Parent Questions Text Books in the IB

The International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes are student-centred, concept-based, taught through inquiry and driven by assessment. They are differentiated to meet the needs of all students. The following are frequently asked questions common to many schools delivering the IB programmes and were recently asked by our parent teacher association. Q1: Why there is no textbook for the IB? There is no prescribed content or syllabus in the Primary Years Programme (PYP) and the Middle Years Pr...
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How to move to the next level in your career

How to move to the next level in your career Everyone acknowledges the role of the coach in sports. Coaches provide the guidance, support and feedback necessary to enable the athlete to get better. Coaches are commonplace in sports, but not in life. Not many people can point to a competent coach in their workplace that has helped them to get better. Instead, in the workplace, people often talk about mentors, yet those roles are quite a bit different. I am working with a few people in an ...
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Be as Wrong as Fast as You Can

In the Qualities of a Bad Leader post one of the last points was that poor leaders are indecisive or they make decisions slowly. In the blog, Mind the Product, Alex Hughes has an excellent article on decision making. "Indecision in Product: How to Avoid becoming a Bottleneck" Be wrong as fast as you can, he writes as leaving your team in limbo is far worse than making a mistake. Easier to forgive a bad decision than wait around for a wrong one. The article is excellent and quotes Scott Belsky i...
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Creating Authentic Units HK 2019

Authenticity I had a great experience working with this fantastic group of educators in Hong Kong at IB regionals, February 23-26 2019. Prior to the workshop the title of my workshop, “creating authentic units”  sparked interest and many asked me so what is an authentic unit anyway? I would respond, I don’t know but I’ll figure it out by tomorrow. Getting to the "why" One of our colleagues was working on a unit on persuasive speech. She struggled to come up with the "why" for the unit. I would...
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Qualities of a bad leader

Together with my friend Neil Westcott, we came up with this list based off some of the leaders we worked with. Further addtions provided by Gavin Johnson. Anything missing from this list? Anything you disagree with? Comment please. Lacks transparency Inaccessible Uses PA or secretary as a buffer Puts parent communications before staff communication Puts interests of parents before students and staff Blatantly lies Abuses power Engages in nepotism Ignores strengths Overloads those with...
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Classroom Expectations

The following is a list of classroom expecations for our classrooms. This was devloped collaboratively.   Come prepared to learn & engage. Bring everything you need & mentally prepare to participate.   Respect others in what you say, do and touch. Be polite and do not disrupt others’ learning.   Practice active listening. Looking at a speaker can help you focus   Be honest. Own your mistakes and learn from them.   Be on...
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Interview Questions – Teacher Interview

A few years back I polled some top school administrators for a resource on their favourite interview questions. Here are the results. Special thanks to Karen O'Connell, John McBryde and Paul Sebastian. What interests you about the job and why are you interested in working at (school name). Please share with us some of your areas of strength? Share with us some areas you wish to develop in yourself? If you had to set some goals for yourself what would a couple of goals be? How do...
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Top 7 Discussions you need to have with your middle school aged child

Frequently at our school, we share with parents some discussion points they can use to open up dialogues with their children. An example of this is asking the question how do your children manage their own states of mind? The following are the top 7 discussions you need to have with your middle school aged child so they can get the most out of their time and life at school. # 1 How does the student organize his or her time? Time management is challenging for all of us, especially for mid...
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What does being a Risk-Taker mean?

1. From your point of view, how to define” risk-taking”? Risk-taking may be defined as taking academic chances. This is when you are not sure of if your answer is right or wrong, but you still try. Risk taking is about taking chances, about putting yourself out there, about not worrying about people judging you. It is about trying new things and owning the consequences, but not being afraid of what people think.   2. what is the meaning of “risk-taking” for a student?   For st...
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Personal Tutor Program leading to self efficacy and agency

Personal Tutor Program This year we have implemented a personal tutor program. Each student has a teacher assigned to them. This teacher develops a relationship with the student that will see them through their life at the school. Meetings are held with the student and their family and weekly meetings take place with student and their tutor. Personally, I am finding the personal tutor programme as it exists to be quite time consuming however I am learning so much about our school, our studen...
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