Is IB English for everyone?

Many 11th and 12th grade students at Annandale High School are taking as many IB courses as they possibly can. Most are doing this for a GPA boost, to get challenged, and to get college credit so that they don’t have to take the classes in college.

This is happening not only in Annandale High School but many other schools in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). Most teachers recommend their students take an IB course so that they are challenged. Students are called down from their English classes to discuss which classes they want to take with their counselor. They can make any corrections to their schedule change until near the end of the school year.

The IB English department in FCPS is recruiting as many candidates to take their class, so that slowly the regular English 11 and 12 classes can get dropped. This procedure is happening in many schools in the FCPS, such as Marshall High School.

Schools are taking a step towards IB English classes to encourage students in regular English classes that they can handle the challenging course. Although, the IB program is not for everybody because it might be too challenging for some.

There are a variety of benefits from taking IB courses, such as IB Literature and IB Literature and Language. Taking these courses will prepare you for the future, whether that be college or jobs. “It helps to prepare you analytically if you are going to college or just for jobs in the future that ask you to think more critically,” Hanneman said.

Many students take IB courses for this GPA boost that will increase their GPA from that class by one full point unlike other classes such as regular and honor classes. Regular classes don’t give any boost to a student’s GPA, while honors gives students a 0.5 GPA boost.

The IB Learner Profile, which is the IB mission statement and what IB student should aim for includes open-mindedness, risk-taking, knowledgeability, inquiring, communicating, being principled, being balanced, thinking, caring, and reflective.

“The IB program has a pretty good global perspective that would fit pretty well with our students,” Hanneman said.

The IB curriculum changes all the time but recently it has changed drastically. The IB English department has made its IB classes significantly less challenging than it has been before. To students’ surprise, their IB English classes are not as hard as they anticipated it to be.

“I did not think IB Literature would be this easy or I would not have been as hesitant to take it,” junior Mariam Ahmadi said.

Other students are bewildered by their ability to take on this challenging course head-on. “I took English Honors last year and I feel like it was harder than the IB Literature class I am currently in,” junior Jocelin Rivera said.

Students at AHS have the opportunity to take as many IB classes as they please and should take full advantage of IB classes that are offered here and should be glad that AHS is an IB school.