Tri-Color Times

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AP kids struggle more than you think

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THERE are lots of different AP classes that kids can take here at Granger. Lots of kids think that it’s just a waste of time, while others see it as an opportunity. I’m in Mr. Cousins’s AP World Civilizations class, and I love it. It’s fun, it’s challenging, and I’m learning a lot.

I’m not going to lie though, it is extremely difficult. I have an average of two hours of homework for every class period, I have to read college-level textbooks, and I have to learn how to write in a whole different way.

I am a very English-based student—I love writing essays, writing opinions, and doing things with creativity. With AP, I now have to learn how to write logically, think critically, and cut the creativity. It has to be factual and to the point. I still love it, but it is definitely a harder curriculum.

I love challenge and I love opportunity, but I feel like us AP students need more opportunities with classes that we actually want to take, and with the help we need in those classes.

With the new challenge such as lots of homework and studying that comes with AP classes, I also have to arrange my after-school schedule. I have homework from other classes, ballet three days a week, and I am dealing with things at home.

I took a look at other students that may not be in AP classes. Everyone has struggles and problems. They might not be able to get a grade up because things at home may be weighing on them or many different things could build up that no one can avoid. This obviously weighs on the students. For failing kids, there are so many different options to help them stay above ground.

There is after-school recovery that just started back up, which helps in a multitude of ways. They have packets to make up for lost credits, and there is summer school to help kids start fresh for the next year.

I understand that we AP students may not be failing our classes, but we feel like we have limited options. There is independent study, but I have not once seen that option on my class sign-up sheet. Not to mention that many of my teachers specifically say not to take those classes, because they look bad for college applications.

When this problem became a discussion in my class, everyone agreed with Mr. Cousins about the fact that AP kids need some more help. I personally have  really been struggling with all of my homework and with getting everything in on time, but it’s not possible for me to stretch time for myself. The only option I have at this point is staying up really late trying to get it all finished—but then I am completely out of it for the next day.

Most of the kids in my class loved the thought of having an independent study class be an immediate option for AP students. If you sign up for an AP class, you should be offered an extra study period for that class, but if you don’t want it you don’t have to take it. But it should still be an easily accessible option for kids who just need a little extra time.

Another idea is testing out of unreasonable classes. Financial literacy, health, and computer technology are some classes where some people get an A on the pre-test. It seems unreasonable that these people are being made to take an entire semester of a class in which they’ll learn nothing new. These class periods could be used for something that could actually be useful to them. It would simply be for kids who want to learn more and not simply review stuff they already know.

I love my AP class, and I am planning on taking more next year, but I do think we could use a bit more help. We can get the work done, and we can do it well. I know that for a fact. But to give us some more options so we aren’t drowning in our homework and stress would be amazing. I’d give so much for some extra opportunities and class slots.

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AP kids struggle more than you think