Illumination Inc

Illumination Inc is a Junior Support Programme for MYP students. The aim of this program was to help struggling students to overcome their academic difficulties by teaching them in a more personal and fun way. As experienced MYP students, we know how the program works, what the school’s approach is and what the pressure points of this program are. Currently, we are teaching Grade 9 and 10 students, but in Term 2, we will open the program for Grade 7 and 8 students as well.

In the program, the four of us founders teach one subject each based on our strengths and interests. I teach Language and Literature because it was one of my most scoring subjects back in MYP. We originally began with compulsory weekly sessions, however we noticed that the attendance was dwindling, likely due to the strain online classes caused. As an alternative, we decided to have sessions based on the student requirements on request-basis.

An example of a presentation for Illumination Inc: Language and Literature.

An example of a Test

Class Code: a4gfr5s

LO 1: Identify their own strengths and develop areas for personal growth.

My strengths during this project included the fact that I am very organised and meticulous. I had all of my resources, like the central presentation, practice questions, calendar invites, etc, ready from the get go. While I was good at the subject itself, there were a lot of problems communicating with the students because at times I grew frustrated when they could not understand what I deemed simple enough. Due to this, I had to reflect on my teaching and my session plans after each session to understand what went well and what did not. From this I learned that my session plans and resources were appropriate, but I needed to work on my delivery and examples. There were times when I could not articulate my thoughts properly or could not present the ideas clearly. This led me to create a list of goals to better myself so that I could help my students become better.

LO 2: Demonstrate that they have undertaken challenges, developing new skills in the process.

One of the greatest challenges I faced was maintaining the students’ attention, especially via video chat. Most students were uncomfortable with keeping their cameras on, and while I did understand their reasons, it was quite awkward to teach without knowing whether people were understanding what I was saying or not. However, this helped me develop communication skills since I began to actively call on my students and tried to make the sessions as engaging as possible.

In addition to this, I struggled with finding good resources, because MYP is a comparatively newer programme and very few free resources are available. I ended up using CBSE texts for comprehensions and prompts just so I could give an example to the students. This wasn’t a very good idea, because CBSE and IB are two very different boards. I tried using my answers from exams and summatives, but that did not work out well either, since they were not always exemplary. Ultimately, I ended up creating questions for the students myself based on my understanding of the subject.

LO 3: Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience.

This project is a great example of how to initiate and plan an experience. We had it comparatively easy because this was a continuation of Illumination Inc from last year, which was lead by us as well. Due to this, we already had the approval of the coordinators and process organisers, so our work was easier. However, there was still a lot of work to get it approved as a CAS experience, getting approval for our resources and communication, having those sent out, etc. This actually helped me plan my other experiences better because I already knew how to communicate with the authorities and how to get work done.

LO4: Show commitment and perseverance in their CAS experience.

I demonstrated commitment and perseverance in this project because I dedicated a lot of time and effort for this project. We have frequent internal meetings to discuss our plan of action and completed tasks. We also have meetings with supervisors and other teachers in order to review our progress and discuss other technicalities. I completed all of my tasks prior to the deadline so that any edits or revision could be done as required. 

LO5: Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively. 

We definitely showcased collaboration skills during the project. Although the five of us taught different subjects, we tried to equally divide all the tasks outside of teaching in order to complete them in a timely manner. In addition to this, there were collaborations across our subjects as well so that we could teach to the best of our abilities. We also had to collaborate with school authorities and our students in order to make the best of this situation. 

LO7: Recognise and consider the ethics of choices and actions.

While it does not appear that ethics will play a role in such an experience, it did. As ex-students, we have access to a lot of past papers, session plans and resources. It would make our job really easy if we could simply just give them the papers and let them prepare for their exams using them as templates. However, we collectively decided not to share our exam papers or responses in order to make it fair for students who were not part of the program and also so our ethics were not compromised.

Learner Profiles

I have demonstrated several learner profiles:

  • Thinker – I used my critical thinking skills for problem solving and last minute changes, such as the type of sessions we took, altering session plans based on requests, etc. I used my creative thinking skills while marketing our program and persuading students to join.
  • Reflective – I assessed and evaluated my strengths and weaknesses regularly during the course to try to improve on my self-management skills and thinking skills. I also had to judge the effectiveness of my teaching after each session.
  • Communicator –  I effectively communicated with different stakeholders like students, other members of my group, teachers, supervisors, coordinators, etc, through different forms of communication.
  • Knowledgeable – I shared my knowledge about MYP and Language and Literature as a subject with my students.

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