|Mrs. Welle & fellow WI AP Psych Reader, Michael Ray|
Some of you might easily dismiss this praise as stemming from my inordinate nerdy devotion to AP Psychology, but I don't think that's the whole picture.
Certainly the process was daunting. Reading student responses to the same question for 8 hours a day seems intimidating to a lot of people, and it is undoubtedly a lot of work. (For those interested, the process is described in greater detail in this article from CNN.com.) But the level of energy that accompanies the endeavor is quite remarkable.
I think Jordan Bienstock, author of the CNN article, captured it perfectly: "The AP Readings take place at four sites around the country with an all-star team of graders. You know that scene in an action movie, when the team of heroes has been assembled and walks in slow motion together while an electric guitar wails on the soundtrack? Replace the actors with academics, and you’ve got the general idea."
It was great to be a part of such a tremendous undertaking--in all, AP Psych Readers scored 218,812 student exams, each of which contained two Free Response Questions--and it was amazing to share the experience with so many talented high school and college-level faculty.
I was able to reconnect with friends that I had met at previous conferences and institutes, meet in person several teachers I had only communicated with via email and other electronic means, and make many new friends and professional connections.
Perhaps even more surprising to me? At the end of an exhausting school year, when I felt like I had really been run completely out of fuel by the many nights of little sleep and days of peak energy expenditure, at the AP Reading I began to look forward to next year. And that's saying something, this early in June.