I have entered a whole new stage in my teaching career. I have always loved my job. I been able to interact, teach, guide, and help around 1800 students in the last nine years of teaching. However, this year, I am getting a taste of something different – students who genuinely want to be here, want to learn, and want a rigorous class.
While many of my college prep students over the years have shared these qualities, many more have not. Despite the name, most will not go onto a four-year college and a large percentage will not even go to junior college. History is a graduation requirement that has been forced upon them. In spite of that, I believe I do a good job of selling the subject and mixing up my teaching strategies enough to engage even the least interested students and, whether they like it or not, teach them important skills and information.
This year, during the first week of school, I spent a considerable amount of time in my new AP classes focusing on learning to reading the textbook, discussing skills, reviewing requirements, and outlining where we would be going. It went amazingly well. At the end of the week, I felt invigorated. Once we get into the actual content, I know they are going to thrive, which will allow me to truly delve into the content in a way that I haven’t been able to in the past.
This is not to disparage my current college prep class or any of my classes from the past nine years. I have had a lot of fun teaching those classes (and will continue to teach these classes), it is just a different academic environment. No doubt I will miss the more relaxed atmosphere of those classes and dread the collection of essays that will ruin weekends, but for now I am enjoying teaching the type of student I was.
I can’t believe it took ten years to get here.