As I’m sure you know, this Wednesday and Thursday, your student took a test on chapter one of Harm de Blij’s seminal work, The Power of Place. This challenging read and the open ended assessment was likely a struggle. For that reason, this grade is not weighted in the grade book. As with the policies & procedures quiz, you can see the score in GradeSpeed, but the score will not count as part of your student’s average for the marking period.
This is an opportunity for you, me, and your child to reflect on where they are in the Advanced Placement environment. This transition is a tough one, and nobody, least of all your child, should feel dejected by the result. This grade is simply a measure of where we are and how far we need to go together before the end of this academic year. I can tell students the course is rigorous, I can tell them that the tests are tough and the reading is unlike anything they are likely to have experienced before. But they often don’t believe me. I understand, they’ve heard it before. But now it’s real. Now, my hope is, I have his or her attention and they are open to new strategies, new ways of thinking, new work ethics.
Of course the trick is to separate “can’t” from “won’t”. If your child can’t do the work, but he or she is willing to make the effort to succeed, I’ve got the tools and the experience to get them there. If they won’t do the work, if the pressures of a tough arts program and tough academics is too much for them, that’s okay too. After all, we’re asking a 14 year old to manage a 17 year-old’s work. A child isn’t lazy or “dumb” if they are not ready yet. I need your help in considering these questions, talking with your student about goals and the time and effort they have for academics. Bright or not so bright, Advanced Placement curriculum is about effort.
As I mentioned above, this one is free. No penalty is placed on these grades. Now is the time for you and your student to decide if they are willing to meet me at the high level of rigor that College Board demands. Now may not be the time. If this is the time, I’m ready to meet the challenge together with you and your student.
As always, there is rich support at the class web site, BinghamsPlace.com. And as always, email me with your questions or concerns,