Monday, February 25, 2008

Course sign-up for Juniors (Revised)

Members of the junior class:

It's time to begin thinking about your course sign-up for next year's English classes. You have two options: a year-long AP course, or two semester courses, one required (Introduction to World Literature) the other elective (Shakespeare, African-American Literature, The Art of Composition). Essentially, the difference between the two tracks is that the AP class has more assigned reading, moves at a slightly faster pace, and is graded on a slightly more demanding scale.

The ideal candidate for AP English is the student who enjoys reading, thinking about, and discussing literature, who has already proven the willingness to work hard throughout a year-long course, who enjoys sharing ideas and interpretations with others in a seminar-style discussion format, and who will choose a senior-year schedule with only one or two other AP courses. The ability to write clear, logical, well-supported essays of textual interpretation is crucial, since writing is the primary method of evaluation in the course.

If you wish to be considered for AP, please ask Ms. Driscoll for her recommendation. There are 32 spots available, and I will select the class based on the following criteria (in order of importance):

  1. A strong recommendation from Ms. Driscoll about the consistency of your work ethic and level of motivation;
  2. A strong recommendation from Ms. Driscoll about the level of your writing skills;
  3. B+ or better grades in English III, English II, (and U.S. History since it involves several of the same skills--reading, writing, and motivation).
First preference will be given to those who satisfy all three requirements. Then, if there are spaces available, those who satisfy the first two requirements but have some grades of B will be considered. However, in those cases, Ms. Driscoll's recommendation about the first requirement, your level of motivation and the consistency of your work ethic, will be absolutely crucial. A weak recommendation in this area is by itself grounds for my turning down your request for this course.

I will be happy to answer any questions you have in the weeks between now and the sign-up date.