Getting an IB education

This week was another busy week and a particularly coffee-fueled one. I had coffee with a Park Spanish Immersion Elementary parent, a former school board member and the executive director of the Minnesota Association of International Baccalaureate Schools.

One might presume that as a parent of a kid going into 6th grade, I’d have a firm grip on what “IB” means. It turns out, I had only the basics. To use some IB terminology, I need to do more formative work.

Even after talking with executive director Jon Peterson, I wouldn’t consider myself an expert in IB schools. But, I would consider myself newly enlightened.

If you would’ve asked me before about what it means to be an IB school, my answer would have been something along the lines of “we have a shared curriculum of sorts with schools across the word.”

What I came away with from our conversation was a much deeper appreciation for how the IB program teaches people to be learners — and I might even say explorers.

I understand just a bit better what the different levels of IB “programmes” are. I can see better how IB programs are designed to evaluate. I have an appreciation for the ways the IB can be rolled into immersion programs and used to address things like classroom anxiety and career preparation.

It’s clear there’s more formative work I have to do in this area. And, it’s not like I am going to do some late-night cramming for an exam to get there. That would be against the spirit of IB.

But, I know now more about where to go to learn more and can start thinking more about how we might even be able to do more at SLP schools with IB. And, I promise when I get the opportunity, I’ll bring you all along, too, so you can understand what we are doing, why we are doing and what the benefit will be.

Me meeting with Minnesota IB executive director Jon Peterson.

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