News, Info and IB Student and Staff Blogs

March 24, 2017
by Ann Lautrette

Are you over thinking it?

We’re currently assessing Year 12 practice TOK presentations and the more I watch the more I’m asking myself this question.

The TOK presentation is challenging, yes, but several that I’ve watched have seemed to reflect the wandering of a thinking brain. You know how when you start thinking about something, and your brain goes, ‘oh what about that…and that..and this..and that’s like that, and what if that? and on and on and on. On a day to day basis this ‘brain train’ is hard enough to tame, but when we start putting together a TOK presentation it becomes a real challenge. And that’s because of the conflict between one of the key points of TOK – that everything is connected, and the need to focus the presentation on a limited number of AOKs, WOKs and knowledge questions. 

So how do we stop the TOK thinking brain from rambling? In the presentation, the key is the knowledge question and its connection to the Real Life Situation. With any RLS there are probably a number of knowledge questions, a number of AOKs and WOKs which seem relevant, but it’s important to go with one question, select what’s important and then stick to it.  It is really hard for listeners to follow when the presentation suffers from ‘and another thing’ syndrome – where other ideas are repeatedly brought into the net ensuring we’ve forgotten what the RLS is and have no clue what the Knowledge Question was.

The TOK presentation is a difficult task, yes, but it needn’t be complicated. 

Let’s take an example of how we might plan and focus a presentation:

In the news today is this story of a muslim woman who, according to a tweet, walked past victims on Westminster Bridge ‘callously’ ignoring the destruction around her. Upon reading this story we are likely to experience different emotions and think different thoughts according to a number of factors: our experience of the world, our beliefs, our critical media literacy skill etc. Personally, I look at this story in disbelief; firstly, that anyone would post the initial tweet and secondly that this tweet (a few words and an associated image) could generate (or expose) such hatred among those who appear to agree with it. But from a TOK perspective, what I find interesting is how the response to a photograph, taken out of context, can be manipulated by adding a caption which ‘describes’ what the photo shows. Now, in the past this caption writing would have been the realm of journalists and those writing text books. And so as people we associate captions with a certain informed explanation of what is going on in the image and we have relative faith in the accuracy of those captions.

Enter Twitter.

With the ability for anyone, not an expert, not even present at the scene, to attach a caption to an image, we now have a new form of creating knowledge – does the image therefore show whatever we say it shows, rather than the truth?

As an example:

Here’s the caption: Barbaric and Racist – Onlookers smile as asian man is beaten to death in racist ‘Hunger Games’ horror.   

Now I just made that up. For all I know, these poor people are watching a ballgame, but with a few words and disregard for context I’ve just branded them all as racists and barbarians.

So, in the development of my presentation I have my RLS and my explanation of how my RLS links to TOK, but what’s my knowledge question?

Well it definitely has something to do with language (a WOK) – both the language of words and the language of image, and it’s ability to manipulate what is knowledge. And it also has something to do with the way the Ways of Knowing might interact with each other: so I see an image (sense perception), I take in some information about that image (probably make an interpretation of what is happening based on assumptions which come from inductive reasoning), then I look at the caption and does the language overpower my initial interpretation? In which do I have more faith? My sense perception and reason? Or the language I see in front of me? Does it change what I ‘know’?

So this leads me to the knowledge question ‘is language the most powerful way of knowing?’ (I am defining language as a communication through word or image, and ‘powerful’ as having the most influence on what I claim to ‘know’)  

In order to explore this question I need to have a clear argument which is going to be that ‘it depends on the Area of Knowledge’. Then I’m going to pick two contrasting Areas of Knowledge.

I’m going to pick History and ask is language the most powerful way of knowing in Historical study?

Then I’ll make an argument:

Yes: because all the historical sources found mean nothing without the historian’s narrative of what happened. Of course, how do we know that this narrative is true? Well we don’t. History is by definition about interpretation – that’s what the historian does – tells a story about the past based on the interpretation of available evidence. But couldn’t that be just like my photograph and caption above? Couldn’t the historian make any claim he/she wants to about historical artefacts?

