By: Hunter Baylous/Staff Writer
When students hear the term “Advanced Placement (AP) classes,” they might think of a hard, boring class that’s always assigning homework and taking notes. Some students will try to avoid these classes because they want to drift through high school without having to do a lot of work to graduate. After asking three teachers here about their AP classes, the hope is to provide a better understanding of taking an AP class.
AP classes are considered college level classes. In these classes the teachers hold their students more accountable due to the students being considered college students. Within these classes the teachers are required to teach a lot of material as stated by Mr. Phil Leswing who teaches AP psychology. “The one thing about AP is that there is a lot of material, so oftentimes there is material that the students will have to work on outside of class,” he stated. Some students who do take these AP classes are hoping to use what they learn in that class and use it in their future, so taking the class will give them a better understanding of the material.
Some students will choose to take an AP class because they want to do something with that topic in their career. When asked about this Mrs. Laken Rosing said, “My class (AP Language and Composition) is very much skills-based, so they get to take these reading, and writing, and even speaking and listening skills into basically any career. I have had students email me and say, ‘I have an A+ in my college writing class and I’m still remembering things I learned in AP.’” She has even had students go into STEM professions who tell her her AP class helps even when they didn’t think they would use English in STEM fields.
As stated earlier in the article, AP students are held to greater responsibility or accountability. Mrs. Laura Mann who teaches AP Statistics explained, “The students take on more of an ownership role and I provide feedback as they work through different concepts.” When asked about the teacher’s responsibility Mrs. Rosing stated, “I need to have good content knowledge meaning if they come to me and say ‘Mrs. Rosing I don’t understand this,’ I need to be able to explain it to them in a different way.” A lot of AP teachers’ responsibility is helping the students understand the information or give the students a good starting point for the information.
A question that students might ask is, “What are the benefits and downsides of taking AP classes?” With AP classes you gain the opportunity of getting some college credits, some better knowledge going into college, and the chance to use what you learned in school in your everyday life or career. Mr. Leswing stated, “With all the topics it relates to their future whether it’s in the business world or it’s in their social life, or just their personal life.” However some drawbacks may be you may possibly get overwhelmed from the material as it is more advanced than normal high school material. You also have more responsibility in those classes like getting work done outside of class and getting assignments done on time as some classes don’t accept late work at all.
However, despite all this the teachers such as Mrs. Rosing said, “I have tailored the class to meet some of the deficits that I have identified in AP English in high school. ” Some teachers’ interests in their subjects inspired them to pursue teaching AP classes. Mr. Leswing stated, “That’s one of the reasons I wanted to teach it, because I had a psychology class in high school and really enjoyed it. The subject, the students that were in there, the teacher that was there. That’s why I wanted to be able to teach that.” So even though AP classes have a lot of responsibility or material, the people who teach it or know it the most believe if you want a challenge or believe you are ready for it, you should definitely take the class because the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
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Mrs. Laken Rosing assists a student with analyzing the rhetoric of a letter from Abigail Adams in a letter to her son.