Thursday, November 12, 2015

Feedback from Joint Meeting of IB Community Advisory and IB Teacher Leadership

Just over a week ago, the community advisory and teacher leadership group met together to share information about our IB development work this fall.  We focused on sharing the following:
  • The Five Pillars that define International Baccalaureate in Ann Arbor:
    • Inquiry - students asking questions, students finding answers
    • Global awareness - connecting to the local, state, national and international community
    • Action and Service - learning by doing, making a positive impact
    • World languages - all students learning a world language
    • Access and Equity - intentional development of curriculum and supports connected to the needs of learners
  • IB teacher professional development from the summer of 2015
  • Current work to develop IB units of inquiry at Mitchell, Scarlett and Huron.
At the end of the time together, feedback was gathered using an inquiry teaching strategy from Visible Thinking.  A sampling of that feedback shows below in sections based on who it came from: parents, community members, teachers.

Parents:
* I used to think IB was a substitute for AP. Now I think IB is an improved way of teaching and learning.
* I used to think IB was another layer of requirements - I wasn't clear about the real benefits to my kids.  Now I think it's an amazing opportunity to shape my kids into better citizens of the world, as well as meet them where they are as individual learners.
* I used to think that it wasn't clear how middle school (or elementary) students would transition to high school (or middle school) if they were not part of the IB program. Now I think there's a plan!

Community Members:
* I used to think it would be too challenging for many teachers to embrace such a different approach to teaching/learning and implementing the IB curriculum would take years. Now I think that the teachers I asked about their work so far with IB is rich in content, philosophy and implementation and it is already making a difference.
* The rollout of IB would be a nightmare. So many moving parts and so difficult. Now I think it seems - at least to me as an outsider - that it's been amazing. The teachers are pumped, the scaffolding has been thoughtful.

Teachers:
* I used to think IB could be a really cool thing to do in AA education. Now I think it is essential for my students to continue developing around the demands of the state, government, etc.
* I used to think IB was for some students. Now I think IB is an opportunity for all students.
* I used to think that the IB Organization would be heavily influencing my curriculum and how it would be taught. Now I think the curriculum is up to me and the IB philosophy is guiding me in a non-threatening way.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

IB Community Information Meeting at Scarlett - November 11, 6:30 PM

International Baccalaureate schooling is coming to Ann Arbor!

Those interested in learning more about Ann Arbor International Baccalaureate (IB) candidate schools for the fall of 2016 are invited to an IB Community Information Meeting at Scarlett Middle School on November 11 from 6:30 - 7:30 PM. 

This presentation will include information and experiences that help participants know and understand:
- The 5 Pillars of IB in Ann Arbor
- The Primary Years Programme at Mitchell Elementary School (grades K-5)
- The Middle Years Programme at Scarlett Middle School and Huron High School (grades 6 - 10)
- The Diploma Programme at Huron High School (grades 11 and 12)
- The value of an internationally focused curriculum

Information before the meeting can be accessed via the Ann Arbor IB website at:  http://ib.a2schools.org.