(Then I’ll support my argument with some evidence from the AOK)

Well yes and no: David Irving is a historian and famous holocaust denier who basically claims that the holocaust didn’t happen so yes, a historian can make any claim he/she wants, but then Irving was shown to have manipulated the truth and lost this court case. So while he could make the claim it has not been accepted as a valid interpretation of history. So because an explanation in History has to be ‘a plausible theory that explains the relevant source material and fits other accepted theories’ (TOK knowledge Framework for History), then holocaust denial is not accepted as it doesn’t fit with other accepted theories. So while language may be powerful in the interpretation, recording and communication of history, it seems that reason (which must play some role in deciding what is plausible) keeps a check on accepting the narrative.

But what does this have to do with my RLS? Well, it explains why some people agree that the lady in the picture was being heartless and why some criticise this interpretation. If ‘plausibility’ is so important in history, then it must be to us too when deciding what we believe about this image and caption – someone who believes the popular media narrative of ‘all muslims support terrorism’, may see the interpretation of her heartlessness as plausible – it fits with their worldview (and we love to confirm what we already believe – confirmation bias), whereas for someone who believes that you can’t tarnish the many with the actions of the few, it isn’t plausible that this woman would react without care to the scenes around her. So is it the language which is most powerful here? No. It’s belief – all the language does is sit there objectively – we then take it and manipulate it to confirm what we already believe.

To compare though, if I take the Area of Knowledge of the Natural Sciences, is language the most powerful Way of Knowing?

Then I’ll make an argument:

No because the Natural Sciences is ‘based on observation and constructed using reason and imagination’ (Scope in the Natural Sciences Knowledge Framework.) This makes no mention of language – rather sense-perception and reason. So it assumes that we can objectively observe the world, rationalise what we see and explain this through theory. So language shouldn’t be able to manipulate interpretation in the Natural Sciences then. In the Knowledge Framework for Science under language and concepts, ‘maths is central’ and ‘language is precise in order to eliminate ambiguity’.

So what is the role of language in the Natural Sciences as an Area of Knowledge? To objectively describe the world in scientific terms. Well, that is the common understanding, but Physicist David Bohm had a different take on language in science. He thought that the quantum level of the world could be explained with language, (not only Mathematics) but that our language in its current form can’t do that. He said:

“The verb describes actions and movements which flow into each other and merge, without sharp separations or breaks. Moreover, since movements are in general always themselves changing, they have in them no permanent pattern of fixed form.”

So he proposed a new language, called the Rheomode in which the verb would have a primary role.

So does this mean then that language should be the most powerful way of knowing in the Natural Sciences, but, in its current form, it isn’t? And that when we can’t explain things, inventing a whole new language should be on the agenda? In which case, isn’t imagination actually more powerful than language?

If we go back to the original RLS the tweet is used, not in a precise way, but to imply that the woman is a terrorist sympathiser and so in this way, it is the imagination of the person reading the tweet which is perhaps doing the powerful work.

While we may say that language must be precise and objective in the Natural Sciences for scientists, we might also note that in communicating knowledge gained in the Areas of Knowledge to us laypeople, then language plays an extremely important role. If we look at this health article: ‘More people are getting hurt by staying connected’ we can see where ‘science’ crosses the line into media manipulation through language. The word ‘more’ in the headline is non-specific and imprecise, and ‘getting hurt’ is not defined. The research presented in the article to support this claim is at best vague: 97% of students admitted to using cell phones in class, but ‘many don’t even understand how this distraction has affected their grades.’ In what way does this ‘prove’ that grades are being affected? Apparently ‘according to the National Safety Council, cell phone usage caused over 25 percent of car accidents in 2014.’ but can this (albeit plausible) claim actually be proven? Can we isolate cell phone usage as the only variable causing the accident in these cases? Unfortunately plausibility in the Natural Sciences, unlike in History, is not enough of an explanation. The statistic ‘Over 50 percent of adults who use cell phones have walked into someone or something because they were distracted’ is not referenced or supported and while the article goes on to identify individual cases of where cell phones have caused damage, three cases is hardly a representative or large enough sample to claim that ‘more people are getting hurt’. So scaremongering using language to persuade us to change our behaviour – a powerful Way of Knowing indeed, unless we have some critical media literacy skills to call out Fox News.

In the tweeted caption on our RLS photo we see a vague use of language from which we infer something about the woman using our imagination and all of this relies on us having a certain set of beliefs in the first place. So we can’t really identify any one Way of Knowing as the most powerful, instead we need to see them working together to create meaning.

