Taking an AP-level class for the first time is stressful for any student, but what about teaching the class? Mrs. Murphy is teaching AP Earth and Environmental Science for the first time, so I went to ask her a few questions about her new experience.
“I really enjoy that we do a lot of labs and hands-on activities. I think it is really fun and engaging and a great way for students to learn the content,” shares Mrs. Murphy. But she ran into some difficulties in teaching the course. “I did not take APES when I was in high school, so I had to do some brushing up and taking some training over the summer so I know the content more than my students.”
When I asked her what the main differences are between teaching an AP class compared to an Honors class, Mrs. Murphy said, “The main thing is especially for APES we go a lot deeper into human impact, and that also means we have a lot more content covered in a semester, so it’s a lot more in the same amount of time. And of course, that means extra work for the students and for me… but it is very enjoyable overall.”
After speaking with Mrs. Murphy, I went to ask Ms. Speight, who is teaching AP Biology for the first time this year. “I enjoy that we get to dig deep in the material and make connections between things we didn’t do at a lower level,” says Ms. Speight. She added on, saying that her least favorite part of teaching AP is the amount of material that needs to be covered so quickly.”For AP, we have to move a lot more quickly, but we also have a lot of good resources such as AP classroom, whereas for honors we have a little more flexibility to do more activities with less time to chase.”
From what we can see, both teachers have very similar views and opinions on the matter and AP classes are just as much work for teachers as they are for students.