12th Grade AP Parents

I really enjoyed meeting those of you who attended Back-to-School Night!
Those of you who didn't attend, feel free to email me to introduce yourselves.
Here are the questions from Back-to-School Night:
Q: How much emphasis is there on writing?
A: This AP Literature class puts a great deal of emphasis on writing: students must not only read well, but they must also be able to articulate their ideas about the texts through their writing.  Every week there will be some form of writing, whether in class or at home.
Q: How many kids do you have?
A: The AP classes range from 15-28 students.
Q: Just get a pass for AP exam will not be counted as college credit?
A: The AP considers a “3” a passing grade, but different schools have different requirements for granting college credit and course placement.  Many schools require at least a “4” and some schools limit the total advanced placement credits.  Check with the particular school to determine the policy.
Q: Do you work with them on their college essays?
A: Yes, extensively, and the first two assignments prepared the students to write about personal experiences in an analytical fashion.  I’ve also set aside time to meet with students on an individual basis.  
Q: What is your favorite mythical creature or being?
A: Athena is a personal favorite, since she’s the goddess of wisdom, but I also have a soft spot for Hermes, the messenger god in charge of oratory and interpretation.  He’s also a bit of a trickster.
Q: What is the biggest difference that kids will find between this class and their college courses?
A: In college, students will do very little in-class writing and very few activities to hone their skills as readers and writers. 
Q: How do you judge your students for grading?
A: I have high standards for all my students, and expect them to be able to offer fresh, well-reasoned, and well-articulated perspectives on the literature we read.  Very shortly, I will introduce the 6-point AP rubric, which I’ll use in grading both take-home and in-class essays.  
Q: Do all the AP Lit. courses read the same things?
A: We all teach New Testament, Dante, and Hamlet.  The other major texts vary from teacher to teacher.
Q: Please explain something about the homework that you give everyday.  How long is the period every day?
A: I don’t really give daily homework – instead I expect students to plan wisely to complete their reading, writing, and studying by the required dates.  (All due dates will be posted on the Google Classroom calendar.)   Regular classes are 38 minutes, and block classes are 96 minutes.
 Q: With all the homework at school, how can my kid get (more) jazzed about reading for pleasure?
A: I encourage students to read widely – not just great literature, but non-fiction – works of history, science, economics, psychology.  There’s so much great material out there, and after college applications are in, I would recommend that you to take a trip with your child to the bookstore or library.  You can even surprise your child with a bookstore gift card!
Q: Why the Bible?
A: Both the Hebrew and Christian Bibles are extremely important for the study of Western literature.  The Bible forms the basis for so much of this literature, not just with the allusions to Scripture, but with themes, character, and narrative types.  It's important for students to be familiar with some of this source material.  In addition, the Gospels of the New Testament provide us with a special opportunity to study the telling and retelling of a story so that we can speculate on how narratives develop. Finally, the Bible offers an excellent opportunity for us to discuss and learn about issues of interpretation (indeed, the Bible was perhaps the first work to be studied and interpreted systematically).