So what are the implications of this conclusion? Well, if the WOKs work together to create meaning, and we all have the same WOKs then we should be able to see people broadly reacting in similar ways. In the responses to the tweet, we see two opposing viewpoints, and the number of people willing to side with one or the other suggests that each person’s opinion is not totally unique and different. And this makes sense when we consider Economics which predicts what large numbers of people will do with their money, or when we consider our ‘herd mentality’ and the desire to do like others, or even in the way we tend to value empathy – how would we be able to understand one another if we were completely different from one another?

And with that I have a pretty comprehensive plan for my TOK presentation. So, when you review this, think about these questions:

-How do I keep the presentation focused on the knowledge question?

-How would this presentation fit the TOK presentation diagram?

-How have I supported my arguments with both evidence and critical reflection on that evidence?






September 17, 2016
by Ann Lautrette

2 + 2 = fish

At BSJ our mission is ‘to inspire, challenge and nurture for excellence’.

But what does it mean ‘to inspire’? What is ‘inspiration’? And why is it so important?

What got me thinking about this was actually a lack of inspiration. I try to write a blog post every Friday, but yesterday I didn’t have anything particularly interesting that I felt inspired to write about. So, last night I sought the help of the littlest member of my family…

‘Oscar’, I said over dinner, ‘I can’t think of anything to write my blog post about today. Any ideas?’

And Oscar said ‘2+2=fish’.

Like a good student of TOK I didn’t just dismiss this out of hand. Rather I asked ‘what do you mean?’ And eight year old Oscar took a post it and a pen and showed me that yes indeed 2+2=fish:

Not Oscar’s drawing: From: https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-explanation-of-this-puzzle-2-+-2-Fish-3-+-3-8-7-+-7-Triangle

So this inspiration from my son inspired me to write about inspiration. Google’s dictionary defines ‘inspiration’ as ‘being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.’ Now that seems both easy and difficult at the same time. All you really need is mental stimulation – ok that’s the easy bit. But, where do you get that from? And how can school ‘inspire’ you?

Reflecting on this, I think the first step to being inspired is to be aware. You really have to pay attention to what’s going on around you because actually this is likely your source of inspiration. I’m always struck by the frequency with which students turn to the internet when asked for ideas. In literature we give students texts to read and one of the first things they do is look up how someone else has interpreted it, but actually this is really not the point of IB literary study – plus literature is about making meaning for you as much as it is about critically assessing the meanings others have made. Similarly in TOK, we’ve started the essay with our year 13 students and they cannot go online to check what they should write their essays about, they have to use what they’ve learned through both shared and personal knowledge and apply TOK concepts to it. This is the whole point of TOK. In the same way, the Extended Essay requires students to come up with their own idea for a research topic and question – there is no point doing what someone else has already done – that won’t add anything to the body of knowledge already in the world and it isn’t the point of the Extended Essay.

So the IB Core is asking students to be inspired and to have inspiration. As a school then, what we do is create the space and the experiences where inspiration can happen. I’m writing this while watching my older son create an animal which can survive in the desert. He’s writing about how his Sponge Spike Snake is covered in spikes which can soak up and store water when needed, but can also turn into hard spikes for protection and sand-digging. This is his Year 5 homework. And I know that this comes after work on animal adaptation and survival and a trip to Taman Mini to see how animals survive. He’s really enjoying the creative process and so I think that’s the perfect example of how, at BSJ, we create that space for inspiration.

But, creating experiences is one part of the picture, the other is the student’s ability to pay attention to those experiences, to reflect on them and to produce something creative out of them.

It’s not easy to pay attention these days. Distraction is everywhere and we are more and more multitasking with technology. How then do we just stop, and pay attention to the world around us? The popularity of mindfulness seems to be a response to this.

So to seek inspiration and to become creative, perhaps practising focus and managing distraction is a great starting point. If we can fully experience what happens around us and stay in the moment we can find inspiration. Perhaps this is something our IB students can think about when they are stuck for ideas to blog about. What’s happened around you? What did it make you think about? Can you apply TOK concepts to it and think out loud in a blog post?

And, if you really get stuck for inspiration, you can always ask an eight year old.




September 9, 2016
by Ann Lautrette
1 Comment

Is all knowledge created equal?

This week we’ve been talking TOK.

Core teachers had two days of training with John Cannings, an IB Core Workshop Leader and co-author of the CAS guide for students. John focused on TOK as the central element of the core, and showed us how we might use the knowledge framework as a way to guide students through the Extended Essay and CAS. John also led a TOK session with all IB teachers – challenging them to identify the Ways of Knowing and Areas of Knowledge, as well as discovering the knowledge framework in their subjects.

