What Makes an IB School Different?

One of the most popular questions I am asked by parents is ‘what makes an IB school different from other schools?
Firstly, IB schools specifically aim to make students more internationally-minded. That may sound like a cliche, so let’s explore what it really means.

The Choices We Make: Building School Community


It was my goal that OYIS would be a safe space for young people and would aim to provide a community where they felt safe, supported, and engaged. I wanted to build a space where I would have felt connected to and supported.

A Reflection…on Reflection


This brings me to the most difficult question: do I conduct genuine reflection, as I so often ask my students to do?

Be enthusiastic! 何かに夢中になろう!

japanese books

“The only thing that can truly move people’s hearts are the deeds and words that emanate from the person’s experiences. This is because knowledge alone is not enough for people to feel empathy.” – Kenji Miyazawa, poet 


Sports Day at OYIS

Sports Day was an event that brought togetherness to our OYIS community. Parent involvement and teacher collaboration made the day especially successful.

How I Learned English as a Kid

How do you “immerse” your child in English? As an educator I am tempted to post and quote research from different sources but I feel disconnected when I do that. Speaking from my own experiences and struggles is more meaningful. Immersion requires effort from the child and the parents. While it may seem overwhelming at first, it holds tremendous benefits.

Making Projects Personal at OYIS

Inquiry works best when people are pursuing something they are truly passionate about, and Personal Project gives them the freedom to do just that. Furthermore, because projects are often directly linked to the IB’s Global Contexts and their service experiences, they are often gateways for self-directed progress towards intercultural understanding and respect.

Pink Shirt Day: I’m calling you out, OYIS!

It might just be very simple. Be kind. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Do small acts of kindness and practice empathy. Really practice empathy and not just give it lip service. Take a second to put yourself in other’s shoes. Be the bigger person and hold your tongue. Wear a pink shirt, but then also do the work.

The Specter of Sleep: An Inquiry into Student Sleep Habits

students with computers

It started with a survey. We were studying tools for statistical analysis: averages like mean, median, and mode alongside tools like box and whisker plots and the like. Students were genuinely curious about sleep standards for students, and since we were learning about comparing resources and annotated bibliographies anyway, I posed the question for students to research.