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IB certificate or workshop?

IB certificate or workshop?

Postby physion » Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:52 am

Hi all! I interested in international teaching career. I am physics teacher and I would like to ask you about IB.
What do you believe that would be more appropriate in being recruited in an IB school (without IB experience)? An IB certificate in teaching and learning or an IB online workshop in Physics? Of course IB experience would be the best of all. Do you believe that certificate or workshop would give me a privillege? Thanks in advance!
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Response

Postby PsyGuy » Sun Jul 02, 2017 12:56 am

Neither, the rule in IE is that no amount of training equals any amount of experience.
Understand that the two routes have vastly different resource commitments. Workshops are about 17 contact hours which you can do full time over a weekend (F2F) or part time (online) over several weeks (usually about 6, a few hours a week).
An IB T&L certificate aside from the portfolio option (offered by ECIS) often involves completion of a degree program (most are at Masters graduate level, but several are offered at the UG level). The advantage of a T&L certificate is that you are considered "trained" as defined by the IB PD requirements. The same is true however of cat 1 workshops as well. Degree programs (and even the portfolio option) involve considerable more expense and resources compared to workshops (which are about USD$800, though the cheapest Ive seen is around USD$600). The only way the IB certificate has an ROI is if you have a lot of credentials or qualifications to fulfill, (IE. your a social studies generalist and want/need to teach all 10 of the courses in the Individuals and Societies cluster), in such a case youd likely break even completing an IB T&L certificate.

Recruiters and leadership generally dont think very much of either workshops or certificate programs, especially outside of IB ISs. Even at IB ISs, how any specific IS implements and executes the IB varies to some degree. There isnt anything you cant read or research online thats outside what youd get at a cat 1 workshop. Its mostly some vocabulary and some organizational structures (such as the IB Learner Profile, etc.)
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Re: IB certificate or workshop?

Postby physion » Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:04 am

First of all thank you very much PsyGuy for the reply. I appreciate it! As I understand for someone who is not experienced in IB programs there is no reason to take an IB cert or workshop.
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Reply

Postby PsyGuy » Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:27 am

@physion

Well, I find these inquiries really difficult, because there is a technical and a practical response:

Practical: No, there isnt for the reasons above.

Technical: There are two possible advantages;
1) Youre likely to be in a stack or group of similarly classed IT candidates. ITs are very nondescript from one another, if your in a group, long list, short list, short short list, of other ITs many of them are unlikely to have any exposure to the IB at all, in which case a workshop both saves them some coin, and provides some utility of value among other similar candidates.
2) If you attend a F2F workshop you may be able to network with other ITs who may like you and may lead to an "inside" contact in the IS that may have influence in recruiting.
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Re: IB certificate or workshop?

Postby physion » Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:13 am

thanks a lot
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Re: IB certificate or workshop?

Postby Thames Pirate » Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:04 am

It can demonstrate interest in IB and can potentially mean the school doesn't have to train you. It is no match for experience, and depending on what you want it may or may not be worth it. If you can spare the money, the online workshops are not that hard/time intensive. So you may decide that since it can't hurt, you may as well do it. It's better than nothing and puts you ahead of others without IB experience, but you are still way behind applicants without it. Ultimately the benefit is minimal, though, so for most people it isn't worth it. But you should, if you are considering teaching it, be familiar with the language of IB before any interviews (and preferably how the subject is taught).

This equation does change slightly in competitive fields. At the Search fair in London last year, there was only ONE teacher with IB Economics experience. All the schools wanted that person! The others had to settle for teachers who either had no IB experience or had IB experience in other fields (typically the humanities). Since physics is such a field, you can certainly put yourself ahead of the handful of physics teachers out there. So that might make it worth your while to do the online IB Physics (IIRC about $450 for most workshops).

Also, PsyGuy is right on the networking, but again it depends--if you attend a F2F workshop, pick one in the region you are targeting and one that has multiple simultaneous workshops as that is where schools are most likely to send folks (a school in Denmark is not going to send its people to Australia if they can get certified in Berlin). They are also not going to send new teachers in July. So be smart if you go that route and maximise your networking chances.

