As a DP Higher Level and Standard Level Biology Teacher, I have a front row seat to see my students respond to crunch time. This is the time of the year that we all (students, teachers, and the Admin) know is coming and have been preparing for over the past 2 years.
For myself, this is the time I start to make sure that the coursework is complete, all topics have been covered, making sure that my students have access to all the resources that they need to prepare for the IB assessments, making sure their Internal Assessments and Extended Essays are graded and turned in and my prayers for all of my students get intensified.
It is beautiful to watch students who have paced themselves well throughout the two years as they gain confidence and the support their peers. They now work as a team and not as individuals, they become leaders. Each one taking the lead in the area they are most confident in. These are the students who were engaged in the process of learning, engaged in the process of investigation (which is what their Internal Assessments and Extended Essays are), engaged in the process of building knowledge (which is how most of the coursework is set up, one topic leading into another) and not just learning for the sake of the test.
At the same time, it is so hard to watch students who were not engaged in this process of the IB Diploma crumble under pressure. These students realize the amount of work that is due at crunch time. The amount of material they need to master before the IB exams seems insurmountable to them. Some of these students look for the ways out, they cannot fathom the idea that there is no way out of this. They had committed to the IB Diploma Programme two years ago and that commitment demands that they are ready for every assessment that the IB throws at them.
The joy and pride that I have seen in some of my students on their graduation are earned through hard work, dedication, and engagement in the process. And I get the privilege to watch them grow from overwhelmed, confused, awkward, juniors into confident, proud, and successful young men and women and more importantly: truly global citizens. I wish to see that same joy and pride in all my students.
DP Biology and ESS teacher