In the IB Association of Japan (IBAJ), we promote many “job-alikes” throughout the school year. Job-alikes usually focus on a grade level in the PYP, a particular subject (such as “Math”), or a particular IB practice (such as “ATLs”). They are hosted by one or more teachers/coordinators at a specific school and the teachers/coordinators from other schools join as presenters or participants. They are called “job-alikes” because they are “for people who have jobs that are alike”.
The objective of job-alikes is to promote a greater understanding of the IB at all levels. They provide an opportunity for new and experienced teachers, coordinators, vice principals, principals, and heads from IB schools to get together to share good teaching practices, teaching ideas, their expertise, to explore challenges relevant to their region, and to share strategies and solutions.
The nature of each job-alike can be defined by the hosting school, but here are some common features of job-alikes:
- They are free (no fees involved, other than transportation to the school).
- They can happen over one day (e.g. 9 am to 3 pm) or over a time period (4 pm to 5:30 pm).
- The format is informal and the feeling of the day is casual.
- The participants help to make the content.
- The purpose is to share ideas, activities, experiences, and resources on a particular topic (e.g. a grade, a subject, an IB practice, an IB programme, etc.).
- Often the organizers will try to set up a network of people who are interested in that topic so that ongoing discussions can happen after the job-alike is finished.
The organizers of each job-alike announce the topic of the event, and at that point, they will usually ask for active participation from the attendees. If your school has a particularly interesting or effective way of engaging with the topic, you may agree to give a short presentation on it to the other participants.
Procedure for Initiating a Job-Alike
- Teachers at IB schools in Japan who would like to organize job-alikes on any topic should speak to their coordinators about their ideas.
- Coordinators can then tell the Chair of the relevant Programme Network (PYP, MYP, DP) about their school’s intention to host a job-alike.
- The Network Chair will send the details of the proposed job-alike out to the network to try to gather participants.