This year’s IB scheduling is a disaster


Stephanie Liang

The IB student body at BVH is need of more teachers willing to take on the curriculum in order to be supported. The attention of BVH’s current IB instructors is in high demand by students.

International Baccalaureate (IB) courses are considered a valuable commodity to have listed on one’s high school transcripts. For students at Bonita Vista High (BVH) who yearn for the challenge of Internal Assessments (IAs) and crave the rewards that come with them, the infamous rigor of these classes do little to stop them from pursuing the IB diploma. Little do they know, the most difficult challenge posed to them will not come from long hours of biology flashcards or extensive research papers, but from the need for teachers interested and available to teach IB classes at BVH. There’s a clear demand for IB teachers, as numerous issues stem from their short supply. 

In order to give more support to students while they pursue a unique education and to strengthen the IB program on campus, BVH needs more teachers taking on IB classes. 

The IB program advertises itself as an “experimental” kind of learning, in which students have the freedom to explore the subjects that interest them. The official IB website describes how students are given the opportunity to “drive their own learning.” Aside from the required number of Higher Level (HL) and Standard Level (SL) courses for those pursuing the diploma program, there is nothing stopping students from choosing the career path they want to take while studying the required six subject groups. 

However, that “freedom” becomes restricted in the case that there aren’t enough IB teachers to teach the course for more than two periods. At BVH, there are a number of IB teachers whose IB courses are locked to one or two periods, unlike normal classes that offer a wide variety of class periods to students who are attempting to fit it into their schedule. This becomes a huge issue to IB students who want to “drive their own learning” by diversifying their class list, as a significant number of IB classes are experiencing this.

IB classes are not flexible, and with the way that schedule changes currently work at BVH, students who decide to challenge themselves with IB classes may find it extremely difficult to add these courses to their schedules.”

— Alexa Vasquez

IB classes are not flexible, and with the way that schedule changes currently work at BVH, students who decide to challenge themselves with IB classes may find it extremely difficult to add these courses to their schedules. In the worst cases, students may find themselves having to sacrifice an extra curricular or a class in order to sign up for IB courses that are only available for a specific period. According to a poll conducted by the Crusader, 72.6 percent of students at BVH feel that they would benefit from IB classes being offered with a wider range of periods available to take them. A system that seemingly restricts students from being “risk-takers,” as the IB program encourages, calls for a change at BVH. 

Additionally, a lower number of IB teachers means less variety in IB courses. There are a total of 57 possible IB courses to choose from that fall under the core six subjects: Studies in Language and Literature, Language Acquisition, Individuals and Societies, Sciencies, Mathematics and The Arts. Courses like World Religion, Philosophy, Dance and Film are examples of classes that can be taught through the IB program, and would offer students the opportunity to pursue their own interests in their education. While there was an attempt to integrate these classes at BVH, many cannot be brought onto campus without more teachers interested in teaching them. 

Having more teachers would allow for a greater diversity of courses to be offered, and would strengthen the interest students have in pursuing IB as it would encourage them to seek an education that interests them. It allows for students to take charge of their own learning, something that IB promotes as one of its unique selling points. 

By installing students with an interest in the courses they take, it may also encourage students to pursue the subject outside of the classroom; it’s a fulfilling experience that teachers seek when a course they teach inspires a student and piques their interest. More teachers should consider taking on an IB course that they’re interested in, as they’ll help encourage “critical thinking, self-reflection and dedication to lifelong learning” in students, according to the official IB website

Not only will having more teachers instructing IB courses encourage students to seek out a more unique kind of education, but will also provide the teacher with a diverse curriculum that can inspire students to pursue these subjects outside of the classroom. Although it is ultimately the student’s choice to select the courses they want, an interest in education starts with the right educator. Therefore, IB teachers at BVH should strive to be those educators that inspire their students to take responsibility for their own learning.