Being a PYP Teacher Part 1: Carry the Book


The 1st, 50th, 500th and 5000th step required in order to become a PYP Teacher – because this is a never-ending process – is to carry a copy of Making the PYP Happen with you at all times.

Don’t go to any planning meetings without a copy of Making the PYP Happen. Instead, always have it with you so that you can:

  • refer to it for guidance as you strive to make your planning purposeful
  • refer to it to remind you of the five essential elements of the PYP
  • refer to it for ways to make learning rich in possibilities
  • refer to it so that you can ensure you really are educating the “whole child”
  • refer to it so that you understand why, how and what to assess
  • refer to it to seek clarity and the eloquent description of learning in its various forms
  • refer to it so you can become familiar with how education is changing, and has been changing since 2009

Whenever I ask people where their copy of Making the PYP Happen is, in lots of schools, the responses frequently vary between:

  • “Oh, I have one somewhere”
  • “Umm… I have a digital copy, I think”
  • “Yep, it’s on my laptop. Let me just load it up”
  • “I don’t know where it is”
  • “Ha ha ha, I don’t keep one with me all the time!”

These responses are indicative of a school culture in which reference to the most important guiding document has not become a habit. This makes it a thousand times less likely that people will know what it says, and then this makes it 1000 times less likely that people will be able to make it happen.

Naturally, the reverse of this is equally true.

So, go on. Find your copy, or get one printed if you don’t have one (digital just ain’t good enough, my friend) and take it with you to all planning sessions. Having it there for reference, for inspiration and for guidance will empower you as you seek to become a better and better PYP Teacher.

I just hope that the enhanced PYP doesn’t bring with it the removal of this amazing resource. In fact, I hope it brings quite the opposite.


    • sherrattsam

      I think that, unless you have a life-threatening allergy to paper, you should have a paper copy. Looking at screens – even if just to read a copy of Making the PYP Happen – can exclude other people. Also, a well-worn, scribbled on copy of Making the PYP happen is a beautiful thing!

  1. Monita Sen

    I still have my first copy from 2000, it still has ISCP on it and itโ€™s underlined, highlighted and scribbled on! What I love about that document is the layers, was never the easiest to read straight through but you can go back to it and find a new angle or thought with every read! I do feel I am ready for the next evolution although the thought of the loss of familiarity is daunting! Will new texts bring a new discourse for PYP? There are years of interpretations through practice, mentorship, workshops and experience that form our current PYP beliefs am interested to see how the enhanced PYP will challenge and change us!

    • Poonam Singh

      Hi Monita! What a coincidence ! I read your comment this morning and must say I too feel so nostalgic every time I look through the pages of MTPYPH as I too have scribbled a whole lot of notes on the book which I first received when I attended the workshop with you at TISB in 2000. There is still so much to learn from the book after 17 years.
      Poonam Singh.

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