Monday, June 22, 2009

Diagnostic AP Testing

I am teaching AP English Language & Composition next year. New to me, the class presents a challenge, so today after meeting with colleagues to discuss the class and how it is structured, I took a diagnostic AP Lang. test at Spark Notes I registered for an account (free) and dove in. Though I am leary of test prep as curriculum, I wanted to see how I did. I wanted to experience the passages and wrestle with the questions--rather difficult I realized in a household with interruptions, but still.

I did fine on the practice test. My confidence bolstered, I thought, "I can do this." I can be an "A.P. teacher" --that mythical A.P. teacher about whom I've heard Kylene Beers wax poetic. I didn't start my career wanting to become an A. P. teacher, but sure remembering thinking I would. I started my career as an intern with A.P. and I.B. classes. Internships, under the best of circumstances, are idyllic but rarely do they map one's professional path. As an intern, I thought that my students were so smart that I should immediately return to graduate school. I didn't know enough to stay one step ahead of them. Surely, I needed graduate school and I needed that master's degree before I could start teaching full-time. Perhaps I just postponed actual work, but it worked out.

As you can imagine, I've traveled far from the A.P. road in my nearly 20 years teaching. I want to blog my way through the experience of coming to the A.P. Language course as a veteran teacher. I'm beginning today.

Wish me luck and post a helpful link or two for me to peruse, I could use the support and who doesn't appreciate encouragement?


  1. Go get 'em, girl! They'll be lucky students!

    Waxing memorable, I still my first day of TA teaching at FSU. Your class was across the hall. I was so nervous, but you cheered me on. :-)

  2. I took an intensive two week A.P Language and Literature workshop at Fordham University last summer with Dr. Renee Shea and it the greatest meeting of the minds and resources for A.P. I highly recommend the program. I plan to return some time in the future.