I remember the shock on the face of my students when they received a summer reading assignment from their AP teacher. My students were Freshmen and they didn’t have the opportunity to sign up for an AP course coming from the middle school. However, after a strong Freshman year, I suggested that some of them take the AP class next year. They were OK with this until they received that assignment. They couldn’t believe that they had to do something other than sleep and have fun during the summer. I assured them they will be OK and that they will thank me for it later.
On many occasions throughout the year, I reminded my students that as they move on through high school there will be 2 roads that people travel. You can tell which road someone is on by the courses they choose to take. AP and advanced level classes represent one road. The standard classes represent another road. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking the standard classes during high school. However, you have to realize that life is a competition filled with requirements and cut-off points. SUCCESS in AP and Advanced Level classes stands out on any application. Perhaps, the selection for an internship comes down to 2 people. One took the standard courses with a 3.2 GPA. The other took numerous AP and Advanced Level courses and earned a 2.8 GPA. The numbers are close. However, if I am making this decision, I believe I would lean towards the student with the 2.8 GPA. I say this because I know that person can be challenged greatly and still succeed. When you get a job, you will find that businesses are about one thing and that’s “Making Money”. Businesses want strong workers who can earn the company money by doing a great job. Businesses want people who are able to accept the challenge. So think about this the next time registration comes around. Which road will you choose?
Marvin Byrd (c/o 98)