AP teachers strained to cover material

April 24, 2003, midnight | By Branden Buehler | 20 years, 7 months ago

The large number of school days lost due to winter weather this school year has left many AP teachers struggling to cover the rest of their courses' curriculum before the start of AP tests.

During this school year schools closed 10 times because of weather emergencies, but students will only have made up two days before the start of AP tests, which begin May 5.

According to AP World History teacher Kevin Moose, the time lost could be a "significant problem." Moose said that AP courses have always presented a problem for fitting the material in before the test, and that the missed days have compounded the problem. AP teachers "never have enough time as it is," said Moose, who added that snow days proved to be a "negative detractor."

AP Economics teacher Brian Hinkle said that the time lost has caused him to cover material in less detail than he had originally planned. Hinkle said that he "had to rethink all the things [he] was doing," after losing the days. Hinkle said that he was unable to give quizzes he had planned to give and was unable to do AP test review activities he had originally intended to assign.

Hinkle also said that the extra days of school that were tacked onto the calendar are not very helpful. "The days added onto the end of the year are useless," he said. He also think that the day taken from spring break was not beneficial because of the review-day schedule, which he said does not allow enough teaching time per class.

In order to cope with the time lost, French teacher Arlette Loomis was forced to offer extra teaching sessions during lunch and after school. According to Loomis, this created difficulties with students who had other obligations. "I did not have my students come everyday," she said.

Loomis, like Moose, thought that the days lost to weather exacerbated the already challenging situation of teaching all of an AP course's material. The time lost "made something difficult practically impossible," said Loomis.

Despite the time lost, Moose and Hinkle believe that it is still possible for students with initiative to do well. "Students who do their work, do the readings and have good writing skills will still do well," said Moose.

Loomis, however, thinks that students cannot do well on the French AP test without sufficient teaching. "The problem is, teacher instruction is necessary," adding, "students don't have the background to understand" what is covered on the French AP exam.

Students also have mixed thoughts on whether the lost time will hinder success on the AP tests. Senior Matt Poness thinks that the snow days were an inconvenience, but that it will just cause him to study harder to make up for lost time.

Senior Andrew Dauler, on the other hand, fears that the time lost will result in students doing worse on AP tests. "We'd do better if we had time," said Dauler.

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Branden Buehler. Branden Buehler is a senior in the magnet program. When he is not doing schoolwork, work for Silver Chips Online, or swimming for the Blair swim team, he could possibly be found playing foosball or playing his guitar and recording songs in a futile attempt … More »

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