Improving Learning Outcomes for Your Busy StudentsMichael M. Guevara
Toward the latter half of my son’s junior year in high school (he’s a junior in college now), I went with him to the meetings set up by the counseling department for parents and students to plan out students’ senior year. It reminded me of a graduation audit in college to make sure everything is on course for graduation.
I went into that meeting fully prepared to dictate the conversation, to answer for my son as the counselor posed questions about his future.
Turns out I ended up saying almost nothing past initial greetings and pleasantries.
He already knew which AP® courses he wanted for senior year, had completed all the steps in Naviance for his college portfolio, and conversed in a casual nonchalance with the counselor that almost negated any need for me to be there other than to marvel at the young adult impressing the hell out of me at that moment.
But I really shouldn’t have been surprised. With a high school experience that included a panoply of AP® courses, running cross country, varsity tennis, and band, he had set himself up for dealing with the juggling of schedules, assignments, and gigs that made a simple meeting with the guidance counselor look like a simple meeting with the guidance counselor.
And the more I think about his experience, I think of the experiences of his friends who were involved in multiple activities and AP® courses like him, and I think of how the AP≈ and honors students I taught were the students who were the most involved in other school activities.
Typically, when we talk about the game-changing aspects of the interactive editions of the Perfection Learning® resources, we think in terms of additional support for English language learners, for students with IEPs, for students who need additional scaffolding and support for success.
We typically don’t think of the benefits the interactive editions have for students in our AP® courses, who may also be ELLs, have IEPs, and need additional scaffolding. But the game-changing benefits extend far beyond these supports.
When my son played varsity tennis, his spring semester calendar was peppered with weekly tournaments that typically involved getting dropped off at a tennis site and spending the day there waiting for his turn on court. As a band officer on drumline, his band schedule was equally peppered with requests for the drumline to play gigs and events across the district and community. Looking back on that time, I can only imagine how much easier it would have been for him to keep up with his AP® course work if he had the benefit of using the AP® interactive editions by AMSCO®.
On those days spent at a tennis site waiting for his name and court to be called, he could have used his tablet, logged into PerfectionNext®, accessed the AP® interactive edition, gone into his assignments, and explained a historical context for the European exploration in the Americas from the 1490s to the early 1600s. On those long bus trips headed to football games, he could have made use of Immersive Reader and listened to the readings on imperialism, expansion after the Civil War, the purchase of Alaska and Hawaii, and Pan American diplomacy. And when you're hauling around a tennis bag with multiple changes of clothes, racquets, shoes, snacks, and more or bass drums in varying sizes, carrying your tablet beats lugging around a bag of books for each AP® class you’re taking.
Yes, the interactive editions provide excellent support for students of all backgrounds, but they also make juggling the AP® and extracurricular load for students like my son more manageable. And for students with busy schedules, extra help with an AP® life filled with extracurriculars is a welcomed bonus.
Michael Méndez Guevara is a former high school journalism and English teacher who spent his time in the classroom helping students see themselves as writers and fall in love with reading through the world of young adult literature. As an educational sales consultant with Perfection Learning®, Michael works with teachers and schools on improving their literacy instruction and providing resources to help students achieve academic success. He has taught elementary school, middle school, and high school and has worked as a district level leader and served on the Texas state standards revision committee that developed the state’s current literacy standards. He is the father of three adult sons, the youngest a student at the University of Kansas—Rock Chalk! Michael is working on a professional development book for literacy educators and currently has agents reading the manuscript of his young adult novel, The Closest Thing to a Normal Life. When he's not reading, writing, or running, Michael is fully committed to watching as much Law & Order as possible.