Sunday, June 10, 2012


I'm trying to get back into posting. I've been gone a long time, but I think it's time to get back to it. So I'll reopen my blog and begin to get writing again. I want to acknowledge "Z" for keeping me advised, engaged, and feeling that I wanted to write again.  Above all she encourged me to write and I thank her for that.  I feel that I have so much to say.

For the past few years I've been a reader/grader of essays written by students who have taken the Advanced Placement U.S. history test every year. I was thrilled to be chosen for this job years ago and I've eagerly went to Louisville to read them each year.

This year my colleagues and read about 1.25 million essays over a seven day period. I personally read over 1,500 essays. At times it was mind-numbing, but there were those gems that perked you up. What was really the best about the experience was the comraderie I experienced with my fellow teachers. There are some really dedicated teachers and they are a joy to talk to and I learn from each of them. Of course, there are some that make you scratch your head.

I got into an argument with one about Romney's Mormonism and the fact that he shouldn't be elected over Obama because of his religion. Open-minded? I want to report that there are students who just get it. I read essays that made me wince, made me laugh, made me want to cry, and a lot of them made me feel great about the future. I wish I could say that all of them were insightful, but alas, that's not true. I was distressed to see that the biases of some teachers shone through in their students essays.

All you had to do was read them and look at the school code on the test book. Same statements, same school. Not good. I spend each day suppressing my biases and teaching the facts to my students. I don't want to tell them what to think, I want to teach them to think.

Let's try an experiment. I'll link the website of the College Board and let you read the essay questions the students answered.  Can you answer them?


Z said...

Thanks SO much...if I really did that, I feel honored.
You remember you can post at my place ANY time :-)
And no, I couldn't answer a lot of those!

So you might have read our school in California's AP History exams? !!over a MILLION are you KIDDING? How many did you do yourself?!!

I'm SO glad to see you back! You have a lot to say and you say it so well. z

Law and Order Teacher said...

I read over 1,500 in 7days of 8 hours. I may have. We only see a school code. I don't know mine. It's a great experience. Thanks for visiting.

Ducky's here said...

Yes, I have certainly met some very capable dedicated teachers. Had a few over the years.

Too bad the fringe right has figured out that the way to victory is to pound the crap out of you.

Get ready, you will have what you wished for and it will not benefit you.

Ducky's here said...

I looked at one of the exams and the statement by Carnegie on the expected lifestyle of the robber baron is in direct conflict with the truth of the gilded age and I'll stick with Veblen.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Thanks. Sorry I was out of town and didn't answer your post. Social Darwinism was a prevalent philosophy in the Gilded Age. I love reading and writing about that period of time. There certainly were some outrages but I also feel some of them were on the progressives side. Thanks for visiting.