My Broad Reflection on 2 Years as an IB Mathematics Teacher
As I have recently come to the end of my 2 year contract teaching Mathematics at my first IB teaching post. I wanted to record my experiences while they were still fresh in my head and ripe for reflecting on. My particular context was that of a full continuum school where we had the PYP, MYP & DP programs running. The relatively new CP program was not running at the school where I was teaching. The majority of my time over the two years was spent teaching Mathematics in the MYP program and then about a quarter of my time was spent teaching Mathematics in the DP program I also acted as a personal project supervisor (PP) for M5's and was also lucky enough to go on a number of Interdisciplinary Unit Trips (IDU's) and Outdoor Pursuit Trips (OP). This is an overview reflection and therefore quite broad, but hopefully at some point I will get to go into more detail on other relevant aspects.
In terms of understanding the overall design of an IB education, these documents are a good place to start. The give a sense of the big picture together with enough specific details that you get a sense of how the design manifests in action at an actual school.
What is an IB Education Doc?
What is an IB Education Doc?
The Different Programs (PYP,MYP,DP,CP)
When I first started teaching, one of the things that immediately stood out for me was the focus on something called the learner profile and the learner profile awards. Below is an official video from the IB to offer more detail and here is a link to a research paper explaining the thinking behind the "learner profile". I thought these awards were a great way to reinforce the behaviour and values we wanted students to live up to and I thought the content of the profile was also well researched and very relevant.
IB Explanation Video
A Focus on Mathematics
Below you can see a sample of some of the work that my MYP students did over the last two years. I really enjoyed the freedom I had to interpret the Mathematics, as I was teaching in the IB framework. This was made viable because of the reasonably flexible, criterion based assessment system the MYP uses for grading. I have focused on MYP Mathematics in this post, as that is where I spent the majority of my time teaching. The main documents that give direction to how your mathematics classroom is run can be found below.
*M5 - Did not teach this level class in my 2 years, I only supervised the personal project.
That's all for now
There is a lot more to be said about my experiences, but I'm stopping here for now as I think I have painted a decent overview of what it's like to start teaching mathematics at an IB school. When I write the second post, I will link it below for easy continuation. Hopefully the 2nd post will go into a bit more detail about the day to day practicalities.