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IB Schools

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by R0bb074, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. R0bb074

    R0bb074 New commenter

    Hi All,

    Is there anyone out there with experience of teaching within an IB school that is willing to give me a quick 'heads-up' on the pros and cons? I'm currently teaching young adults within the MOD and would like to move abroad to teach a different audience and gain more experience. I have PGCE and QTLS, and I am currently teaching computer science and digital electronics. I would be happy to be more diverse though. I'm currently looking at the Netherlands although it's not set in stone. Any help here would be greatly appreciated!
  2. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    I would be looking at a British Curriculum school with your qualifications as this would give you more opportunities for employment. I would be looking at the new Computer Science IGCSE and A Level, CIE seems to be the most popular.
    If you have experience with the Raspberry Pi and MicroBits you should make sure you include that on your CV. The better British Curriculum schools offer Computer Science from KS1,2,3,4 and 5 and you basically get to make the curriculum up yourself for KS1,2 and 3. So plenty of coding in Scratch and Python and let the Maths department waste their time teaching Excel, English Department can teach touch typing and the History Department can teach Power Point

    IB schools don't tend to run straight Computer Science in PYP/MYP(nobody is sure what gets taught in MYP) and IB Certificate and Diploma and you may get drawn in to teaching the ITGS curriculum. Not many IB schools offer the CS IB coarse mostly due to the lack of teachers. A great many IB schools offer IGCSEs in MYP to give the some academic rigour to the subjects studied and thus allowing students to transfer to an A Level school.


  3. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    You would be great at any IB school thst does Design in the MYP. As long as its not solely run as a product design course. In the combined course there is usually some element of electronics or compuying of some kind.

    There are a lot more IB schools in the world, so much great chance of being employed. Go to www.ibo.org and check out their website. You can also see whst schools thry have in which countries.

    Best of luck. Recruitment for 2020 will start in September, so get yourself sorted
    ToK-tastic likes this.
  4. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    Might be worth talk to @jpgreenwood who is an HOD at a British school that also does IB - ITGS and Computer Science. I'll point him to this post.
  5. R0bb074

    R0bb074 New commenter

    Many thanks for your kind response. I have had a brief look at IBo_Org as suggested by dumbells66, and I was not sure if I would fit in. Currently I'm teaching young adults how to program micro-controllers and build small scale projects (last one was a remote ping-pong ball launcher) using code software within our campus. I have experience of scratch (use it with my 12 year old) and have built electronic projects in the past using Raspberry Pi and Arduino. I love ICT and electronics, but I just feel the need to teach a different audience - kids who want to learn electronics and programming. I'll put all that on CV no problems. My issue is that schools won't take me because I have limited experience with either AQA, OCR or Edexcel (hope I got that right) curriculum's, although we deliver parts of it. I'll look into CIE, I have to fit in somewhere?
  6. R0bb074

    R0bb074 New commenter

    That would be extremely helpful, thank-you.
  7. R0bb074

    R0bb074 New commenter

    Thank's again dumbbells66, nearly there. I'm currently working on a covering letter which my colleague will critique on, and I have put together an online portfolio of my qualifications and projects done in class (using the usual common sense for security). I made a QR code to print on my CV because I though that would prove 'tech-savvy' and easier if someone did not wan't to spend time looking at paper....
    ...who knows? I can but try!
  8. ToK-tastic

    ToK-tastic New commenter

    [QUOTE="A great many IB schools offer IGCSEs in MYP to give the some academic rigour to the subjects studied and thus allowing students to transfer to an A Level school.


    this brought a smile to my face :) not sure that my fellow MYP Coordinators would fully agree with this !
  9. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Plenty of school with a Computer Science Department would be interested in your skills Rob, just start banging out the CV to any job that interests you.
  10. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Wanting to teach kids who want to learn is not about British vs MYP or DP.
    You mention teaching kids to make specific things. If you try the IB, you’ll be more about teaching kids to solve problems by designing, making and testing their own solutions. The extra dose of creativity and autonomy (for both teachers and students) can indeed inspire greater rigor while simultaneously getting more kids to want to learn.
    kemevez and dumbbells66 like this.
  11. R0bb074

    R0bb074 New commenter

    Yes I agree but I am very restricted to what I can use in my current environment, plus I only mentioned the things we have utilised so far due to budget restraints. My last project for example, I spent a couple of hours at a scrapyard 'rescuing' old electric windscreen wiper motors for use within the college. My concern is that should I apply for a ICT IB post, would I be considered? I have never taught in a secondary school, and although I love where I am (private FE), I want to try a different arena. I could try the local secondary schools but to be honest, I want experience abroad so...maybe IB is the answer?
  12. nemo.

    nemo. Occasional commenter

    You need to clarify your experience as no decent school would employ you without a proper PGCE and QTS. By QTLS I suspect you have a post 16 only PGCE with no school experience.

    Hence, no self respecting school will hire you. No school will give you an IBDP only timetable. You will need to teach younger kids.

