Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I'm not cynical anymore...

Just scared.

At our school we have a very strong AP program. Our principal's favorite thing to talk about is the AP test scores. Every student who is planning on going to college is encouraged to take an AP course, yet the pass rates remain high. Among all of the AP teachers, Mr. Superduper Teacher* is one of the most talked about. He teaches AP U.S. and AP European History. This past year he had 60 kids take the AP Euro test and not only did every student pass, but every student passed with a 4 or 5. He's a great teacher -- one of those teachers that just knows SO much about everything. He has great stories and can keep the kids interested and engaged the entire time, even though his entire class is discussion based. This year he teaches 6 classes, instead of the normal 5, and just doesn't have a duty period, because so many kids take his classes.

For whatever reason, Mr. Superduper Teacher has always liked me. If I'm honest with myself, there are some things I disagree with him on, but I am always nice and respectful because who doesn't like to be liked by Mr. Superduper Teacher? Well, the students just registered for next year's classes. Since our school is growing, and the AP program is growing, there are way more students than Mr. Superduper Teacher can teach signed up for AP U.S. and AP Euro next year. So, someone has to pick up the extra classes. Guess who?

Yep. Me. Mr. Superduper Teacher has been talking to me about it for a while (basically since I student taught there 2 years ago). So has our principal. He wanted me to take an AP workshop last summer, but it didn't work out. Basically I have been stalling, with the hope that I would move before they needed me to teach the AP classes. (I mean let's face it, the dh has about one year left on his dissertation and if he gets a job offer in Texas I'll be outta here faster than you can say YEE-HAW.) But the stalling plan did not work. I told Mr. Superduper teacher I would think about it, but then the next day the department head came by and basically informed me that I would be teaching a couple sections of AP U.S. next year. I don't really have a choice.

I know I should be jumping at the chance. It's like a promotion. And I love U.S. History and barely get to discuss it right now because I teach very low-level students. But I don't want to be the teacher known as "Ms. NOT-superduper Teacher." Which is what I will be. The whole school knows Mr. Superduper Teacher. The kids idolize him. Next year's 11th graders are already looking forward to having him because they have heard about him from other students and from siblings and parents and other teachers. Imagine the shock, the horror, when they get their schedule and it lists me. And to add to my fear of inferiority, the NEXT summer, we will get a list of students and their scores, and the whole world will know that Mr. Superduper Teacher is better than Ms. NOT-superduper teacher.

But, it should be fun. I'll learn a lot and I will survive. Right? right?


*Name changed to preserve anonimity and reflect superduperness of teacher.