A successful IB workshop

by | May 31, 2024 | Leadership | 1 comment

Ongoing professional development is an essential element in the culture of an IB school. In this blog, we will explore the responsibility of the PYP coordinator and share some ideas to ensure that the workshop will have a positive impact.

According to the IB coordinator handbook, the programme coordinator takes the lead in informing and monitoring the school community about IB-mandated PD and supporting the introduction and/or induction of new staff to the school’s IB programmes and general PD (not mandated by the IB). The IB provides the PD requirements based on each school context (candidate or authorized). And let’s not forget that PD is mentioned in the standards and the practices:

Leadership 2: The school includes on its pedagogical leadership team an IB-trained programme coordinator who is empowered to facilitate successful programme implementation. (0201-02)

Teacher support 2: The school ensures that leadership and teachers participate in appropriate and timely professional learning to inform their practice. (0203-02)

Teacher support 2.1: The school complies with IB-mandated professional development requirements, as outlined in IB documentation. (0203-02-0100)

In this table, I will share the different types of workshops, and some tips to take into consideration:

ModeImportanceTips
Face-to-face in schoolThese workshops are great for bringing the whole team to the same understanding-They are intense and over 1 or 2 days. If you are bringing the teachers to attend this workshop during the weekend, ensure it will not impact their wellbeing the following week.
-Communicate with the workshop leader in advance and share with them your priorities. This will help the workshop leader to offer your school a meaningful learning experience.
-Create a list with the correct names of all participants and their roles, the correct emails, and share it with the workshop leader. -The inschool workshop is an excellent opportunity to create strong connections between the team, formal and informal, so while planning for the event, consider the budget to provide the teachers with snacks, lunch, and coffee…
-Make sure the workshop room is appropriate; consider the chairs, the materials, the extensions, the lighting, the temperature, and the internet connection.
Virtual workshopsThese workshops usually take place via zoom, and they are synchronous workshops.– This type of mode of learning can be quite intense. Don’t request these type of workshops if you don’t have a strong internet connection.
– In my opinion, use them only if you can’t have the face-to-face workshop or if it meets the learning needs of the teacher or participant.
Online workshopsThe workshops are over 4 weeks, asynchronous tasks.– Make sure to register teachers/staff who will likely benefit from this format of learning.
– If you are doing this workshop for the team, follow up with them weekly and offer them time during the school day to collaborate and work together.
Regional workshopsThey provide an excellent opportunity for teachers to learn from others and listen to educators in different countries who sometimes face the same challenges.– If possible, always send two teachers to attend such workshops.
– Don’t ask the teacher to share the learning with the other teachers directly; give the teacher time to implement and try the new learning.
– Listen to the teachers after these workshops. They usually have many new ideas and sometimes misunderstandings.
– These can be considered the most expensive.
Different PD opportunties

General Tips:

  1. Don’t force a teacher to attend a workshop.
  2. Don’t do many workshops per year; it’s the quality and impact of the workshop, not the quantity.
  3. Follow-up after the workshop and evidence of implementation are essential.
  4. Introduce a book club at your school; this could be a great PD opportunity.
  5. Look at all resources provided by IB: nano PD, PD videos, IB exchange, Teacher support material (TSM), and PYP playlist; they are all for free.
  6. Keep a record of all the certificates; create a folder with a list of all the teachers and workshops they attended.
  7. Listen to the needs of the teachers and personalize the PD if needed.
  8. Ensure that all teachers have access to MYIB and are familiar with it before they attend a workshop.
  9. Organise teachers teach teachers session; they can create a significant impact.
  10. Consider your PD budget and ensure it’s used wisely.

For virtual workshops:

  1. Ensure that participants have a stable internet connection, a working laptop, mic and earphones.
  2. Keep your camera on during the workshop for professional etiquette. Engage and participate actively.
  3. Use a working laptop device, which allows you to type and access workshop materials fully and participate effectively.
  4. Do not multitask with teaching a class in school, go shopping for your groceries, go for a drive and use your phone to just listen in to the workshop.
  5. There are IB workshop requirements and some of those requirements involve full participation and attendance to each workshop session. Any missed sessions can result in you not receiving a workshop certificate.

Regardless of the format of the workshop and the way of delivery, a workshop is always a great moment to reflect on our practices and to learn, it allows us to:

  • Make sure we are on the path,
  • Learn new things,
  • Or avoid strategies and techniques used by the workshop leader if they are not suitable.

Don’t forget the IB conference is a PD opportunity, would love to see you this year in Budapest.

Which workshop do you like and why? Would love to hear your feedback.

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Isaac Kalala
Isaac Kalala
1 month ago

Hi Ali
Thank you very much for sharing these tips ..
I have learned something new from this …