I.B. or Not to BE?


Written by : Shuaa Rizvi (Grade 12)

The International Baccalaureate, aka IB is a framework of internationally recognized and standardized education throughout the world. With 3,662 schools in 146 countries it is a leading non-profit educational foundation that works to help develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world.

McNally is one of those high-end schools which offer this program. Us as IB students are very fortunate to have such an amazing and experienced IB coordinator Ms. Usher. She is always there to offer her expertise and support. And all the teachers do a great job to work out a schedule for us, so we don’t have too much on our plate. But what do we do as students, we PROCASTINATE.

The IB is not all that bad, to be honest. We just have to learn the IB curriculum material and the Alberta ED curriculum before our IB exams take place in May. Oh did I mention there are two-to-three papers for each subject. My point is not to scare anyone from the IB. I certainly enjoy this program quite a bit. It allows you to get to know yourself, what your weaknesses and strengths are as a student. I know for me the aspect of studying/reviewing is rather difficult, but I worked towards improving study methods and the teachers were always there for support.

There are for sure more aspects of the IB than homework and studying. The IB works towards empowering their students to be inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced, and reflective. These are the words that describe a true IB learner. Now I can’t say from experience how the IB will help me credit-wise, but the skills gained such as being able to write university level essays and preparing lab reports is a great asset to be taking with me to university.

But why did I join the IB? Well I guess you can say that just like any other student I wanted to open those few extra doors. Now, who can honestly say that I’ll be in Edmonton, or even Canada for that matter, after I get my high school diploma? This is where the IB truly shines. The internationally recognized curriculum allows you to join virtually any post-secondary educational facility in the world!

BTW [by the way], I’m not here to just praise the IB, and show you just the bright sides. There is a fair amount of effort that we have to put in a student. We have to make tough choices and prioritize our lives greatly, which of course are good skills for later on, but it’s hard. IB does say that it wants its students to be balanced and this is a true fact about life. You got to take your family life, your school life, your social life and just live your life to the fullest, keep a balance between all aspects of your life. Don’t let the little hurdles in your life shape you in the words of JK Rowling “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

“As a child my family’s menu consisted of two choices: take it or leave it.”
Buddy Hackett


About J.V. Tomas

| Pray | Love | Study | Travel | Adventure | Blog | Photography | That's JV's life! Juliver Tomas completed his final year as a full International Baccalaureate student at McNally High School this year (2014). He was the Editor-in-Chief of the official student publication of his previous school, Dorganda High School, back in the Philippines. However, they used "Filipino" as the main medium of their publication that is why expect grammatical errors or "carabao English" on this blog (He is improving his vocab tho). He was also the Editor-in-chief of the school magazine of McNally High School - the McNally Tiger Magazine. He attended various press conferences and competitions. He won the Journalist of the Year award at their school and was the Valedictorian of his class (Class of 2012). He is looking forward to be a Doctor someday and is planning to take a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta next fall. He is currently a World Vision Ambassador and a part of the Red Cross Youth Leaders (RCYL) in Edmonton. He is really engaged in any activities. He loves Sciences, Journalism and Social Justice/Human Rights. He believes in the saying that "Teamwork Makes The Dreamwork"

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