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 What does an IB student Look Like?Postmark
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From: Tuesday, August 2, 2011 3:15 PM -0400
Subject:What does an IB student Look Like?
Here is another popular IB question I want to address . . . what does an IB student look like?

All students can be IB students. It does not matter the school, subject, age, FCAT scores, NRT . . . all means all. In Hillsborough County, IB has become synonymous with the competitive selection IB Diploma high school programs. At the middle school, students are selected by lottery. That will bring students to Walker ranging from low functioning ESE to students who will very much be competing for those precious few high school IB slots.

So how can all of these students be "IB"?

The answer can be found in the IB Learner Profile. In short, the Profile is IB's mission statement in action. It is what IB hopes to cultivate in all people on a campus including students, teachers, support staff, and parents. The Profile states, "The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world." It goes on to list the 10 characteristics that IB trusts all students will be able to articulate, reflect upon, and filter their learning through for the rest of their lives. IB wants students to be inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, balanced, reflective, and risk-takers. I want to address two of them. My favorite is "risk-takers". My experience at Hillsborough led me to fall in love with the student who was not afraid to do something a little different with their high school years. Anyone can attend their neighborhood school. Not everyone is willing to get up early, often with no other students from their neighborhood, and try something different for school. They love it and live it. Secondly, our students will be "balanced". The belief that IB is just a bunch more work or that all IB students do is study is actually laughable when you see it in action. You will hear me say the following on multiple occasions . . . our IB students will study rigorouslyplay vigorously, and serve diligently. This also applies to our faculty. The IB Learner Profile is for teachers too. We will be these 10 things to our students, their parents, and most importantly, to one another. I enjoyed seeing the Learner Profile in each of you during the interviews. There was enough "risk-taker" in each of you to decide to teach in this new and unique environment . . . to start on a journey that is not clearly mapped out, traditional, or what most people are comfortable doing with their teaching career. We will teach rigorously, play vigorously, and serve diligently.

The Learner Profile is actually why colleges express OVERWHELMING interest in IB students. They also report how successful these students are on their campuses. IB places emphasis on the whole child. The whole child goes to college . . . not just the academic side. I hope you are beginning to see the folly in the belief that "all IB kids do is study" and "those kids aren't IB kids." All students and teachers can benefit for a lifetime from being in learning environments where the Learner Profile is engrafted into the curriculum and where they are challenged to use what they have learned to "help create a better and more peaceful world."