Tutor: Anne Stelzer
IBDP score: 39
University: Fine Art (2016), University of Oxford
Subjects: Visual Arts, German
In our Tutor Interview series, we put the spotlight on members of our outstanding tutoring team. From IB graduates to teachers and Examiners, we share their stories and their advice about the International Baccalaureate to help you make your own IB a success.
EIB: Why did you choose to do the IB?
Anne: I chose the IB as it enables you to apply to any university in any country.
What did you enjoy about the IB?
Most subjects in the IB are partially self-directed, which I absolutely loved! The IB challenges students to learn how to apply intellectual creativity, as is expected of you in university and in any job afterwards.
What was the most challenging part of the IB?
The biggest challenge of the IB was to learn how to juggle the workload of different subjects with different requirement. It is challenging to learn how to establish a sustainable and realistic work schedule while still making sure that you stay happy and healthy and do things you enjoy along the way.
What did you do for your CAS/TOK/EE?
I absolutely loved working on my EE! I think it is important to see it as an opportunity and an invitation to write about something that you are personally curious about. I combined different areas that I am interested in – Psychology, Philosophy and Fine Art – and ended up writing about the relations and dynamics between Sigmund Freud and the Austrian artist, Egon Schiele.
How did the IB prepare your future?
The IB was great preparation for studying at the University of Oxford. The IB challenges students to become critical thinkers and independent learners, lessons that come in handy once you are given the responsibility and freedom of a degree. You already know how to organise your time and how to juggle and manage your workload. I took ‘Fine Art’ as one of my higher levels in the IB, which perfectly prepared me for further study. The IB course also challenges students to do independent research and to develop and establish an individual studio practice – something that was expected of me once when I arrived in Oxford.
What do you enjoy about tutoring?
I love working with students, helping them to gain confidence and interest in their areas of study. It is rewarding and exciting to be able to accompany and witness someone else doing the IB.
What are your favourite aspects of the IB to teach, and why?
I enjoy teaching students how to apply their intellectual curiosity to the demands of the different subject, which is fundamental to the IB. Each subject has a curriculum and set exams, but simultaneously each subject has also self-directed research projects. Most students are daunted by the freedom of these projects and papers, but thoroughly enjoy them once they understand how they can manage and apply their own interests.
What has been your greatest tutoring success?
It is very rewarding when I receive e-mails from my students telling me that they did well in their papers or exams. However, the biggest reward for me is when a student stops feeling scared or intimidated by a subject and starts to enjoy it.
What are your best revision tips?
- Make a timetable for all your subject with all the deadlines so that you can get an overview.
- Focus on individual weeks and set realistic, little target goals.
- Find a way of documenting your little achievements and reward yourself with small things along the way.
- Taking it one day at a time and focusing on the goals of one week after the other is a good way to stay calm and confident.