Most importantly this week though, our Year 12 students had an introductory afternoon with John where they learned some key TOK concepts such as the difference between shared and personal knowledge, and what we might consider our most reliable sources of knowledge.

What struck me this week is the TOK journey. It’s a scary road for many – a subject no one studies beforehand, which asks unanswerable questions and challenges students to provide an ‘answer’ of sorts. But it’s a journey, and I know this because when asked what was their most reliable source of knowledge, Year 12 students by and large suggested that their senses and experience were it. ‘You can trust what you see’, ‘you’ve experienced it so you know its true’ were typical comments.

But, when I asked this question of my Year 13 TOK class, I got quite a different response. They’re a year down the TOK road, and they’ve learned a few things about sense perception and memory which have led them to question whether we really can trust what we see, hear, smell, taste and touch.

Take this classic illusion for example. There’s a white triangle right? You can see it, so it must be there. Except, it isn’t, there are no lines drawn – but your brain takes the information provided and makes something recognisable to you. Same reason we see a face in this rock. A face, one of the first things you see after birth, something you see close up when as a newborn you can’t see more than 12 inches away, is a high frequency image and your eyes see it where it doesn’t exist.

So, if our eyes can show us things that aren’t there, are we sure this is our most reliable source of knowledge?

How about memory? Experiences? They must be reliable right? Well, are you absolutely sure someone didn’t just tell you that something happened to you when you were small? How would you go about validating that? Watch this little video about implanting false memory. And, think about it, if your memory was so good, why would there be millions of people making money selling you ‘improve your memory’ books and apps?

With Year 13 students we’ve been discussing an Indigenous tribe called the Moken in Thailand. The Moken live on the water and are a nomadic people. They live right in the spot where the 2004 Tsunami hit Asia the hardest – but they survived. They survived because they read the signs in the waves. And because of a story that when the sea draws back it eats people. They ran for the hills before anyone else. Interestingly the Moken can see underwater twice as far as we can – they suppress the automatic dilation reflex of the eyes. So, can we trust in what we see if there is more there but we cannot see it? Human perception is in fact very limited – think dog whistles – so, do we really want to trust in a limited source of knowledge above all others?

You might ask what else we have. Good question. If we can’t trust our senses and our memories, where are our most reliable sources of knowledge?

Some of our Year 12 students said their parents. While that is an admirable response, I’m not sure I want to be considered as the most reliable source of knowledge for my kids. Let’s consider some of the things I’ve said to them already today:

‘Oscar, get your shoes on or we’ll be late for school’ (we arrive at school at 7am every day – late is very unlikely)

‘Max, stop cracking your fingers or they’ll be twisted and gnarly by the time your’re 15’ (unfortunately he caught me out after Googling this one)

And my personal favourite of the day:

‘You didn’t get an automatic Nerf gun for Christmas because Santa didn’t think you were good enough during the year’

Oh dear!

So as we move forward through the TOK course, we’ll try to answer the question of reliable knowledge (although we won’t be able to). We’ll question what we mean by ‘reliable’, ‘trust’ and even ‘knowledge’, and we’ll wrestle with concept questions such as ‘who owns shared knowledge’, ‘is the pursuit of truth always important?’ and ‘is there any knowledge that is too dangerous to pursue?’

It’ll be a challenge and our brains will hurt, but we’ll have some fun too.




April 15, 2016
by Ann Lautrette
1 Comment

Upon Reflection…

Apologies for the ridiculously long time since I’ve posted!

The second half of term 2 and the first half of term 3 are busy in the life of an IB Coordinator. I got to spend a week in India at the IB regional conference which was a great chance to meet like-minded IB people and learn lots about how other schools implement the IB programme. It seems the stresses, difficulties and excitements are fairly universal!

More importantly though I’ve spent the past few weeks ensuring that the IB administrative requirements are met for our Year 13s. This involves getting predicted grades and internal assessment marks sent to IB, as well as posting and uploading samples of coursework. A never-ending and worrisome task it seems at the time, but of course it does end, and I’m nearly there. Alongside that is graduation planning. A big event, a lot to organise, but extremely important for all involved, not least our Year 13 students who are approaching the end of an era!

