Amy Haskell, M.A., M.Ed., Founder, Total Writing Enrichment Services
Along with the new year comes planning, organizing, and goal setting for ourselves and for our teenagers. Many of us with college-bound kids feel responsible for ensuring our kids receive the best education possible and we remain aware of the various leveling system of classes.
If we have juniors or seniors, thoughts involving enrollment in AP classes begin to simmer this time of year as schools want to confirm class placement for the fall.
Last year, I posted a few questions challenging the status quo around AP classes to my Facebook page and received the highest number of Likes and comments ever in the history of my business page (other than when I posted during a hurricane for my senior students to finish their college admission essays!).
Your teens and AP classes – for what reasons? What if a tiny voice in the back of your brain whispers to you that your son or daughter is simply not ready for a college-level course at age 16, 17, or 18 – then how do we respond to this whisper? Do we ignore it? Do we discuss our fears with our teen? Do we fight the school if our child is not recommended for AP but we fully believe our child will be best served in this level class?
Parents voice their concerns surrounding this topic to me lately:
“Since I was in high school, (ages ago!) 🤣the philosophy around students and AP courses has clearly shifted; today, there are more students than ever before taking AP courses and the question remains- do AP courses actually benefit the learning experience for teens if these kids can barely survive honors English?”
–>>>2020 New Twist: As you and your teen think of planning courses for the next fall, perhaps quietly ask: What is the reason you want to experience a college-level course taught by a teacher who is only qualified to teach high school content?
An effective question to help shape your thoughts are these:
– How many students at your kids’ high schools actually pass the AP exam? If the answer is only a small, tiny percentage, then why have them take a college-level course in high school if perhaps their minds need to develop a bit more over the next couple of years – like, in college?
Or, why not have your son or daughter take a college-level course taught by a professor (instead of a high school teacher) once they are accepted to college? The high school teacher remains gifted in instructing and connecting with high school kids not college kids, right?
My thoughts stem from love and concern for the many students I’ve taught and continue to teach who remain scared, worried, and quite miserable (but clearly not all of them) in classes that are way above their brain development as a high schooler. They will get there, but what’s wrong with waiting until they graduate from high school, feel good about their accomplishments, and are enrolled as college students to take a college-level class?
For more helpful tips and stories that spark your teen’s love for learning, please visit my website: totalwritingenrichment.com