Joining the International Baccalaureate Community

How to Become an IB Teacher

IB stands for International Baccalaureate, which is an advanced academic program developed in the 1960s in Switzerland. It’s comparable to the Advanced Placement (AP) program, but unlike AP, IB is offered on an international scale. There are over one billion students globally participating in this two-year program. In order to teach IB classes, however, teachers must have earned their IB certification in teaching and learning. Learn more below on how you can become an IB teacher.

Step #1: Be a teacher comfortable teaching high-level material

It may go without saying, but in order to become an IB teacher, you’ll need to be a typical classroom teacher first. It’ll depend on what state you’re in, but most require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and then perhaps some special licensing or teaching certificate. Then, you should evaluate how comfortable you are with teaching high-level material. The IB programs includes some complex topics, and if you’re not comfortable teaching these then being an IB teacher likely isn’t for you.

Step #2: Get IB certified

The location that you take the class is up to you. There are 36 universities globally that provide the teacher training workshops to get you IB certified. However, if none of these are in your local city, many of these same universities offer the option of getting certified online.

In terms of eligibility, you’re qualified to complete an IB certificate program if you have a valid teaching license, have completed a graduate degree program in your subject or have spent the last three years as a classroom teacher. IB has a variety of different subjects so you’ll have to decide which one you want to get certified to teach. The categories include: mathematics and computer science, administration and coordination, language and literature, and the arts and sciences. In this course you’ll discuss both teaching and learning, curriculum, and assessment in the classroom. Upon completion of the program, you’ll be able to officially register for certification by filling out a registration form and paying a fee of $250.

Step #3: Start teaching and keep learning

Finally, to be an IB teacher, you’ll need to find an IB school to teach at. The IB philosophy and approach to teaching and learning allow the program to thrive at the school. Successful IB courses are never taught on a one-on-one basis. They’re always taught within a program that reinforce student skills. As you become more comfortable in your new role as an IB teacher, remember to keep learning. Your IB school may require you to take refresher courses yearly to continue to hone your skills. You should continue to update your knowledge and take training whenever its available to you.

Becoming an IB teacher really just comes down to getting certified. If you’re interested, look online to see if there’s a local university that offers the certification program. If there’s not, then there’s still plenty of remote options with an online program. Follow these steps and become an IB teacher today!