When things come to an end, we often take time to reflect. What did I do well? What could I have done better? And we often turn these things over in our mind, worrying ‘what if?’ It’s interesting though, that as I write this, Year 12 are busy reflecting on their CAS projects, and yet CAS isn’t at an end. (Does CAS ever end?) That’s because the IB values and promotes continuous reflection. And often we are too busy doing, and trying to complete things, that we forget to stop, think, reflect and try to improve BEFORE something is over. Which seems more sensible really. Why reflect when it is too late to do something about it?

Current research in education, however, shows reflection to be a powerful learning tool for synthesizing learning and understanding the relationship between knowledge and real world application. This term we’re going to be working with Year 12 in Core on strategies for study in advance of the Year 12 end of year exams and one of the things we’ve stressed to students since the beginning is the importance of daily review. Just ten minutes at the end of every day bullet pointing the key learnings from each lesson is a simple form of reflection which assists hugely in memory recall.

But great reflection can go far beyond that, and in IB the elements of the core are linked by reflection.

CAS asks students to reflect on their projects and how to improve them, but also to reflect on their own learning in line with the 7 learning outcomes. It isn’t enough to run a football training session every week – how are you going to make next week’s training session better than this week’s? And what do you learn about yourself in striving to do that?

TOK is about reflecting on the Real Life Situations happening around you all the time (in class, out of class, in the news, in your interactions with others…) and asking, ‘yeah but how do we know…’ It’s a deep form of reflection on the world and our place in it.

The Extended Essay process asks you to reflect on the challenges and benefits of completing the EE, as well as how you are adding to a body of research within an Area of Knowledge.

So, what makes a great reflection?

Well, a good reflection allows you to consider how your personal experiences and observations shape your own thinking and the way you respond to new ideas and experiences. In CAS you need to take time to think about your choices, actions, success and failures, and to try to evaluate why you make such choices, why you act in such a way. In core we’ve been talking a lot recently about mental models – how do these beliefs about the world affect the way you act or respond?

When I was in India we spent some time looking at Hofstede’s  Country Comparison tool which provides a fascinating insight into the cultural aspect of thinking, and explores some of the mental models which may be held by people from different cultures. Of course as TOK students we would be ask ‘how can we know this to be true?’ and ‘isn’t it based on inductive reasoning which may lead to stereotyping or cultural profiling?’ but still, if we can be reflective, we can find it very interesting to consider that people from the UK believe that personal fulfilment is the route to happiness whereas in Indonesia the focus is on family and community above the individual. An interesting question for CAS students to reflect on is how they successfully relate to people who may hold very different values and mental models than they do. This is especially interesting when it comes to service projects. How can you be know that you are acting to support people in the way that they would like, rather than the way that you would like? An oft-repeated mantra is ‘treat others how you would like to treated’, but maybe a greater truth is ‘treat others the way that they would like to be treated’. Perhaps this attempt to understand your own biases and beliefs and how they impact your actions is vitally important before you can begin to try to understand why others act the way they do. But trying to understand the mental models other people hold, and why they act the way they do, and treating people the way they would like to be treated is probably, at least for me, the definition of International-Mindedness.

So a great reflection is personal. It starts with YOU. What do you believe? Why do you believe it? How does that make you act? 

And then it questions. Is that the best way to act in the context?

And then it evaluates. What would be the benefits and problems if I act like that? Do the benefits outweigh the problems?

And then it empathises. Do others want me to act like that? How would that make them feel?

And then it critically assesses. Why might others not feel the same as me? Does that make me or them or both of us right? How would I know?

So, although we tend to reflect after the fact, when all is completed and when we can perhaps no longer do anything about, (of course sometimes we have no choice in that) what happens if we stop, reflect and reshape before we act?



February 27, 2016
by Ann Lautrette

Never assume…

So a family weekend away, visits from family, illness and the mammoth task of reading 85 residential reflections (fantastic by the way!) have kept me away from this blog. But I promised I would discuss some of those residential reflections and award a blogger of the week for the best one, so I’ve finally got my act together this Saturday morning.

To be honest I’m still feeling the sting of jealousy over the residential! Usually I would get to go on this one – spend more time with my IB students and watch them come together in tutor groups and as a year group. However, with Mr Lautrette being the tutor for 12B it was important that he go, and so I stayed home to look after my own children this time round.

