What is IBID?
IBID stands for “Inquiry-Based Instructional Designers.” In the summer of 2013, Dr. Puglisi, Dr. Beth Yeager, Dr. Faviana Hirsch-Dubin and a small group of teachers hatched the idea of a professional learning community based on inquiry-based teaching and learning. Of the original group of teachers, several are still in the group, like Margarita Mosqueda at Rio Real and Lisette García at Rio del Norte. The group met for one week to develop some ideas and practices based on a creative approach to generating student-centered learning and questioning. The multi-grade group of teachers (1st-6th grades) examined standards, what they enjoyed teaching, intersections among grade levels, finding patterns across subject areas, and brainstorming ways to think about and design approaches for the subsequent school year.
How has IBID developed since 2013?
Since 2013, IBID has had monthly meetings to discuss both our individual and collective work. Often there have been case study presentations of inquiry projects, whether small or large, in which one of the teachers described how they saw the process, with others in the group reflecting together with the teacher and providing collegial feedback. It has helped us to understand each other’s approaches and practices better in a supportive environment.
We had a second Summer Institute in 2014, attended by double the number of teachers we had the first year. A number of teachers became interested either by word of mouth, by suggestions from their principal, by invitations of IBID members to colleagues, or other outreach. The group was multigrade (TK- 7th grade) with participants from several schools. We had most of our original group of teachers, who were more experienced with the IBID process and who served as leaders and presenters of their inquiry work, as well as additional teachers who became more immersed through a variety of activities designed to deepen our reflective, analytic, and practical capacities.
Our monthly meetings continued during the school year 2014-15 and served a similar purpose as the previous year. There were opportunities for teachers trying out inquiry projects for the first time to share their excitement and their challenges without fear of being judged. Teachers served as a resource for each other by sharing talents, teaching each other about new technologies, among other examples. Our learning community grew to include several teachers who had not been with us during the previous summer as well as others who followed up the summer institute by being part of the meetings during the year.
We have recently completed our third IBID Summer Institute in August 2015. The group of teachers included some who have been with IBID from the very beginning and others who have joined the community this past year. In addition we had a few new participants attending, invited by their colleagues. One of our goals this summer was to explore how to communicate our accomplishments and processes in more ongoing ways through the use of blogs and social media. A session on this was led by Elise Legaspi. This will enable better communication within the group as well as give other teachers a chance to learn more about what is happening in IBID.
Why is IBID needed?
IBID has an important role to play in helping Rio teachers develop as a learning community with particular goals in mind. Because of the focus on inquiry teaching and learning and placing exciting student-generated work at the center of demanding standards and the 5 C’s, IBID can help foster both teacher creativity and capacity for aiming high. When we support each other and pay attention to each other’s growth and development, it can only enrich student learning, build strength among teachers, and begin to meet the goals that have been set for all students in the 21st Century. This process takes time and is happening in multiple arenas in the Rio School District, of which IBID is one.
We hope that as more teachers learn of our activities, aspirations, contribution to leadership, such as IBID teachers presenting in workshops, and helping to provide creative directions for the broader educational community, you will communicate with us and consider joining us in our efforts to build toward greater success among students and teachers.