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Zhenia Plotnikova

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  1. Good evening, As a former student of Mr Jones, I would like to join rto the concerns expressed and post what I have already posted on the Student Education Forum, as another testimony of my profound respect to Mr Jones. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I have stopped reading all the posts on the Student Education Forum when I have seen the following: ""History is possibly the subject where the teacher matters the least of all. Want to get a good mark? Buy the books, read the books, write notes on the books, learn the books."" I am sorry but this is bluntly ridiculous. Nevertheless, let me present myself first so that you can understand my reactions fully. I have graduated from IST in 2006 (perhaps you know me yet by name, Evgenia Plotnikova) and have recently integrated a French "grande école", Sciences Po de Paris, which is considered to be a university of excellence in political sciences. Looking back today to my results in IB or IGCSE, I can assert that my grades are much due to Mr Jones, his talent of teaching and the knowledge he transmitted to me and many others. I remember coming to IST as a lost 15 year old, not knowing how to make a correct essay in English, let alone pass an exam, a tough History exam, in a totally foreign language. Yet, it is precisely the way Mr Jones encouraged my work, the way he teaches, that made me the way I am today: someone with a critical spirit, with an enormous passion for history. Granted, IST has a great deal of excellent teachers and I feel deeply indebted to each of them that has made my route and that of many easier. I transmit my deepest thanks to them all. Yet without diminishing the role of any other of my teachers, I can claim today, and as I shall say to whoever will ask me, Mr Jones is and will rest the best teacher I have ever had, the teacher that knows how to motivate, to develop enthusiasm for his subject, to grade not to just give an A or B or whatever, but to transmit knowledge of your mistakes that you will learn not to repeat. I am not trying to construct what you may see today as a blunt praise, all I am trying to demonstrate is the greatness of the appreciation I have for Mr Jones and the years of History he has taught me. There are teachers that have became great ones by exprience, and then there are teachers who are excellent ones by spirit, by passion; and I believe Mr Jones has managed to unite the two. This is precisely why the decision that has been taken by the school, altough I do not know all the details, seem to me unfounded: not only it disadvantages the students who have lost a teacher of true excellence and experience, but it is also simply humanely unfair on a person who has dedicated a great part of his life to IST and its students. It is hard for me to realise that Mr Jones may not be sitting in his class, going through once again a pile of essays and tests, or preparing a film that will just make your day not only enlightened but also simply a little bit better. Now, just addressing th words of Ben, cite above... Well, looking at my personal experiences and here you cannot unfortunately claim more, as IB cannot offer you more than 45 points, my 7s in History HL or Maths HL, or as in all the rest of my classes has GREATLY depended on all the wonderful teachers that I have had. It is precisely in History, which as you have already understood has a very complicated syllabus in IB and a demanding scheme in IGCSE, that guidance is essential. Receiving my results, I have always felt and still feel that they are mostly due to this guidance, to the explanations you often need, to the challenging tasks you are set to understand you topics and to the corrections you receive. Particularly in History, it is only due to this forum and Mr Jones' help that I have managed to finish a solid Extended Essay and an Internal Assessment, it is thanks to Mr Jones' devotion that I, like every other class, have had special sessions on his HOLIDAYS to get prepared for the exams. So, whether you talk Maths or History, the teacher matters. Even in the area of advice, as it is thanks to Mr Jones' and Mr Wade's advice that I have kept having four High Level subjects, which has not affected my final grades. Today I realise, and one day you shall do as well, History and particularly Mr Jones' talent of teaching it, gives you interpretations and perspectives, a skill of analysis that shall serve you a long long time (and, as proved, even in a French unversity!). I do not know whether this contribution is anywhere helpful, but its aim is to say to you all a word of encouragement, and mostly importantly to tell you, Mr Jones, thank you for the inspiration you gave and continue giving. I hope this unfortunate event will find a reasonable ending. My best regards, Evgenia