But, reading the reflections it is evident how much fun students had. Miss Barnard put in a huge number of hours planning the trip and organising safety and security so the fact that the students had such a great time makes it worth it and I’m pleased to see how many students took time to thank their teachers both in person and on their blogs.

One of the things that struck me was the number of students who started their blogs with ‘I wasn’t looking forward to it…’ ‘We’ve been there before…’, ‘My friends convinced me to go…’ and the fact that none of these blogs ended with ‘and I was right all along..it was rubbish..’ Everyone of these blogs said how wrong they had been.

I think this is important. It’s important because it demonstrates the humble skill of admitting you could be wrong – that’s good, that’s reflective and an important basis of successful relationship building. I also think there is a lesson to be learned about assumptions.

When I was a kid, my mum used to tell me, ‘never assume, you make an ass out of u and me’. She thought it was a funny play on words with a little lesson there, but it’s amazing how it has stuck with me as a sort of mantra. And I’ve definitely learned the truth of it over the years!

We learn in TOK about reason and inductive reasoning and the way we essentially generalise from an assumption. Really, this is at the root of stereotyping. We take a look at someone and assume all sorts of things about them based completely on our own experiences and beliefs. A related concept in TOK is the notion of Confirmation Bias. This means that we have a tendency to look for what confirms our own beliefs and ignore stuff that contradicts what we believe or assume.

In asking our students to write about two people who surprised them on the residential, Miss Barnard had them challenge their assumptions and asked then to circumvent their confirmation bias.

If we are to fulfil the mission of making the world a better place, then being cognisant of the assumptions we make and acting to challenge those assumptions rather than confirming them seems to me to be really important. Mr Thirkell talks often about the fact that in CAS our students challenge assumptions. Kids at Sekolah Bisa, no birth certificates. their fate seemingly sealed by society based on assumptions of what poverty entails, and our students act against that, to give them education, health and a place in society. I listened to Lukas and Raven explain to prospective parents about BERTHA this week, and what struck me was the way they challenged the assumption of us at BSJ that the old computers we had were now worthless, and what good their challenge is now doing for the world.

These are big examples of something which can also be very small but no less important. What assumptions do we make about others on a daily basis? How often do we believe we know what someone else is thinking, or why they are behaving in a certain way? And, wouldn’t it be better just to ask? To approach others with understanding, to discuss, to listen, but not to assume that what we see is the full story.

And the important thing, kindness costs nothing. 

While Year 12 were away on residential it was ‘random act of kindness week’ at BSJ. Honestly, my first thoughts were that we shouldn’t need a special week just to be kind, but actually throughout that week lots of people did little extra things which really brightened up our days at school. Someone left an apple on my desk with a note that said ‘eat me’. A simple thing, but the fact that someone was looking out for me meant a huge amount. The residential blog posts are filled with acts of kindness: ‘I never knew that Hyo Jun was so positive’, ‘Ji Woo’s painting skills are amazing’, ‘Wilson was so confident and brave in the lip-sync challenge’. I so hope that Year 12 can keep this positive, kind, assumption-challenging spirit throughout the rest of IB and in the years to come!

I want to highlight some posts that stand out of all the residential reflections.

Blog post of the weekRania provides a wonderful dose of positivity and Owen even manages to find a positive memory for Mr Morris and a paintball shot to the head! I loved Audrey’s post which takes post of the week for being reflective, detailed and highly entertaining.


Blogger of the Week though has to be Valerie, who all in all wrote 4 reflective blog posts on the residential, including what she learned about herself and others and plenty of pictures to entertain us. Well done Valerie!

bloggerofthe weekbadge

From what I’ve read, all of Year 12 who attended the residential learned something, GrowthMindsetBadgechallenged themselves and grew together as tutor groups and as a year group. They all deserve a special badge…


I leave you with a link, to 20 things you should never assume. Number 1 I think is a good reminder for teachers, parents and students everywhere. It’s frustrating sometimes, but very true. Number 2 is a big deal. IB students, there is no shame in asking for help – in fact the very opposite is what hurts your credibility. As teachers is is hard to understand – we are here to help you, but not everybody is willing to say ‘hey I don’t get it, help me out’ or ‘I’m struggling, I need some support’. I have daily conversations with students where I ask ‘so, have you asked your teacher about that?’ and the answer is ‘no’.

It is hard to see what good can come from burying your head in the sand…

Number 21: Don’t assume your teachers will be angry if you ask for help with something.



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