Leadership workshops

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School leadership plays a pivotal role in student learning outcomes at all levels of education.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) has developed a suite of six Leadership workshops to provide IB leaders with opportunities for conversation, reflection and growth, as they inquire into school context, community and culture, as well as the global IB ecosystem.

The workshops provide the opportunity for educators to develop their ability to lead people with varied values, beliefs and expectations; ultimately building communities of learners who are inspired to create a better world through education.

Whether you are an experienced or aspiring leader, the IB Leadership workshops will provide you with practical strategies and approaches to develop, apply, challenge and refine your own leadership capabilities.

The workshops are facilitated by experienced IB World School leaders and members of the IB educator network (IBEN), representing a wide range of school contexts around the world. Instructors bring a breadth of knowledge and understanding of the complexities involved with leading in an IB World School.

IB Leadership suite

Through the new IB Leadership workshops, you can expect to:

  • expand your leadership knowledge and skills by exploring the IB’s leadership intelligence framework, strategies and protocols
  • develop strategies for fostering new community partnerships
  • expand your capacity to lead, manage and grow your school team
  • learn how to design and develop your school’s mission and vision
  • discover new strategies for explaining and/or promoting ‘What is an IB education?’ to your learning community.

Catering for IB leaders at all levels, there is an opportunity for educators to benefit from one or more workshops. Find out which of the sessions are right for you.

Leaders engage the community

Suitable for: All school leaders.

In this session, school leaders of all levels will consider how effective communication with the local community has the power to leverage its expertise, thereby fostering interdependent, diverse and inclusive relationships.

You will explore how to:

  • explore agency for all community members
  • build greater, more inclusive relationships with your community;
  • engage strategically with your community to extend student learning.

Practical application: Participants will select a specific community to nurture a partnership within their context. They will apply community leadership strategies from the workshop to further develop the specific community partnership or to develop a new partnership.


Navigating leadership

Suitable for: Aspiring leaders, including educators moving into leadership, coordination or deputy/assistant principal roles; experienced leaders who are new to the IB.

All IB World School leaders articulate a clear purpose for learning to ensure that learners thrive to make a difference in our ever-changing world.

In this session, you will explore how to:

  • effectively prepare for interviews for leadership roles
  • develop strategies to overcome barriers and challenges, often in complex situations
  • use the IB leadership intelligence framework when managing change
  • create a leadership philosophy.

Practical application: This workshop is built around key questions that an IB leader may be asked when being interviewed for an IB leadership position. Each question goes to the core aspects of leadership within an IB World School so that leaders feel confident and are prepared ahead of interviews.


Leading and managing teams

Suitable for: Middle leaders, including team leaders, coordinators, deputy/assistant principals and librarians.

Professional inquiry and team learning are at the very core of the IB’s approach to programme development. In this workshop, you will discover new strategies to lead and manage a multitude of teams and team structures, while maximizing team learning and development that results in positive outcomes throughout the IB World School.

You will explore how to:

  • use a variety of leadership and management strategies to focus your team on learning
  • sustain and grow your team by focusing on the needs of the learning community
  • encourage your team to engage in discussion about pedagogy.

Practical application: Participants will choose an inquiry question around what they would like to have further conversations on with their team back at school. They will design the conversation using protocols and strategies demonstrated in the workshop.


Leading an IB education

Suitable for: Middle leaders and senior leaders, including directors, US district leaders, principals/Head of Schools and individuals moving into those roles.

During this workshop, IB leaders will inquire into developing effective approaches to learning and teaching, thereby increasing intercultural understanding through a curriculum that is broad, balanced, conceptual and connected.  

You will explore how to: 

  • apply approaches to learning and teaching to help students develop the attitudes and skills they need for both academic and personal success
  • draw upon a range of IB leadership intelligence to further develop your programmes
  • build your ability to connect learning through global issues that transcend the academic disciplines.

Practical application: Participants will discuss strategies on how to apply the IB’s key messages on ‘What is an IB education?’ and promoting the benefits to their learning community groups.

Leading mission, vision and strategy

Suitable for: Senior leaders, including directors, US district leaders, principals/Head of Schools and individuals moving into those roles.

The mission of an IB leader is to develop internationally-minded individuals who are empowered to be agents of change in the world. During this workshop, you will have the opportunity to reflect on your unique school context, while learning from voices of other IB World School leaders from across the globe.

 You will explore how to:

  • strategically design your school’s vision to align with the IB’s mission
  • develop internationally-minded people who recognize their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet
  • initiate impactful change in your school and your local and global community.

Practical application: Participants can use their learning from this workshop to plan and consider their next steps in bringing about the change they wish to see in school operations, with the theme of ‘creating a better world through education’.


Leading an IB learning organization

Suitable for: Senior leaders, including directors, US district leaders, principals/Head of Schools and individuals moving into those roles.

IB leaders are responsible for designing and sustaining learning environments where students and staff are encouraged to continually expand their skills, attitudes and dispositions. Through this workshop you will develop a greater understanding of your role in the learning organization, as a designer, mentor and teacher.

You will explore how to:

  • challenge prevailing mental models with new ideas and innovative methods in order to bring about change
  • apply sense-making*, systems thinking and activity theory to build a shared vision and continually develop your IB programme(s)
  • develop strategic aims that align with the IB programme standards and practices.

*Each school needs to make sense of what it means to be an IB World School within their own specific context. There is no-size-fits-all approach to being an IB World School—instead, it is about a symbiotic relationship between the IB and its schools, focused on organizational growth. 

Practical application: This workshop is centred around identifying a systemic problem or challenge participants are facing in their school context and applying the key ideas of sense-making, systems thinking and activity theory to work through the issue. Leaders will leave with practical strategies and protocols to further develop their programmes by writing a case study based on their problem or challenge.


Additional leadership workshops

In addition to the new suite of IB Leadership workshops, the following workshops target other specific areas of importance for school leaders.

Leading well-being in the school community

The IB has foundational approaches to support well-being in schools. We take a student-centric approach that values and nurtures learners’ diverse talents and strengths in today’s world. This workshop will give you the tools to develop, plan and implement an inclusive school well-being programme. It will do so through the lens of professional inquiries: What is well-being? Why focus on well-being? How can we teach well-being? How do we flourish?

Building partnerships with parents

Parents know their children better than anyone else and clearly have the largest stake in their child’s success and progress at school. As a group, parents represent a significant stakeholder within a school’s community and contribute in many ways to the community’s success.

The IB programme documentation makes regular reference to schools working in partnership with parents to support students in their learning. Establishing partnerships requires school leaders to play a pivotal role in enabling and fostering effective relationships with parents. This workshop will explore the notions of community and partnership and the responsibilities that schools, their leadership team and parents have in creating and sustaining effective relationships.

Leading through an understanding of finance and accounting

Through this workshop, you will inquire into the role of finance and accounting in IB World Schools and understand how financial projections and budgets support planning and help forward your school’s mission. You will also look at how financial analysis can be used to construct meaning and help to optimize decision-making and how it can be understood within the specific local context.

This workshop will also allow you to see how financial numbers produce different “truths” with the same set of figures and how you can create accounting and finance arguments linked to a broader narrative appropriate for specific audiences.

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