Category Archives: Learner Profile

Action IS Caring

This year I introduced an action mascot and slogan as a part of our focus on action FOR and FROM learning. Meet Care Bear. Care Bear arrived at our first assembly and shared the story, “Have You Filled A Bucket Today?” Care Bear then challenged all of our students to a year of showing caring through daily acts of caring and kindness. Care Bear invited students to fill her bucket with hearts all year. Care Bear’s big silver bucket is in a location that is accessible to all students. Students are encouraged to record daily acts of caring that are done to them or that they observe on pink hearts and drop them in Care Bear’s bucket. Each week at assembly during our weekly action update, Care Bear shares hearts from her bucket to honour daily acts of caring and kindness. Acts of kindess range from: including friends in games and play, holding doors for others, sharing supplies, giving hugs, telling jokes to make others laugh, helping to clean up, etc.

Care Bear and her bucket.
Care Bear and her bucket.

Care Bear also spends time visiting each class for a week. Students are loving taking Care Bear with them around the school, on field trips and to special events and showing her how kind and caring they can be where ever they go. Many classes have created Animoto’s to share at assemblies to highlight Care Bear’s experience in their class; another class wrote a song about being a Care Bear that is now Care Bear’s jingle and sung each week at assembly; our SK class made a video about bullying and stopping it by showing caring; while others add little embellishments to her that represent something special that happened with Care Bear while in their class during the week. Parents stop and tell me that at home students are talking about Care Bear and teaching siblings about bucket filling. One dad described how he overheard his daughters having a disagreement

Care Bear's Bucket is filling with hearts!
Care Bear’s Bucket is filling with hearts!

and one of them announced, “You’re not filling my bucket. We need to be more caring!” Much to his surprise, the argument stopped and they moved on to something more positive.

Recently, students completed Learner Profile reflections that go home with their report cards. I was so inspired so inspired to see even our littlest JKs reflecting on the importance being caring. Here is an example of what one 4 year old expressed: “Care Bear came to our classroom to be caring. Caring is when you are nice. I am caring when I play. If I am playing dolls I am caring when I talk to my friend in a nice way and say, “Can I have that after you?”

A Grade 1 student's Care Bear inspired goal!
A Grade 1 student’s Care Bear 

The way that students are embracing Care Bear’s challenge far exceeds my initial vision. Care Bear has garnered rock star status at our school – no doubt because caring ROCKS!!!









Be a care bear

And say “let’s play”

Be a care bear

Again another day

First you, then me

Now two, then three

Be a care bear

And say “let’s play!

Be a care bear

Lend a helping hand

Be a care bear

Work with a friend

I’ll share with you

I’ll be there for you

Be a care bear

Lend a helping hand!

Be a care bear

Comfort someone sad

Be a care bear

Make sure they don’t feel bad

Hold hands, give a hug

Stay close, feel snug

Be a care bear!

Comfort someone sad!

The Learner Profile in a Changing and Growing (IB) World

On Friday, I had the opportunity to listen to and participate in a Learner Profile focus group with Robert Harrison, a curriculum manager for IB continuum development in the The Hague at the IBSO annual PD day. Robert shared some sound but provocative thinking around the review of the Learner Profile and the challenges the organization is facing as the alignment of the 3 IB programs (PYP, MYP and DP) continues to evolve. The IB Learner Profile, originally called the PYP Student Profile is a set of 10 attributes that describe what humans could/should strive for if they seek to be an internationally minded citizens of the world. The 10 attributes are:

  • Inquirers
  • Thinkers
  • Knowledgeable
  • Communicators
  • Open-Minded
  • Reflective
  • Caring
  • Balanced
  • Principled
  • Risk-Takers

Since it’s inception with the PYP in 1996 the profile itself, while since being adopted by all 3 programs,  has undergone very little change, even though the organization has grown considerably. The profile is the living, breathing manifestation of the IB Mission statement and at the heart of all three IB programs. All teaching and learning in the IB, including knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes and action can in theory be born of the Learner Profile.

As with any review that takes on a truly reflective stance, questions start to arise, such as: is the Learner Profile truly an international set of attributes? Does the profile impose a set of western values on schools in the east? Where should the emphasis of influence lie if the Learner Profile is truly representative of global citizens who are in effect living without borders? Are there attributes that should not be a part of the profile? Are there attributes that are missing? Just how many attributes should define what an internationally minded, globally conscious citizen is striving to be? Is there an end to our growth within the profile? Is the profile in and of itself measurable if there is no end? Should we be measuring it? How? When? …

These are just some of the questions the IB is grappling with as it examines and reflects upon the Learner Profile across the continuum. I admire and commend their work. No, the Learner Profile isn’t perfect. But, it does ensure that how we are educating our students is at the core of what we do. For me, it keeps the calling of education to be something nobler alive. The Learner Profile is not just for students – it is for EVERYONE – we are ALL learners (or at least that is the hope!).

“I think it must be apparent to every thinking mind that the noblest of all professions is that of teaching, and that upon the effectiveness of that teaching hangs the destiny of nations.” ― David O. McKay

Do you have opinions and ideas you would like to share with IB as they continue collecting feedback? Do your students? I encourage you to take action by completing the learner profile global survey and by participating in the virtual focus group. Visit before October 31. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to be a part of the evolution of IB!