This article originally appeared in IB Global News, which provides an array of news and information about IB programmes, professional development and research.
Marie-Thérèse Honygloh is an MYP teacher at the Arc en Ciel International School in Lomé, Togo – the first French Internatonal school in Togo. Lomé is the capital of Togo and is located on the north coast of the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa. The school serves a diverse group of 480 students ranging from age two to 18 years and from a diverse mix of both local and international heritage.
Why did you decide to become an IB teacher?
I discovered the IB after following the Togolese national curriculum for seven years and I was attracted to its many advantages. I like the fact that I always need to be in search of knowledge so that I can fulfil my role of helping learners to acquire knowledge. I find it impressive that students are constantly faced with “the real world” during
their IB learning experience so that they develop abilities that will enable them to have an active role in improving their community. The rich variety of approaches to teaching and learning that are offered by the IB programmes can only inspire and motivate teachers—I find the noble character of the teaching profession more tangible within these programmes. In their supporting and guiding role, I find that IB teachers are continually developing their professional profile. I also became fully engaged with our school philosophy which stresses that IB teaching is
- the integration of moral development and intellectual development so as to nurture charismatic leaders
- the independence accorded to pupils regarding their learning and the respect given to the social reality of all learners
- a culture focused on the unity of all those involved in the education of our students (teachers, administrators, learners and parents).
What aspects of the IB are most helpful/valuable to your students?
Here at Arc en Ciel, the most valuable aspects for our students include: the fact that the learner profile is at the very core of educational activities within the IB programmes is incredibly valuable; the MYP’s focus on inquiry skills that places the student at the heart of the process; the way that the extended essay gives students the opportunity to reveal something of themselves, to be risk-takers, communicators and to prepare for success at university level; the whole range of academic and CAS activities in the IB Diploma Programme that help to develop reflective, open-minded individuals.
What do you find most challenging as a teacher?
I can sometimes find it a little challenging to help some of my students in making connections to the real world through all the concepts studied!
How is your school preparing for the MYP changes?
We have been piloting the MYP curriculum changes for Individuals and Societies since September 2012. The teachers involved will now act as valuable points of contact for all our teachers as the changes are full MYP changes are implemented later this year. Personally, the monitoring all the MYP units will certainly help me adapt to this exciting next chapter.
What impact has your school had on the local community?
Our school is actively involved with the local community through a variety of CAS projects, personal projects and the extended essays. We have great partnership activities with local councils, schools and associations. Through these collaborations we aim to support local children at the local orphanage and health centres. We are developing a real synergy with other local schools thanks to all these activities.