Over the National Holiday, a large group of teachers from the Math, Science, and English departments of MYP and DP traveled to West Island School in Hong Kong for an official IB workshop. Over the 3-day session we spent much of our time discussing the IB philosophy in our teaching, and shared ideas and resources with other teachers.
Personally, I found the workshop very useful in terms of having constructive conversations of how to better making our students holistic learners, who can make positive contributions to society. As my workshop leader said himself, the MYP program is not just about building a knowledgeable student, but it’s about making a good-hearted, well rounded person. This was something that I took as very important about the direction of our workshop.
I was also very happy to meet with other Year 6 math teachers to have meaningful conversations about how the younger MYP students learn best. We were all in agreement that at such a young age it was still important for students to build an appreciation of mathematics not as a set of definitions, but rather a process for logical thinking. We talked more in depth about how to make proper assessments, and what we can do to make units more interdisciplinary. I was happy to leave the workshop knowing that there were other teachers I can now contact to share resources, and have more discussions.
Overall the WFLMS teachers that went to the workshop all found their experiences to be similarly productive for different reasons. So Loon, who attended the MYP Chemistry workshop, said that it had widened her perspective of unit planning, writing broad concepts, and creating unit questions. She mentioned that there was an emphasis of how to design a meaningful learning context that engages the hearts and minds of her students.
Near the end of our time at the workshop, we went out for dinner to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival and shared what we had gained from our workshops, while enjoying good Hong Kong Cantonese food at the same time.
By Michael Tarnow