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Why attend a Professional Development workshop?

Bas.Nijboer.behind.his.deskBas Nijboer recently joined the IB’s Professional Development (PD) department as Registration & Promotions Coordinator for the Africa, Europe and Middle East. Here, he reflects on his first experience of an IB workshop.

As part of my new job, I attended my first professional development workshop in Athens at the end of April. This offered me the opportunity to observe the practice and impact of PD at first hand. As both participants and facilitators revealed their experiences, this enhanced my perception of the added value of PD. Especially as some participants’ perceptions also changed over the course of the days that they completed their workshop. Here are a few of the quotes I felt were memorable:

“The MYP is like a parcel, the more you unwrap, the more fascinating the content becomes.”–MYP Educators at their first workshop

Bas in Athens

My beautiful evening view of Athens

“I know the team at my school will also learn a lot from what I took from the workshop.”–IB Primary Years Programme Teacher

“The willingness of participants to share resources at the end of the workshop was astounding. We had to increase our Dropbox capacity.”–DP Philosophy facilitator

“Some teachers were in real despair about how to combine the IB requirements with their national educational standards. At the end of the workshop they left with hope and optimism about their ability to do so.”–DP languages facilitator

All these observations helped me shed light on the hidden benefits of PD. The insight I gained is that participants learn more than just the skills and knowledge listed in the workshop description. They often leave with a deeper understanding of their teaching practice, gain shared resources to bring back to their schools and a renewed sense of confidence.


Visual Arts Facilitator Ramila Patal

Visual Arts Facilitator Ramila Patal, showing a participant experience graph

What is your most memorable moment from a professional development workshop? We’d love to hear your thoughts about Professional Development workshops. Reply in the comment section below or send me an e-mail at In addition, visit our website for an overview of all of the IB’s workshops and events.