Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Wanna teach AP?

They say, so, you wanna teach AP?

And you think, oh my god, I can't believe that (a) they think I'm smart enough to and (b) I'm experienced enough to without having to wait until I've been at the school for forty billion years and (c) I'll get to teach kids who are, y'know, MOTIVATED, and so you say, of course, sure! even though it's possibly been, say, perhaps, a DECADE since you took that ONE CLASS in the subject. (Somehow, maybe, they think because you come from business you have some deep insight into the subject. You let that misconception lie, because, hey, you get to teach AP!)

You don't think about the fact that EVERY DAY you have to make up what you're going to teach them.

And GOD FORBID they ask questions! Because if it isn't about today's (okay, maybe also tomorrow's) lessons, you really truly might not know. Given, there's worse things than saying, "Okay, I don't remember, but I'll get back to you." But still.

And you really really really REALLY don't think about what that week (month!) before the AP test is really like. When you worry that that one part that you didn't emphasize enough is what is gonna be the difference between them passing with a 3 or not passing. When you think, okay, I didn't teach probability well enough and now they're all stressed about it even though it's not that tough or really that important so they're spending time on probability even though it's only like 10% of the test when they COULD be spending studying time on inference tests! Which are way more important!

You don't think you'll be waking up at 4 a.m. wondering what the HELL are you doing in class today and HOW will you get through the day and OH DEAR GOD WHAT IF YOU'RE LETTING EVERYONE DOWN????

You don't think of that.

You just think, "AP! That's cool!"

Of course, you also don't think you'll be falling in love, just a little bit, with these kids who are leaving the school next year and that you'll never see again. You don't think that you'll ride the acceptance roller coaster with them as they sort the next major chapter of their lives out. You don't think of how momentous senior year is, and relationships are, and how you'll deal with all of these almost-adults and how you just want them to come back in five years and let you know how they're doing.

You don't think of that either, of how they're going to take this tiny bit of your heart with them when they leave.

You just think, "AP! That means I don't have anything to do after the AP test! for a month until the end of school!"

You don't think that your life, until that AP test, is a slave to What The AP Test Tests and that you'll always feel inadequate. That getting these kids to pass will take over your life and you'll spend--yes--it's true--FIFTEEN HOUR DAYS because you have pizza-bribed study sessions because you just want them to pass, if they could pass then you haven't let anyone down.

Good Gods and Goddesses. My life, until May 8th, is a walking, living, breathing ulcer.

"Yeah, AP! That'd be great!"

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