Seeing the Invisible: How I Teach AP (and Why)
I had earned an A on every English assignment I had turned in since 7th grade. (My streak would have started sooner, but I failed a 7th-grade project about Judy Garland; her life depressed me so much that I just could not finish the paper.) Yet, despite my apparent success, I was invisible to my teachers for most of high school.
It's absurd to me now, but somehow I made it to junior year without giving a single thought to what I might do after graduation. My father, less clueless about the requirements of adulthood, enrolled me in an SAT prep class taught by the school's AP Literature teacher. I had never seen those shiny honors kidsor their teacher. But now Mrs. Pelton saw me.
Because she did, I took her AP Literature class my senior year. Mrs. Pelton gave me my first Cbut she also showed me the depth of my abilities. She proved to me that I could achieve at the same level as those shiny studentsall headed to Stanford, M.I.T., and other places where I thought only "other people" went. The following August, with Mrs. Pelton's encouragement and recommendation, I started at Barnard College at Columbia University, where I got a lot more Cs. Instead of giving up on college and myself, I stayed after class, hounded professors during office hours, took a remedial composition class, and...
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