Day 9: Nerves #Edblogaday

This next week has been almost a year in the making.

This year I took on the challenge of teaching AP Language and Composition.  I had never taught it before and honestly, never really thought I would have the opportunity to.  I had always taught students who really struggled and the rigor and speed with which AP has to be paced (especially that NYC schools not start until September, in some cases a month later than schools in other parts of the country) and while I believe I could have moved students forward and they would have been better prepared for college, I don't believe many of them would have been able to pass the AP Exam.

It's difficult, I'll be the first to say it, and rightly so.  It should be.

When I sat down with my Principal this past fall and we discussed the goals I had for my students this year I settled on this:  While passing the AP exam would be fantastic, if I move my students forward- help them improve their writing, their analysis and critical thinking skills, their knowledge of rhetoric and why, when and how it is used, and take away some of the fear they may have about transitioning to college and being able to do it- then I have been successful.  I do believe that many of my kids will get a 3+ on the exam.  There will, undoubtably be some that don't.

I am trying to release my anxiety and any disappointment that is lurking in shadows.  It exists though, coupled with all the missteps I made this year, my first year as AP teacher.  There are a plethora of things I will to next year in my class as well as further developing the vertical alignment of the ELA courses at our school.  Realizing skills that they were never taught and determining why they need to know then and where they should be introduced, and recursively retaught with increased rigor as students grow.  This is part of my job as educator to get better, stronger, smarter when it comes to what and how I teach.  I owe it to the legacy of this first AP class and any that I teach in the years to come

I was up at 5:15 this morning.  Today my kids are taking a full length practice exam.  I wanted to do it a couple weeks ago but competition with other AP exams that were last week took precedence.  I am expecting 29 of 32 and will be providing extended time for my two students with IEPs.  I came up with a pretty good method (not great) for self assessing - so I will run the MC through Scantron and Monday, I will have a double period to debrief- self assessing and completing the ridiculously complicated formula to calculate a score, a predictive for students going into their exam on Wednesday.

I am sure I am not as nervous as they are, but I won't lie- I am nervous...


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