What does an AP lead teacher do? Part 1

I think my previous posts have been a little bit long, so in an effort to make this one shorter, I will break it into two parts.  In my district , there are two types of AP lead teachers:  the campus lead (also called AP Advocate) and the content lead.  In this post, I will discuss my duties as a campus lead.  Let me start by pointing out that I am NOT the AP coordinator.  That person is one of our counselors and she is responsible mainly for ordering and administering AP exams.

Here are the main components of my job:

Working with students

  • I promote participation in the free/reduced lunch program so that students can qualify for fee waivers on PSAT, SAT, AP exams and for college applications.
  • I explain the National Merit Process to students and parents.
  • I will conduct several after school sessions to prepare students for PSAT (All sophomores and juniors in our school take the PSAT during school time).
  • Once we have PSAT data, I will help teachers use AP Potential software to identify prospective AP students.
  • I will also use the Summary of Answers for the PSAT to identify strengths and weaknesses in our curriculum and instruction.
  • I can counsel individual students and their parents, though this is usually done by our excellent counseling staff.
  • I sponsor the AP Ambassadors group, a student group dedicated to promoting the AP program amongst under-represented populations (subject for a future post!)
  • I conduct focus groups with under-represented students in order to identify barriers to their participation.

Working with administrators/counselors

  • I work to remove identified barriers to students participation and performance.  For example, we noticed that many students were dropping AP classes during the first few days of the class when they hadn’t really done anything yet.  We changed our policy so that NO DROPS are allowed during first three weeks of school.  By that time, students have realized how much help is available and that the class is not as scary as they thought.
  • Serve as a single source of information for all policies and procedures related to the AP program.  If someone has a question, they know to ask me and I am responsible for digging up the answer.
  • Serve as a liason between AP teachers and counselors.
  • Assist in administering AP exams, as necessary.  (All AP teachers are expected to do this for exams not in their content areas.)
  • Help principals to set priorities in staffing and budgeting to insure continued growth and quality in our AP program.

Working with teachers

  • Help teachers to evaluate the success of their AP class in terms of equity and excellence.
  • Assist teachers in interpreting the AP instructional planning report, which should arrive in September (subject of a future post!)
  • Alert teachers and assist in registration for training opportunities.  I am really encouraging our successful AP teachers to apply to be readers and College Board consultants.
  • I help to identify and prepare potential PreAP and AP teachers.  We are particularly interested in developing minority AP teachers who will serve as good role models for our students.
  • Encourage teachers to adopt policies and instructional strategies that are more inclusive to all students.
  • I serve as the leader of the AP teachers committee, planning and conducting their meetings.  (See previous post)
  • I coordinate and facilitate prep sessions for students so that students from all 3 high school in our district can benefit.

Working with the program

  • Assist in creating brochures and informational handouts to promote specific courses or the AP program in general.
  • Along with my student ambassadors, I attend parent information nights conducted by our counselors during registration periods.
  • I insure that achievements and opportunities are covered by the various media.  Since scores from last year are available, it’s a good time to sit down and tally up how much money the AP program has saved your community in terms of college hours earned.  That can make a nice story for the local paper.  The school board is also happy to hear that type of thing.
  • One of the events that the media will cover is our AP Scholar breakfast which will take place in January (subject for a future post!)  I am responsible for planning and hosting this event.

This post is already much too long and this is only half of my job!  My next post will discuss the content lead responsibilities.  Even if your school doesn’t have someone designated as an AP lead teacher, many of the things above still need to be done.  You might want to sit down and figure out who on your campus is responsible for each item.  If no one is in charge, that particular ball might be dropped, to the detriment of the AP program generally and your students in particular.

Thanks to everyone who is reading and also to those who took the time to post a comment.  It’s nice to know that someone out there might benefit from this small effort.  This was our first day of school with the kids and it looks like it’s going to be a fabulous year!

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2 Responses to “What does an AP lead teacher do? Part 1”

  1. Jeannine Says:

    Thank you for the format – call me linear or logical but I’m excited to read what you wrote today. I haven’t read it yet – just happy it looks inviting to read. Weird I know!

  2. Terri Sebring Says:

    My principal has just asked me to take on this type of role because our AP program is growing. So your experience and your thoughts will help me shape what I will be doing. Thanks!

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