Lack of AP English Options Frustrates

No place to excel for humanities students

      While I’m not that far into high school, I have heard one recurring theme, “choose classes that you will feel confident in while also challenging yourself.” For me this has always been humanities. Since the time I could listen I would make my parents reread bedtime stories, and I loved “quiet writing time”. History and English were always my favorite subjects in the day during elementary school. It’s not that I haven’t loved math and science just as much – I have, but I’ve always loved learning about history and diving into a new novel. When coming to high school I took my love of English into account and considered what classes I would take at an advanced level and what I would leave “regular,” it was always an assumption that I would just end up accelerating in English and History. However when I looked into the course book I was disappointed and frankly annoyed as to the lack of AP-english class options.

      Upon closer inspection I have come to realize that besides AP Lit, the College Board really doesn’t offer that many other options for students, yet that doesn’t dissuade my frustration with the institution itself.

      I’m not advocating for AP classes, rather that there should be a way to base rigor that is equal in terms of amount of classes. The problem is this: if I am told over and and over by people familiar with the college process that it is vital I fill my schedule with a certain amount of AP classes in order to best prepare myself for college applications and those APs should be classes that I do well in, it is frustrating that there is one AP English class Blake offers. Even when looking at the College Board it seems that more options are given in STEM subjects and it then becomes hard to walk that tightrope of both taking a challenging course load and taking subjects in which I feel confident. 

     There are steps to take that do indeed seem to both induce challenge while also setting the stage for a more “rigorous” course load. English teacher Cory Tao explains, “Students occasionally would double up, like they would take AP and then one of the other electives but you know that’s kind of tricky to do with scheduling here.” Tao also notes that in it of itself, taking this AP class is pushing and stretching oneself which should not be diminished, “You’ve taken this AP class and that’s not to diminish the other elective options but it is definitely a class as a teacher you go in know this is where I’m going to push.”