Ryan's Year 3 IB Speech
"Bonjour. Je m’appelle Ryan. Comment ca va?" That’s just a little phrase I learned how to say in French class. It means, "Hello. My name is Ryan. How are you?"
There are many advantages to being at an IB school. For instance--the language opportunities. Here at East Garner, we offer several different languages for students to take, including Spanish, French, and Chinese. Unlike at other schools, it is also a requirement to take them.
IB schools also can offer higher level classes like Geometry and Algebra. I took Algebra I in Year 2, and now I’m taking Geometry in Year 3. It really gave me an opportunity to show my stuff and challenge myself. These are classes not typically required until high school. Here at East Garner, we also offer Advanced Language A (Language Arts) and a lunchtime book club that meets every other week, where students discuss the book they read.
The teachers are amazing here at East Garner. Take my Year 2 Science teacher, for example. She really challenged us from the beginning of the school year so much that lots of the kids didn’t think very highly of her because of the workload. But, in the end, everyone was thanking her because of all the time and effort she put in to help them succeed--like offering working lunches. She had such a great teaching method that everyone who had her still remembers everything she taught. Another great teacher that I have this year is Mrs. Burkey. She really works with the kids to help them understand the material, and she goes over it until they do understand it. Kids that usually struggle with math are doing great because of Mrs. Burkey’s support.
In IB schools--especially here at East Garner--we work under the belief that literacy skills are essential for success in every aspect of life. That means that literacy is not only taught in LA but in math, science, social studies, and our electives. It might not be in a direct lesson, but it is implied through the lesson.
We have an A day/B day schedule where you go to 4 of your classes one day and 4 on another. In addition to the 4 core classes and the required foreign language course, there are 3 opportunities each quarter to try out an elective. Kids in higher level math go to math every day and experience what a high school schedule is like. This schedule also allows more time to study and finish work.
There are a wide variety of electives, and they are all based on core subjects like math or social studies. Two of my favorite electives so far are "Lights, Camera, Global" and "Kitchen Chemistry." In "Lights, Camera, Global," you watch a foreign film and learn a little about where the film was from. You can’t just goof off while watching movies--there is a quiz following each movie. In "Kitchen Chemistry," you do experiments with things you can find lying around your house. Other popular titles include "Fantasy Football," "Geo-caching," "It’s all Greek to Me," and "Printmaking." The list goes on and on. Our electives are a fun way to gain knowledge that is not directly from a textbook.
In addition to electives based on core subjects, East Garner offers a wide variety of electives in many fine arts disciplines. Whether your interest is in music, dance, painting, sculpting, or acting, you are bound to find fine arts electives at our school that will fit your personality.
We have a great variety of afterschool activities that other schools might not offer. We have sports teams for every season. So far this year, we have undefeated football and basketball teams. Last spring, I had a great time representing our school on the boys’ soccer team.
Clubs are really fun here. There are 16 afterschool clubs and organizations. This year I am participating in three clubs--French, SWAT, and Science Club. SWAT stands for "Students Working to Advance Technology. We help teachers with their computers and other technology systems. We also offer classes to the community, like the Microsoft Office programs Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. It’s an opportunity for the kids to teach the parents. In Science Club, we build different projects and compete with them in the North Carolina Science Olympiad. If you join us, the clubs are definitely worth looking into. There is a little something for everyone’s interests.One of my favorite things about IB schools is Global Studies. Every year the entire school--even the teachers and faculty--reads a book about kids our age in a foreign country. When I was in Year I, I read a book about two kids around ages 12 and 10 in Nigeria, and, in Year 2, a book about a 13-year-old girl in Afghanistan--and they were both realistic fiction. This year, we are reading The Red Scarf Girl; it’s nonfiction, and it’s about a middle school girl living through the Cultural Revolution in China. The books that I read really impacted me and made me appreciate how lucky I am to live in the U.S. and go to school here. This global experience opportunity is not offered to kids at most other schools. They wouldn’t be able to have the same experience, feel the same emotions, and get the same perspective about their own lives that I did.
We would love to have you as a part of the IB community, and we would love to have you join us at East Garner. If you do join us, a great way for parents to be involved is to be a part of our amazing PTSA. They do great things for our school--like bring in cultural arts programs, sponsor student-recognition programs, and organize teacher appreciation events.
Thank you for your time this evening. Please consider joining us in the IB program…we hope to see you again in the fall.