1. Can you please introduce yourself to our LIS community?
My name is Jarrett Brown, and I am the Middle Years Program (MYP) Coordinator at Léman. I am here with my wife, Wendy, who is from Suzhou, China, and our 2 children, Cheyenne and Austin. This is my third year at Léman. We were attracted originally to Léman by the wonderful city atmosphere of Chengdu, the optimistic supporting attitude of the Léman environment, and the challenge of getting Léman authorized for the IB and MYP.
2. As the MYP Coordinator, how did you lead the programme at LIS and support students to thrive in their MYP learning?
When I first came to Léman, the school was going through the authorization process of getting approved by the IBO. Our teachers did a lot of work over two years to prepare for the IBO authorization visit. Additionally, our students learned all about the inquiry process, Learner Profile traits, and Approaches to Learning skills to prepare them for next steps in life. The MYP has been proven to best prepare students for the Diploma Program (DP), and it also teaches about inquiry, balance and empathy for others, which I appreciate are the best parts of the programme. The school has made a great choice in following the MYP program as it best prepares our students for their next steps in life.
3. How are students challenged by the MYP?
The MYP is focused around conceptual and inquiry-based learning. This puts the focus purely on the student. Whereas traditional curricula are more focused on teacher delivery and memory, the MYP asks students to develop skills and attributes to prepare them for the real world. Students initially can have difficulties adjusting to this style of curriculum because it asks them to have higher levels of thinking. However, when they start to understand the inquiry-based method, they retain more information and knowledge and are better positioned overall for success.
4. What are the benefits for students who study MYP?
Along with the inquiry-based approach, the MYP also encourages students to be balanced and caring individuals who understand and empathize with the world around them. Universities are increasingly interested in students’ portfolios (what they do outside of class time), and the MYP allows students to inquire and enjoy activities which they want to do. We have the CASE program at the school, which stands for Creative, Active, Service and Enrichment. This encourages students to find their passion and also consider the world around them. Additionally, the Community Project in Year 9 and the Personal Project in Year 11 give students the opportunity to do a service project and develop a project about a personal interest. All of these opportunities give students a great chance to build their portfolio for future success.
5. Congratulations to you for your recent appointment as the IB Consultant and Team Leader for Asia! Can you please share with us how you have been successfully appointed to this position?
I have been working with the IBO for over seven years as a Workshop Leader, Site Visitor and Building Quality Curriculum unit reviewer for schools. I have been collaborating with schools, curriculum coordinators, and teachers to help improve their MYP programs. As a school visitor, I make recommendations to the IBO about the school’s progress. After a number of years of visits, the IBO decided I was perfect for the role of Consultant and Team Leader. The application process was very long, and I started discussions in 2018 for the position. The IBO had two checkpoints to narrow the field of applicants, and I was fortunate to be picked as Consultant and Team Leader.
6. What are your responsibilities for your new role?
There are several important responsibilities of the new role. As a Consultant, I will prepare schools to be ready for MYP authorization. My position at Léman has greatly helped me for the Consultant position because I worked closely with our own Consultant to ensure MYP authorization. The whole process for MYP consultancy can take about one year. As Team Leader, I will lead the MYP evaluation visit to ensure the school is prepared for MYP and give recommendations for what they need to improve in their program. I will write up the report for recommendations to the IB.
7. How will your new role benefit the MYP provision at LIS?
The MYP Coordinator position at Léman helped me become Consultant and Team Leader, and I can also support Léman with my new position. As a Consultant and Team Leader, I have to stay up to date on the most recent MYP changes so I always have the newest information concerning the MYP. Additionally, I can bring back best practices from other schools to implement here at Léman.
8. How will you continue to help our MYP students to achieve outstanding academic results?
With the MYP and DP at our school, we are well situated to continue bringing the most successful academic curricula to our students. Standardized testing in Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) supports our rigorous curriculum. Studies have shown that the DP and MYP best prepare students for university preparation due to the inquiry-based nature and skill development of the curriculums. We will also continue to ensure that students have a personalized approach highlighted by the IB mission statement. Every student is different, and it is our obligation to give everyone an education that challenges the child and reinforces his/her development, all while making students aware and compassionate of others in an international world.