IB Scores came back today.
First of all, I had no idea how the scores would be communicated to me. Would I be able to access them? Would I just have to hear randomly from the kids? I didn't know.
I received a couple of texts from kids telling me what they got, so it started off randomly. Then, however, I check my work e-mail -- which I am not in the habit of checkign during the summer -- and found an email from my IB coordinator with all the scores.
I was on my phone, and couldn't open the attachment, so I forwarded it to my gmail and was able to open it from there. It took forever and I was really nervous.
The night before, I spent much of the night lying awake, worried that I'd screwed something. For example, there is a clause that I know I read in one of the IB manuals about the "world lit" text that I could choose for Part III of the curriculum. It could be from their world lit list, or it could from elsewhere. The issue was whether the "world lit" had to be in English or not. There was a clause that said it did not, as long as the culture was different than the student's culture. Aravind Adiga's The White Tiger fit all these criteria, but I had all these fears that somehow it didn't, and that all of my students' scores would be invalidated because of that sort of technical screwup.
I also have a lot to live up to; my department has a several years-streak of 90-95% pass rates on the IB Exams for English, and this was my first year teaching the class, I had to live up to it. It all started with a guy who is my Teaching Mentor. He's since gone on to a different state, but is closely in touch with us. I'm the fourth one to have the class handed off to since this teacher's departure, and they all have been able to maintain the standard that he had set.
Plus, I taught the class of 2010 twice, so I really needed to do well because it was all on me. I've taught every class of students in the last decade of my school, at least once, and the Class of 2010 had its share of issues. The number of IB students in the class was considerably less than previous years, ostensibly because, overall, the class just had its share of issues. I don't know how else to put it, but "The Dimes," as they were called, were memorable for a lot of the wrong reasons -- despite a lot of great kids, of course.
Well, the numbers came back today, and 37 of 41 passed. That's a decent 90.2% pass rate. I'm a bit fixated on the four who didn't get it, but what I should remember about them is that they could have had 1's or 2's -- getting to a 3 was a big step for them. One of them hadn't passed the HSA in English, yet was challenging herself with IB. I love that sort of self-challenge and all those kids towards the bottom in terms of skills hopefully gained a lot of skills for college.
Slightly more disconcerting are the bright kids who I know could have done better. There were no 7's, just a handful of 6's and 5's, and mostly 4's. I think this is because the IB rubric really does reward what you do, so the average kid can pass -- it just takes a lot to move beyond that. Still... that's going to be one of my goals next year, to help those kids get 5's and 6's instead of 4's and 5's. Maybe even a couple 7's (which we haven't had, as a school, in a few years).
I've been reflecting a lot during the summer so far about the course and how I can make it better next year. I've already thought a lot about it, and this just adds fuel to my fire. Overall, this is a pretty good start to my tenure teaching the course, but, more importantly, a springboard to pushing myself farther.
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