IB teachers bring out the best
Jared Lang | Highlands TodayAround Sebring High School and the rest of the community, SHS's International Baccalaureate teachers seem to have gained a reputation for being pitiless or adversarial. As an IB student, I always find these claims ridiculous.
Published: February 6, 2013
Published: February 6, 2013
My friends often ask me how I survive with all the homework they assign and the rigor with which they grade each assignment. Of course, there were countless late nights, overwhelming deadlines and seemingly impossible assignments, but I knew these things were part of the IB Programme and accepted the path I chose.
IB (especially Pre-IB in ninth and 10th grades) is extremely challenging, sometimes painfully so, but the obstacles placed before International Baccalaureate students serve a purpose. Not only do they prepare students for even tougher times in college, but they also act as a wakeup call for students who usually breezed through elementary and middle school.
It is well known that bright students often receive their first sub-A grade in IB. For many students, it takes a while to realize that teachers don't give grades, but rather they are earned. Teachers could make their classes easier, but that would be detrimental to all students down the road. IB is a powerful, international organization that will be much less empathetic to students than SHS teachers have been when it comes to grading assessments and the presentation of an IB diploma.
I've written the essays, completed the tests, and lost the sleep that current Pre-IB students are writing, completing and losing. I've filled my planner with monotonous, tedious assignments and on many occasions spent more time pondering the reason for an assignment than it took to finish it. In hindsight though, I've come to realize that every single assignment given to me since I've been in IB has served a purpose, whether it's learning the material included, or the discipline needed to succeed in school and the workforce. I still find myself questioning the reasons for some assignments but usually arrive at this conclusion: my teachers enjoy grading my papers about as much as I like writing them, so if they're going to take the time to grade them, I can take the time to do them.
Sebring's IB program is far from perfect. It started only four years ago and has a long way to go before it catches up with the performance of other, established schools. Nine of the 15 seniors in Sebring High School's first IB class, however, received the elusive IB Diploma last year. This is a tremendous pass rate when compared to that of inaugural classes at other schools. My junior class has 13 IB students and all of us are a family. We've been through thick and thin and, though we still roll our eyes while writing down each night's homework, we know that every challenge placed before us is just another step toward achieving our future goals.
Braving long nights of demanding work and attempting to stay awake in class the next day (sometimes unsuccessfully) teaches you what you're made of, and self-awareness can be even more important than book smarts.
My amazing teachers in the IB Programme have made the past two and a half years not only bearable but fun. I wake up every morning knowing that they are just as excited to teach as I am to learn. They desire nothing more than the success of their students.
Our success is their success.