I _____, therefore IB.

This week I got wear my new MYP Coordinator hat. In particular I had the opportunity to run a 2 hour workshop with teachers before school started. After some discussion with my friend and senior school principal @smarshall575 we decided we wanted the workshop to be both an overview of the big ideas that make up the IB program, and a way to solicit feedback from teachers regarding what they wanted to spend time on this year. I was helped immensely in planning this workshop by my twitter network who shared an awesome playlist of MYP related videos (@amichetti) and pointed me towards the IB’s Opening Classroom Doors resources (@martinj09).

To start the workshop we watched the video below called “Building an Airplane in Flight”. When I first watched this video it occured to me that trying to improve and change our teaching practice during the school year is a little like building an airplane in flight. While we struggle with new assessment practices and try to build inquiry into our units we are also trying to cover curriculum, deal with classroom management issues and all the other stuff that makes a teacher’s day so busy. We are like the guy strapped to the outside of the flying plane trying to bolt on the siding; we know it’s important but it sometimes takes real effort to make it happen.

Next I wrote “I ______, therefore IB.” on the board. This was inspired by a T-Shirt worn by @lkneisz the day before that said “I think, therefore IB.” It had occured to me on my bike ride to school that you could replace the word think with lots of other words or phrases, and that is what we did as we watched a number of other videos. The first one we watched was the newest IB Learner Profile videowhich I think did a really nice job summarising the IB’s mission statement and how the Learner Profiles fit into this mission. Following the video we brainstormed words and phrases that could fill in the blanks.We followed a similar process while watching a series of videos on how an IB Science unit called “How fast is too fast” went from the planning stages, to the teaching stage and through to the assessment. Once we had a number of different ideas on the board we all took 3 sticky notes and voted for the three that we each felt were the most relevant to us. Part of the end result looked something like this:

For this year we chose to focus on: vertical articulation between the Diploma program and the Middle Years program; assessment; and inquiry. It was an exciting start to what is shaping up to be a great year.

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