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Why I teach: Challenging students to improve

Do you remember a teacher who really inspired you? In this series of posts from IB alumni who became IB teachers, we find out what inspired them to take the journey from student to educator

In Ecuador, Lay Ching studied the IB Diploma Programme (DP) at the Colegio Politécnico in Guayaquil, graduating in 2005. She now teaches business management and extended essay at Unidad Educativa Bilingüe Nueva Semilla, also in Guayaquil.

My whole experience as an IB student was wonderful. I remember the passion that each of my teachers set in the programme. The way they taught inspired me to be committed. They shared their personal experiences and applied these to the classes.

“My creativity, activity and service (CAS) programme developed my sense of responsibility towards others even if I didn’t know them. The day we finished CAS, the ladies we worked with were so grateful that they showed us their love by preparing a meal for us. Maybe it’s because of my culture, but the sense of sharing a meal is so important because it shows love, care and service. It was so meaningful to experience that.

“The internal assessments and extended essay gave me the opportunity to develop a variety of skills. We had camping trips to collect information and visited businesses.

As a student, developing skills such as self-management, empathy and social skills were what shaped my character the most. Thanks to that, I was challenged in my beliefs and I realized that life is not just about getting A grades or learning content. I later became president of the International Student Association at my university. Years later, it has helped me to be a teacher whom students can trust. It has helped me mediate between parents and students.

After graduating from university, I worked and studied in the USA and China, then later moved back to Ecuador. One of my IB teachers invited me to talk to students about my experience in the IB. I also met the English coordinator who told me she wanted me on her team. I accepted and realized the passion I have for teaching. I didn’t listen to my family and friends who didn’t understand how, after being involved in business, I would want to be a teacher. I believe every day I fall more in love with teaching. As teachers, we shape the world.

“I’m so happy to see how, as a teacher, I am able to challenge my students to become better people. I was overjoyed to see one of my students with physical limitations integrate with the others when, in the past, he had stayed in the classroom the whole day.

“The day students presented their individual projects, I loved seeing how the work was done. One of the quietest students was able to give a clear and precise speech. How can one not fall in love with a profession that lets you see that you are transforming the world?”.

This story is part of our 50th anniversary celebrations in 2018. Look out for #weareIB—a campaign to thank and celebrate the wonderful IB educators who make the world a better place through their innovative educational practices. Join the campaign by posting messages using #weareIB or contact us by email about someone you think we should contact for a story.

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