan, or Guizhou.


8. Please tell us about your hobbies.

Unsurprisingly for an English teacher, I read quite voraciously.  My comfort reading is mostly fantasy and sci-fi; when I’m looking for something heavier, I tend to lean toward history non-fiction and things my friends recommend – I’m currently on a bit of a Ngugi wa Thiong’o kick, and enjoying The Perfect Nine!  I quite enjoy photography as well, though with my young daughter, my choice of subjects has narrowed quite a bit.  And I’ve also learned to love cooking – when I first came to China to Mianyang in 2004, my only options for Western food were both a McDonalds and a KFC, so I started learning in self-defense, but came to really enjoy it.

Please click here to read more about Randall.