    I suggest you try getting a job in a school, they can employ you as my old London school did this as long as you aim to get QTS by a conversion route. Once you have QTS and experience with under 16s you will be far more employable.
  13. R0bb074

    R0bb074 New commenter

    Yes I have been told by colleagues that I will need to do a conversion at some point. I have a proper PGCE 14 years+ But they all say still apply. They also suggested becoming a STEM ambassador visiting schools to get the experience. All worth looking into. I'll get there...just takes time.
  14. jpgreenwood

    jpgreenwood Occasional commenter

    Hi R0bb074, sorry it's taken a while - summer :)

    Just to jump back to earlier in the conversation, when you were asking about IB subjects aligning with your experience, there's very little call for hardware & electronics in either course given the difficulties in assessing products externally. That doesn't mean we don't do it (because of course we do) but you may be told that your electronics background wouldn't be of any practical use when teaching IBDP, and I really don't think that's true.

    We once had a student who wanted to make a smart home on the cheap (and without Amazon/Google's prying eyes) so he made a bunch of remote air con, light & door lock controllers but there was no way we could submit them as assessed pieces of work. One of the stipulations for both ITGS & CS projects is that they must be assessable by an examiner without needing specialist software or hardware. This can feel like a wee bit of a straitjacket, but we were able to sign it off as CAS (creativity, action & service). He got some credit for his diploma, it was a super cool little project that we were really keen to support, he was able to get a proper grip on his theory content by putting it into practice but it wasn't examinable core content.

    For that, you should absolutely check the CS & ITGS subject guides, though note that both subjects are undergoing a review with new specifications due in 2021. ITGS will be overhauled (to be called Digital Society) but the CS review is expected to be more of a tweak.

    The other thing to mention is that I've encountered a lot of other HoDs who look at curriculum the same way I do - IGCSE & IBDP is where we lose control over content, which makes KS3 all the more important. We've been diversifying our KS3 curriculum beyond what had become the norm (trad IT with some programming added in) by expanding outwards into digital media. Over the next 12 months I've also been tasked with developing a maker curriculum that we'll be recruiting someone for next year, and I'd be delighted to have someone with an engineering, DT or electronics background for that. We're now a pretty big, multidisciplinary department, but that's just the way that staffing & school priorities here have led us.

    I think the biggest thing to remember is that there's more to the picture than a binary "British vs IB" thing - there are plenty of IB schools that don't look anything like we do and plenty of British schools that do. Apply based on the strength of the school, location & prospects for you.

    Just to wrap up, you've mentioned the Netherlands - it's up towards the top of my list too, but savings prospects are slim given the tax situation there. Worth investigating seriously before making a move.

    Also, I'm not sure a conversion is necessary if you have a regular (non-FE) PGCE, though that would be dependent on the school/country you're looking to work in.

    Hope this helps!
  15. R0bb074

    R0bb074 New commenter

    Many thanks for this, I will look into what you've given me and get back to you soon (if you don't mind). The Netherlands was mentioned because my family is Dutch/German. I have a PGCE 14 years plus, hence the QTLS. Yes I am in private FE now, teaching computer science and engineering to 16-18 year old students. I would very much like a change of scenery in students, subjects and location - I thought that the IB schools was a good place to start.
    Many thanks for your time - much appreciated! get back to you soon.
  16. 4019775

    4019775 Occasional commenter

    In my opinion the IB is the dogs bits. Teaching HL maths to a class of 18, all of whom achieved IB 40 plus with two perfect 45's, was the highlight of my career so far. SL is also decent. Have never taught studies. Been next to no grade inflation with the IB and fantastic challenging questions in HL maths. Everything A level used to be and more.
    jpgreenwood, debbie4us and gulfgolf like this.
  17. jpgreenwood

    jpgreenwood Occasional commenter

    No prob, R0bb074. Drop me a line off here if you like.

    I totally agree, 4019775. I didn't enjoy teaching A level nearly as much. Hideous coursework, dry theory content... no thanks.
  18. R0bb074

    R0bb074 New commenter

    I think I've got to wait until September for the recruiting season to start. I can't seem to find anything on the IB website. I'm keeping tabs here just in case anything crops up. ICT role abroad would be lovely!
  19. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    Some schools may not hire you because of your lack of experience with younger students. However, because your subject is extremely difficult to hire for, I have no doubt at all that you will find many schools who will be interested. In our last recruitment round I had about 2 Computer Science CVs that were even remotely employable. Some schools will have many applicants to choose from, but for others it's a case of 'hire one of these or we have no teacher next year'. This isn't History or Geography. The amount of people who can teach CS seems to be shrinking constantly. It wasn't like this when I started, but the pool of decent teachers seems to get smaller and smaller.

    So all in all I would say you have a pretty good chance.
  20. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    The amount of people who can teach CS seems to be shrinking constantly. It wasn't like this when I started, but the pool of decent teachers seems to get smaller and smaller.

    Agree Tone, but with all due respect to the many excellent CS teachers out there, the received wisdom certainly used to be; if you're any good at programming etc etc. then why aren't you out there making shedloads in the IT industry.
    T0nyGT likes this.

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