Behind The Success: The Teacher Inspiring Prosperous IB Students


Caroline Feagin

Sitting on the Mountains of Success: IB Theory of Knowledge teacher Amy Shilling keeps students constantly on their toes waiting for the next piece of hard work!

Behind all the great IB graduates of North Atlanta stands one person: the all-knowing Theory of Knowledge teacher Amy Shilling. Not only does Shilling teach Theory of Knowledge to IB students, but she also works with the (rather unenthusiastic) students to write their lengthy Extended Essays and complete their time-consuming CAS hours. While most students probably despise the amount of work done for the IB Diploma Programme, Shilling makes clear strides to help ease the workload and creates a structured environment so that no kids get left behind.
Having graduated from the University of Georgia with a major in anthropology and a master’s in teaching, Shilling knows exactly what the rigorous course structure of IB is like. Extended Essay writing in particular is a struggle to get through but Shilling is always there to help assist students on their path through IB. “I love working with the kids involved,” she said. “It’s nice when you see a kid who struggles through a particular piece of work finally succeed and get the concept.”
So what even is Theory of Knowledge in the first place? The IB Website describes it as “a thoughtful and purposeful inquiry into different ways of knowing, and into different kinds of knowledge.” Shilling likes to put it in more simple terms. “It’s basically just the critical thinking class,” she said.
The Theory of Knowledge course is something that is required for all individuals wanting to venture into IB. The concepts, though being simple on their own terms, can become quite confusing for those not willing to put thoughtful reasoning into the class. Shilling makes it easy. “She’s really easy to talk to,” junior Sophie Haines said. “Though it’s not my favorite class, I love getting to talk to her about these concepts.”
For aspiring IB underclassmen, just know you’re in for a ride. But, Shilling helps make it a manageable and memorable experience. And for those not looking to go into IB, there are still ways to communicate with her. She also works with Mock Trial and other clubs. Whichever path you take, Shilling is always looking out for those looking for support.