By: Luis Tobon/Content Editor
Standardized testing is a major component in every students’ academic career. Typically accompanied by mass hysteria, anxiety attacks, and overall dread, Advanced Placement (AP) Tests can prove to be quite a challenge with an ambiguous outcome.
Fortunately for students at Blue Ridge High School, the staff is composed of many qualified teachers, some of which are AP Readers themselves, and that now includes Aimee Krause.
For those who do not know what an AP Reader is, they are people who’ve undergone several years of teaching a rigorous curriculum and have qualified via submission, evaluation of an application and training. In doing so, they’ve become qualified to read and grade AP test written responses in their field of expertise.
According to Matthew Button, the Blue Ridge superintendent, having AP Readers as teachers means great insight into how to construct lesson plans, aiding students in passing their tests.
“Ms. [Alicia] Ross has been an AP Reader and the insight she gained through having the opportunity to have a more-in-depth understanding of the AP Exams has allowed her to better assess students so they are fully prepped before taking an exam. I expect the same thing will happen with Mrs. [Aimee] Krause,” says Button.
“I have been asked to be an AP Literature Reader this June in Salt Lake City, Utah. I feel this experience will help me to connect to other AP Literature teachers which in itself is phenomenal. I’ll know the ins and outs of the essay writing that my AP students face when they are taking the AP Lit test. My family doesn’t understand the appeal or understand why anyone would subjugate themselves to a week of reading ONE essay for eight hours of the day. They laugh at the geeky English teacher that I am,” says Krause.
Though a cliche to say, we pride ourselves with high standards and excelling results. It’s teachers like Mrs. Krause who help shape our school to be one of the best in the region. Her constant optimism and encouragement in students are emphasized by her dedication and commitment in the future of students. Our Superintendent noted, “It helps highlight the dedication our staff has to improve their instructional practices and desire to support student success on AP exams,” and “Teachers are just like students. They are always learning and if we have teachers continually learning to enhance their craft it will only provide more benefit to our students at BR.”
She’s been with our school for years now and has taken up the mantle of being our AP English Literature teacher for quite some time now. No doubt a daunting task, she had taken up this challenge in hopes of helping out our students in preparation for college.
“I have been certified to be an English Teacher since the spring of 2001,” says Krause. “I have taught all kinds of language arts classes for the past seventeen years. The past three years are my first for teaching AP literature. I was inspired to become the AP Literature teacher when Mrs. Williams retired from her teaching position three years ago. I felt that taking her AP Literature class would be a great opportunity to challenge myself and my students. I took the AP Summer Institute class that was offered for AP Literature and Composition. I had to learn a whole new curriculum and how to teach at a college level while making sure the students are prepared for the AP Lit test.”
In retrospect, this is an amazing accomplishment. Learning, designing, and teaching a college-level curriculum is certainly no easy-achieved task. Actions such as these take great time and commitment.
In addition, Krause says, “I believe that being an AP teacher requires a lot of extra dedication. In order to teach AP, the teacher must teach students with tough rigor and be able to prepare students to be successful on the AP test. I feel that there is a lot of difficulty in teaching as it is and many obstacles go along with it, but I feel that the hardest part for me was getting through the first year of teaching the new curriculum and going from teaching mostly ninth grade to teaching seniors. It was quite an adjustment. I spent numerous hours outside of school reading the literature of the curriculum and coming up with challenging lesson plans. I am not sure my family liked me that year. On the other hand, it has been very cool to see how the students have grown academically since I taught them their freshmen year.”
And a concluding message from our Superintendent Mr. Button, “I think it is wonderful that Mrs. Krause has received this invitation and really appreciate her interest in wanting to become an AP Reader. I would just like to say congratulations, great job, and good luck in Salt Lake City this summer.”