A New Kind of A.P.

Empires fall, religions split, and lead scribbles on paper in the brand new Advanced Placement European History course.

World History teacher Colleen Bonner has been integrated into the world of Advanced Placement, or AP, teachers. This semester has seen the start of her AP European History course, inspired by a group of students who had her their freshman year.

“Students who are seniors now, approached me last year about teaching an A.P. Course,” Bonner said. “They asked me which I would prefer to teach, A.P. World or A.P. Euro, and I said Euro.”

With a desire to continue challenging himself through rigorous courses, senior Evan Brinkley knew he had to act.

“I had already taken AP Gov. [Advanced Placement Government] as a sophomore and APUSH [Advanced Placement U.S. History] as a junior, so when senior year came around we had no AP history class,” Brinkley said.

It was Brinkley who led the group of students to get the new course. They had been in talks about bringing in a new Advanced Placement history class, and knew they wanted Bonner to be the teacher.

“Ms. Bonner has been one of my favorite teachers in high school, and is extremely popular among my friends,” Brinkley said.

Bonner was approved by administration to teach the class, but had to take a week long training course in order to be certified.

“I took the training to learn about the test and how to teach the course,” Bonner said. “I also had to create a syllabus, which was approved by the College Board.”

The class is very challenging, reading intensive course. With a fast pace and lots of material, the course may not be for everybody, especially those with reading and writing difficulties. For those wishing to achieve success, procrastination is not an option.

“You need to be extremely self motivated. There is no easy way to do the class, but to do the work,” Bonner said.

Brinkley has found that the course can be laden, but still manages to thoroughly enjoy it.

“I love the class,” Brinkley said. “I feel like we have a lot off fun given the tough class load, and there is always a friendly conversation oriented atmosphere.”

Bonner is seasoned in teaching mostly honors students, but that doesn’t mean the task of teaching an Advanced Placement course is any less hard. Even so, he doesn’t let the difficulty get in the way, however, as she is very dedicated to her students’ success.

“I struggle sometimes with the content and pacing,” Bonner said. “They tell first year A.P. teachers not to worry about the scores only teach the skills and the content, but I want both. I will work hard to make sure my kids and myself achieve both. It is a college level course and I want my students to achieve as much as possible.”