So is it worthwhile? Possibly, if you can afford it. But the benefit is minimal in terms of recruiting and while it is helpful for a background knowledge before you teach it, you will have so many questions once you start that you didn't know to ask in the training that you will feel like you are starting from scratch (even if you are better off than having nothing).

Good luck!
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Re: IB certificate or workshop?

Postby physion » Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:36 am

Thanks a lot for the reply, Thames Pirate. My aim is to search in UAE for International Schools on September 2018 and as I can see there are many IB schools. Moreover, I am teaching in private lessons IB Physics SL and HL so it is a familiar curriculum to me. I will see if it would be better to apply in GCSE schools only (as I am Examiner in GCSE).
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Re: IB certificate or workshop?

Postby Thames Pirate » Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:15 am

We got jobs in a Tier 2 IB school in WE without IB experience. And it sounds like you are already at the top of the field of non-experience candidates and already valuable both in terms of experience and subject area. You have a good chance at IB schools, especially if you can appropriately network or tailor your application. So don't rule it out or limit yourself!
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Re: IB certificate or workshop?

Postby physion » Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:53 am

Thanks a lot for the advice! I really appreciate it! I will keep in mind your advice. One last thing. What questions did they do to you (in this IB school) during interview process? I mean what skills did they want to have a non-experienced tutor ?
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Re: IB certificate or workshop?

Postby Thames Pirate » Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:50 pm

Lots of content knowledge, of course. They also asked about how one would teach that content to non-native speakers (with a specific eye to writing). This was a number of years ago, so I am trying to remember specifics. I think they may have asked about how we supported writing and maybe a question about the IB philosophy or learner profile--not that we were expected to know it, but to speak to how we encouraged and taught those traits and skills within the subject content. I don't recall if there were questions on this, but perhaps how you would feel supporting extended essays in the subject and how you would approach CAS and mentoring for it (depending on how the school is structured).

If they have an MYP program, perhaps know a bit about how they differ and maybe how middle school science provides a base for IB physics. This is a good question in general, of course, since it is applies regardless of middle year programs and since you would likely be teaching it.
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Re: IB certificate or workshop?

Postby shadowjack » Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:28 pm

Just finished a DP level 1 course. I would HIGHLY recommend you spring for the 600 bucks (or use your PD for it) to take a Physics IB level 1 course. You will be introduced to the many facets of DP IB and how they are changing. I was surprised at the focus and considerations put into things that my DP colleagues hadn't talked about, but are now coming down the pike and need addressing by IB teachers.

It will allow you to talk the talk, walk the walk, and have a much better understanding of what will be required of you, plus the curriculum you will deliver, which, while similar, might have different considerations tacked onto them.
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Reply

Postby PsyGuy » Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:48 pm

@SJ

I have to strongly disagree. While there are always changes, its not anything that isnt reflected in the course guidance documents, that any IB IT can review. Further, you can review the publicly available IB literature and be able to talk the talk. As for walking the walk, no one will know that until your scores are available.

I understand that for you being walked through it was beneficial and worth the $600, but from prior experience and reflections from others, cat 1 workshops are a waste of resources.
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Re: IB certificate or workshop?

Postby Thames Pirate » Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:13 am

Actually, in the case of physics it was not reflected in the course documents. Lots of experienced DP physics teachers got bit by last year's exam (2016) because the changes were not reflected in the syllabus, etc.
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Reply

Postby PsyGuy » Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:19 am

@Thames Pirate

Actually this is THIS year and NOT last year, and not a workshop offered last year but this year.
I knew about it last year, how do you think workshop leaders know these things, there isnt some big secret oracle?
Regardless, its a nice excuse for last year, but this is this year, and everyone knows about it, and the guidance documents reflect the changes. This means you could access the changes without attending a workshop this year.
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Re: IB certificate or workshop?

Postby Thames Pirate » Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:21 am

Well, the OP now has pro-con arguments and the recommendation of a teacher in that subject area. I think all the cases have been made unless another physics teacher wants to chime in on the changes.
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