Note to APUSH students and parents:
Even though I "retired" from Mercy High School, it has been my announced intention to support the APUSH students until the exam in May or until a qualified AP teacher was hired to teach the class. My website, www.apush-msminer.net, is the portal to resources and in-class assignments. It has been my intention to make on-line quizzes available (to check progress) and post writing assignments for which students would receive feedback.
I earned my BA in History in 1994, the Masters in History in 1996 (both at SFSU), and qualified for my California Single Subject credential in 1999 (CLAD emphasis)(Dominican University). My credential is current through June, 2019. (Credential 140020077)
I have been teaching US History since 1998 (as a student teacher at Lowell High School), and the Advanced Placement US History (APUSH) since 2003. I have been approved to teach this course by the College Board. For eight summers, most recently in 2016, I have been hired by ETS to read and score the essays on the AP Exam, and I am invited back every year, including for this year's reading in June. (Nearly 400,000 students take the exam each year, and that means there are almost 800,000 essays that need to be read and scored. Readers work 8.5 hours per day for seven consecutive days. There is no better training than this to teach students how to write the essays!)
My AP US History course this year is based on the College Board 2017-18 course outline and is approved by the College Board. Students were given a copy of this outline last fall. The outline is publicly available. Nothing in the CONTENT of the course has changed significantly since the redesign of 2015.
My webpages are updated for each chapter each week as necessary to reflect any content changes (based on the latest outline) and to reflect the progress of the current class of students.
The 2014-15 Redesign included new scoring rubrics for the LEQ (long essay question) and the DBQ (document-based question.) I had extensive training for these new rubrics at an APSI (AP Summer Institute) before the changes were put into effect and then at the AP Reading in Louisville the following two summers (2015-16).
The essay scoring rubrics have been “tweaked” again this year, and I am fully aware of the changes. I had hoped that I could guide students by assigning appropriate essay topics for them to write during class time, and for which I would provide extensive feedback both in content and in writing skills. (Writing an essay for history is different from writing an essay in other courses.) Student practice for the SAQ (Short Answer Question) began last fall.
As to pacing, the Spring reading schedule was posted in late December on my website.
Additional information about College Board expectations:
FAQs from the College Board:
Does the AP Course Audit specify educational background or certification requirements for AP teachers?
No, there are no formal requirements that a teacher must satisfy to teach an AP course. However, the College Board advocates high standards for Advanced Placement teachers in the following areas: content knowledge, teacher certification, pedagogy and student learning, analysis and reﬂection, and ongoing professional development. Although the College Board recognizes that there is no single path to becoming an effective AP teacher, the educational background and professional development of the teacher can greatly improve the quality of his or her teaching.
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Does the AP Course Audit require teachers to participate in professional development?
No, the AP Course Audit does not mandate a type or amount of teacher professional development. However, the College Board encourages schools to provide funding opportunities for their AP teacher(s) to attend workshops, Summer Institutes, or other professional development activities. The College Board strongly recommends that AP teachers attend a professional development experience in their subject area before teaching the AP course for the first time, and on a periodic basis thereafter. Examples of College Board workshops and independent Summer Institutes endorsed by the College Board are listed on the AP Central events page.
**** Original "About Me" posting:
I live in Bernal Heights now, but I grew up in Oakland and went to Oakland Tech High School.
I have a dog named Hazel and a fish named Bob.
I worked for the Telephone Company for over 25 years. I went back to college as an adult (CCSF, at night), first to learn French because I wanted to visit Paris, and then to complete my lower division work. I transferred to SFSU for the Spring of 1992 and coincidentally, the Phone Company offered a retirement plan! I was able to go full time at San Francisco State, and I earned a BA (1994) and a Masters in US History (1996) with a minor in Modern European History.
I applied to Law School and was accepted at Hastings School of Law and Golden Gate University Law School; Golden Gate, though, gave a full scholarship, so I enrolled there. It turns out I didn't want to be a lawyer, after all, so I quit!
I realized that I love history, and that I would really like to teach history. I did a bit of work at Thurgood Marshall as a substitute, and then as a part time teacher -- of Economics!!! I entered a teaching credential program at Dominican College (now University) in San Rafael and did my student teaching down the street at Lowell. I have a current California Single-Subject Credential in Social Science with CLAD emphasis/certificate. (CLAD stands for Crosscultural, Language, and Academic Development.)
During the school year, there is not much "free time" for teachers, but I do go somewhere fun with my dog most weekends. We love to go camping! I like classical music, jazz, and opera, and I like going to live performances. I'm a Giants fan.
I love horses, and I have been taking riding lessons for the past four years or so. I get to ride every week. The discipline I train in is called "Cowboy Dressage." In the summer of 2016, I began leasing a horse named Elliot, which means that I could ride three times a week and be responsible for tending to him on "my" days. (This means things like bringing him up from the pasture, brushing him, picking his feet, exercising and feeding grain supplements, etc.) I have learned to live with "helmet hair."
Elliot and I have also herded cattle (October 2016) - but that was a "fun event" inside a fenced area, so the cows never got very far away from us.... (I had previously herded cattle on Buda (see picture); I had borrowed him for the weekend.)
August 2017: I am now leasing a horse named William, who lives in a small barn in Portola Valley. We are just getting to know each other, and I hope that we have many trail rides ahead of us.
Winter 2018: William and I have done a lot of work together riding in the small "corral" attached to the barn. We have taken lessons from the Cowboy from Wyoming so that (for example) I can (will be able to) place each of his feet exactly where I intend them to go as we ride along. I'm learning to not use the reins so much to steer, but rather my seat and my legs. We have been out on the trail a few times, but the rainy weather has kept us from going out lately.