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Advice for New AP Teachers


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published on august 5, 2020

Last updated on August 5, 2020

My heart goes out to new AP Teachers. Most are eager and excited, but many have not yet been given proper orientation. This article has some basic advice for new AP teachers that's based on things that have been helpful for me.

Core Resources for New AP Teachers

The first thing to do is to review the links and resources on the course home page for the AP subject you teach. This is the official place to learn about each course and its exam. Starting this school year, the College Board is providing excellent new supports and resources for both teachers and students.

Above all, my advice for new AP teachers is to read the official course guide for your subject. You can download a guide on the home page for your course. Teachers have to know this information to ensure their students succeed. You will need a clear understanding of the course framework, the exam requirements, the rubrics, and the skills identified by the College Board.

PD for New AP Teachers

Although the course guide is crucial, it won’t give you sufficient preparation. Some crucial advice for new AP teachers is to attend an AP Workshop or Summer Institute. These programs cost several hundred dollars, but I guarantee it’s worthwhile. Beg your principal for the time and cash to go.

There are also online supports for new AP teachers. The most useful of these are the AP Online Professional Development modules. They are free, and they provide great insights on teaching the basic skills. You can even earn CEUs for each one you complete.

Another option to consider is AP Mentoring. This service links you with a veteran AP teacher. At present, mentoring is available for Computer Science, English Lit & Comp, and U.S. History. Be aware that the cost can run over a thousand dollars for the full package, and the reviews have been a mixed bag. Consequently, I suggest that you ask around the online community before signing up.

Online Resources for New AP Teachers

Speaking of the online community, make sure to become a member. The College Board has an AP Teacher Community for every subject. These have discussion threads on helpful topics as well as an extensive collection of teacher resources.

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My related advice for new AP teachers is to join a Facebook group for your subject. This is probably the best place to find help. These are supportive groups that answer questions, offer ideas, provide current news, and share course materials.

Pay it Forward

My final advice for new AP teachers is to pay it forward. Be a contributor to the teacher community by sharing ideas and resources. And don’t forget to share the joy of learning with your students!

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