Shirisha Kondury -IBDP Coordinator, IB Math and TOK facilitator- CHIREC International School – Hyderabad
An engineer by profession with a bachelors in electrical engineering from Mumbai University and a Masters in electrical engineering from University of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, Shirisha Kondury joined CHIREC International School in December 2016 and has been working as the IB Diploma program coordinator and IB Math and TOK facilitator in the school.
The IB Curriculum
IB is a philosophy more than a curriculum, students and teachers are partners in this journey of teaching and learning and ensure knowledge transfer is bi-directional.
IB trains students to learn not just from their teacher but their peers, their environment, their challenges and their personal experiences. So a student looks at every experience as a learning opportunity.
CHIREC IB Program
CHIREC stands for Children’s Happiness, Inspiration, Recreation, Education and Celebration.
The IB program at CHIREC International School is meant for16-18-year-old students who have just completed their grade 10 and most of our classrooms have students coming from varied curricula (state syllabus, CBSE, ICSE and MYP). The diversity enhances the classroom experience because students bring with them their learning and the teacher ensures their strengths are leveraged appropriately during learning.
Also, IB allows students to show evidence of their learning in a variety of opportunities. They have case studies in Business and Psychology, analysis and interpretation in English and History, research, experimentation and exploration in Math and science internal assessments, oral commentaries in languages, presentation in TOK, commentary writing on articles in Economics etc. So students get an opportunity to use varied skills and discover what are their values, interests, skills and aspirations (we call it VISA power) over the two years. This makes them better prepared for making informed decisions for higher education, career and even choosing the right college based on the culture and student demographics.
The presence of an IB school should have a positive and meaningful impact on the environment around the school.For example, CHIREC’s establishment in Kondapurhas contributed to real estate growth, generated employment opportunities in the school and increased the number of school going, children. Three government schools inthe vicinity are also supported by CHIREC.
Teaching high school students is like Andragogy (teaching adults) because they think, inquire and challenge you in your subject and ensure you delve deeper into knowing your subject well.
As a student, I prepared for myself, but as a teacher, I need to anticipate questions of 20 odd students in my class and cater to varied learning pace and learning style and hence need to be that much more clear of my subject at a conceptual level.
My favourite topic in mathematics is Functions and mathematical modelling because I get to showcase how mathematics helps explain, process and predict data in various fields like business, physics, psychology, economics, sports, music, art etc and thus make students experience the beauty and magic of mathematics. It also makes them see the relevance of the subject in their daily lives.
Over the years, I have worked to build a class environment where students experience the Aha moments of learning when they discover how the subject is more outside the textbook than within it.
What teaching has taught me
In IB, starting to teach TOK has got the biggest difference in my approach. I have become less rigid, more open to perspectives and started respecting student opinions and ideas far more. This makes me less judgemental about things and I am able to assure students that being good in mathematics doesn’t always mean getting an A grade in assessments, it is also about appreciating patterns in nature, it is also about effortlessly doing statistical analysis of their favourite sport, being good at budgeting and being intuitive about space and measurement when playing sports.
The biggest surprise in teaching has been that I entered my class to teach and I ended up learning more. I always say this in my class that as a student I was a mean person who used to be worried only about my own grades and performance but as a teacher, I have become more meaningful where I derive happiness out of the success of other people.
Teaching is the only profession where you work to promote others and sincerely pray for their success and growth.
CHIREC INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL
1-55/12, CHIREC Avenue,
Kotgaguda PO, Kondapur
email@example.com (vice principal operations)