The Future of AP at Hayfield

Ava Saunders, Staff Writer

    The Advanced Placement program has expanded rapidly within the last couple of decades, giving students the chance to earn college credit while taking more challenging courses. AP tests are administered by College Board, a company that has found that, in the last decade, the number of U.S. public high school graduates who have taken an AP exam increased by 65%. With a higher demand at schools for these college-level courses, there’s understandably a higher demand for teachers to guide students through learning topics and preparing them for the AP exam.    This year is the beginning of Molly Steadman’s AP teaching experience at Hayfield, through a course called AP U.S. History, often known as APUSH. However,  it’s not her first year teaching general and honors history. Steadman said that to start teaching that class, she attended a weekend summer program and did her own studying as well to prepare. 

“[Teaching AP is] definitely more of a challenge, especially because it’s such a skill based class,” Steadman said.

    Steadman also agreed that part of being a new AP teacher is learning with her students, not just teaching them. A lot of her time is now spent grading and giving feedback on writing. 

    Another recent addition to the AP team at Hayfield is Christa Shiley, who has started teaching AP Lang. Shileys certification experience to start teaching this class aligned with Steadman’s, both of them taking a summer course.

“[The AP summer institute] really involves trying to get a better understanding of the rubrics that we’re grading [students] on and getting an understanding of the overall course and exam,” Shiley said.

    Shiley said that not only has this AP preparation course helped teach AP Lang, she’s also noticed ways it’s helped her teach English 10 Honors class, by helping them prepare for AP classes. Newer teachers deal with a lot of new technology and that can sometimes present challenges even though it benefits students.

“[Being in the new generation of teaching] definitely feels good, but it’s also a challenge because [I’m new], so I don’t have the years of experience that some of the veterans have,” Steadman said. 


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