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DP Can I teach without CAT 1 training?

Discussion in 'International Baccalaureate' started by fromanantique, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. fromanantique

    fromanantique New commenter


    I started teaching at a new school this year teaching English B. I've never taught IB before. I've been trying to get training, but so far the school seems uninterested. There is no one at the school who has training with the new syllabus. I feel like this is an oversight on the school's part.

    Is someone at a school required to have training in the current spec or is it more of a case of it's best practice to have someone trained on current syllabus? Any help appreciated.
  2. percy topliss

    percy topliss Established commenter

    Although it is more than an oversight on the schools part, you can teach IB without CAT 1 training, normally though there would be a date in mind for you to have the training or someone else in your department should have had AT LEAST cat 1 training and can pass on to you their wisdom.
  3. colacao17

    colacao17 Senior commenter

    Yes you can.
    My first IB post was a temporary, short notice thing and they needed me to start teaching straight away.

    The subject teaching was pretty much like teaching A-level, it's the administration and assessment which differs and there were colleagues who could help me out with that.

    I've never taught MYP, I think that might differ more from my (mainly IGCSE) experience.
  4. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    while you can teach without the course, the school is obligated to train you. this can be in house, online, or face-to-face. but the IB mandates that you are trained at some point. as said above, the teaching won't be the problem, it will be the assessment and the admin side that will be different for you. read the course guide and it will pretty much cover anything you do on an online PD.
    ToK-tastic likes this.
  5. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    If you can, put your students through a full set of past/specimen papers (often possible in English B where you couldn't in other subjects) and mock orals. If their level isn't up to it then use Ab Initio past papers / specimen papers. Once you've done that, you'll have a very solid understanding of both their level and the assessment requirements for the course. I assume that you also have one of the textbooks that goes with the course? I wouldn't follow it as such, but it can be a useful resource - especially for the new listening requirement.
  6. fromanantique

    fromanantique New commenter


    Thanks for all the responses, very useful. I suppose I should have given more details. I've been teaching it since September and using all the advice above I feel I have a pretty firm grasp of the course, how to teach it effectively, and feel somewhat comfortable with the various assessment rubrics.
    I am basically concerned that I'm getting a raw deal in terms of PD, and that in some ways the fact I have not been trained could mean my teaching of the course is not as good as it could be. And I would quite like to be able to confidently tell SLT that I am required to have training and it is not an optional thing, however, I just wanted to be certain that that was the case.

    @dumbbells66 you mentioned that the school was obligated to train me. Do you know if there is anywhere on the IBO website or MYIB that specifically states this?
  7. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    its in Standards and Practices. very clearly written.
  8. ToK-tastic

    ToK-tastic New commenter

    Someone in your school must have at least Cat 1 training in the current syllabus for your subject. This is, as dumbbells66 says, in Standards and Practices. If you are the only English B teacher then you must have training on the current guide. This could be face to face or online.

    This shouldn't be a debate, nor a hassle, at any IB school. The SLT should sort this out for you. TBH this is not your fight. Your DP Coordinator is not doing their job if they have not identified your training needs, found a workshop for you, and registered you in the workshop.
  9. bubblegirl83

    bubblegirl83 New commenter

    I teach English A but I know that my colleagues in B (as well as many other subjects, my own included) swear by the InThinking website. If you don't have one already, ask your school for a subscription. It will not replace face to face training but should fill in some gaps and there is a forum to ask questions.
  10. historyexcel

    historyexcel New commenter

    I agree with everything said above. However on a more general note I would not generally do a cat 1 workshop. I see cat 1 as introducing the ib ethos, cat 2 introduces the subject. If you have no ib experience go cat 1 otherwise cat 2 is the way to go I think.

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