Saturday, January 19, 2013

AP testing and a lesson in walking in someone else's shoes

So the talk among many students and parents at N's school has been the hallowed results of the AP tests that the kids took in the fall.  N told me they were being mailed last Saturday; a friend of hers said last Friday.  I think they were mailed this Thursday.  I can only imagine what college scholarship/entrance stuff is like if AP results are this fraught with suspense.

I had tried to put my anticipation in check.  While I was certainly hopeful that N had done well, I wasn't losing sleep over it.

An email from another mom, whose child was not recommended for AP based on scores, helped me appreciate just how upsetting AP testing can be for parents and children alike.  I didn't get this when I was that childless middle school teacher.

I took the opportunity to talk with N and encourage her not to ask other kids what they got and whether they got accepted.  If someone asks her outright how she did, she can answer them, but she is not to discuss the test beyond the scope of about 2-3 of her closest friends.  We talked about how difficult it can be to hear that other people got accepted for this or that (or that other people got invited to this party or that event) and know that you are not part of it all.

If there is one thing I disliked about teaching AP students is the palpable sense of their own entitlement, that they were better than the other kids.  Smarter.

Smart comes in all forms and styles.  I would gladly hand over some of my book smarts to have a working understanding of my car's innards or how to do basic electrical work.  

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