Taking the leap - Lessons I learnt as a first time DP & EE Coordinator

Acronyms, deadlines, submissions, e-coursework....The list goes on and on for a first-time coordinator, whether DP, TOK, or Extended Essay. It can all be quite daunting! We all attended training sessions where we learned so much, only to return back to school and feel a slight tremor of panic as we try to recall everything shared. But this is when we must embody the IB Learner Profile: I have found my need to embrace the ideals of Risk-Taker and Communication.

Risk-takers are not jumping over cliffs without parachutes. But risk-takers entertain the idea of the cliff with the parachute and appropriate equipment. They weigh the risks and do the proper leg-work for a possible jump that ends successfully. Coordinators must weigh the options of how to attack the various modules in the IBDP. How will I begin the Extended Essay? How will I ensure that teachers, parents, and most importantly, students know where we are going and how to get there? We must all take the jump but we all also need to check our equipment, measure the conditions, and ensure success as best we can.

My advice for this embodies the next trait in the IB Learner Profile: Communicator. A leader must communicate, communicate, communicate. Communicate with your staff with transparency, honesty, and the best of intentions. Share your feelings with students in order to be more approachable. Invite parents to be active participants in the learning journey. Communicate your anxieties, your successes, and your needs.

And speaking of needs, a coordinator in the diploma programmes has many. These needs can and will be met in the IB community: reach out! Find programmes in your local community and share best practices and resources when possible. Use the many resources for collaboration that are available through MyIB and online on different platforms. Reach out to trusted partners, such as Callido, that can help you and your students meet their goals with trusted expertise.

The joys of coordination are intertwined with our frustrations; never forget this! When we meet the edge of the cliff, the anxiety builds along with fear and loss of trust in ourselves. But with effective communication with all of the stakeholders in a child’s education is where we find the renewal of purpose and the confidence to help equip our students to take their leaps in life.

Eric Barrett

DP & EE Coordinator

Dunecrest American Academy

Callido's Extended Essay Companion is a structured roadmap that enables students to acquire and demonstrate skills for each subject group in accordance with the EE criteria and frees up supervisor time for individual guidance. Visit this page to know more!


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