The First Day

Well, we’ve officially started. Anya and I have created our own AP Lang course (link to Anya’s blog posts about it), which we will be taking this year.

Our course focuses a lot on what we want to do and what we love to do. In a few words: innovation, education, and the fine arts.

For a bit of background, this all started last year when Anya and I were complaining about the writing assignments we had to do in English class. Given how much writing we do for Innovation Diploma and on our blogs, Mrs. Cureton brought up creating our own AP Lang class, and it happened.

I’ll be honest, I was a bit skeptical at the beginning. Excited, but skeptical. After all, I’ve spent 15 years of my life with teachers deciding what we’re going to do each class with very little student autonomy (aside from the occasional “pick how you want to present the topic you picked” which I never really liked because I always felt so constrained, even with all of the supposed freedom), and to me, there were so many things that could go wrong. I also wondered how it would be perceived by the general masses. So far, it’s all been good, which is rather comforting.

After about half of a semester of on-and-off work, and a summer of getting together at school to work, the syllabus is finally ready to be submitted to the College Board. Now we just need it to pass.

As Anya talked a bit about in a blog post a while ago, this process definitely gave me a lot of empathy for teachers. Today, as we were finishing up, Mrs. Cureton brought up attendance and asked how we were thinking we were going to handle letting Mrs. Smith know we were both there. Honestly, we hadn’t. I think there’s especially empathy for first-year teachers because while most teachers start to figure out what works and what doesn’t, we have no idea how any of this will turn out. Here’s to hoping for the best.

Part of what we’re doing is a weekly blog post. We will alternate creating prompts around reflection, reading analysis, and argument based on probably either what we’re reading or current events. Those will be put up on these blogs, rather than our usual blogs (find Anya’s AP Lang blog here).

We may also upload a few of our other writing pieces that we are especially proud of here, so there will hopefully be a larger variety of blog posts than the three topics listed above.

Assessment has, of course, been a rather big discussion in all of this. We will not be submitting grades (we basically flat out refused), but we obviously still need some way to prove we’ve learned what we need to learn. We’ve worked out a system of self-evaluation and mentorship for essays and other writing assignments, multiple choice will obviously be handled by checking the key, and end of the semester grades will involve a dissertation. Crazy, I know.

That’s all I can really think to share on this first blog post to set down the base of we are doing and basic structure. Please let me know if you have any questions or if you’re interesting in getting in contact with us!

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