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AP US Gov: Teaching you more than just government

17 Feb

Everybody at my school knows that after taking AP US History the only social studies course you can take is AP US Government. It makes sense. It’s a natural progression from the history of our country to the way our country functions now. The teacher would be the same, the classroom would be the same, the classmates would be the same. But wait, what’s this? Our school no longer offers an in-house AP US Gov class?

Finding out that this class would only be offered as an Online School for Girls class was definitely a surprise for me. I didn’t know what to expect. I was comfortable just taking normal classes. I knew the other girls in my class, I knew the teachers, and I knew (from upperclassmen) what the classes were going to be like. But this would be something totally new for me. I was a little apprehensive. But so far, it’s been a great experience.

Normally, this class would be a whole year, but for OSG, it’s been condensed down to one semester. This fact scared me at first, but after surviving over a month of AP US Gov with Mr. Gwaltney, I have no doubt that I’ll be ready for the AP exam in May. If anything, I’ll be overprepared. We learn via all sorts of media. We listen to recorded lectures, we read from a textbook, we watch videos, we discuss opinions. It’s like a normal class on steroids.

One other thing that made me a little apprehensive about this course at first was the time management issue. I’ll be honest about it: I’m a chronic procrastinator. I was pretty afraid that I would be doing everything last minute and doing mediocre work on everything because there was no teacher looking down my back and no real class time. But somehow I’ve managed without having to turn everything in at 11:59 on the day it’s due.

I’ve learned many things in the last month or so. Not just about US Government (which I’ve learned a lot about), but also myself. I know now that when I go away to college next year (where I’ll definitely need better time management skills and will be faced with a myriad of new experiences) I’ll be okay.

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8 Comments

Posted by on February 17, 2012 in Learning

 

8 responses to “AP US Gov: Teaching you more than just government

  1. Debbie Campbell

    February 17, 2012 at 6:58 am

    Hi Jackie,
    I enjoyed your post. I am a computer teacher in Texas and I also have twin boys that are seniors. Your procrastination issue is something that I see a lot of. I think it’s much harder for students today to manage their time because of all the avenues they have for information. I think it’s great that you know it’s something you need to work on and watch. A lot of first year college students don’t go in with a plan for their time and that ends up being very harmful. Watch your clock and keep to a schedule and you will accomplish a lot. Enjoy the end of your senior year!
    Debbie Campbell

     
    • jackieosg2012

      February 22, 2012 at 11:07 am

      Hi Debbie, thanks for your response and advice. I’ve realized that procrastination is a big issue for most high schoolers, and, as I talk to friends who have recently graduated and gone to college, it’s something I’m going to have to work on if I want to succeed in college. Thank goodness for this class, though. I feel like it’s forcing me to learn not to procrastinate!

       
  2. Jeff Richardson

    February 17, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Sounds like you are learning one of the most valuable lessons at an age that will serve you well. I still struggle with procrastination and I really wish time-management was explicitly addressed in schools with kids from early grades on. It really is something we must all learn and figure out what works best for us. Good luck with your AP exam and with college next year.

     
    • jackieosg2012

      February 22, 2012 at 11:09 am

      Hi Jeff, thanks for your response. Procrastination has always been a big issue for me, especially since my school requires that every student have their own personal laptop. Having a laptop often means that I am able to go on facebook or other equally distracting websites at home while I’m supposed to be doing my homework. It’s kind of horrible. But I’m working on it!

       
  3. Shauna Liverotti

    February 17, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Hi Jackie:

    Great post. A large part of being successful in an online class is time management. You will also find that you learn a lot about yourself in the process as you have mentioned. It is a great lesson for college as your professor will never knock on your dorm door asking if you completed the work for class. You should set weekly realistic goals for yourself as you go through. “I’ll do it later” never seems to work! It seems that you have a good grip on this so kudos to you! Good luck in the course and strive for a 5!

    p.s. Love your reference to a “normal class” on steroids. AP is no joke. If you have been through APUSH AP Gov will be a breeze. Hehehe

     
    • jackieosg2012

      February 22, 2012 at 11:14 am

      Hi Shauna, thanks for your response. This course has really opened my eyes to what I’m going to have to do next year. Most of my teachers now, even if they don’t baby us, will remind us of upcoming due dates or ask how we’re doing on certain projects. Often, that serves as a reminder to me when I forget. But I know I can’t always expect that.

       
  4. Ross Mannell

    February 19, 2012 at 4:58 am

    Hello, Jackie.

    Your post is the fifth “OSG’s AP U.S. Government & Politics” post I’ve visited and this is the first time I realised, from your post, this was an Online School for Girls class. I suppose I should have noticed each post was from a female but it occurred to me males may not have wanted to take part or were yet to make a post. I can understand the benefits of single sex classes in some areas as the issue is often discussed here in Australia.

    One of the greatest benefits I’ve seen in this course is the incorporation of technology in order to create a virtual classroom. It was in the 80s (or was it the early 90s) I first suggested courses would one day be offered over the fledgling public internet. It’s only in recent years technology has developed enough capability to achieve this effectively so much so as to allow a university to have a centre in a nearby country town so students can take courses online.

    As to procrastination, your pictured clock looks normal to me as I have the same tendency. At this time, I should be editing a video for a community group’s play but I have spent the day commenting on blogs and promised myself I’d dedicate my time to the edit tomorrow. In truth, the commenting allows me to step outside the task. While typing, I consider what needs to be done in the editing task. Of course, in my case, I don’t have a deadline. 🙂

    Given what I have been able to understand of your course and the amount of work involved, I think you have had great preparation for college and wish you well in what lies ahead.

    @RossMannell
    Teacher, NSW, Australia

     
    • jackieosg2012

      February 22, 2012 at 11:15 am

      Hi Ross, thanks for your response. The online class environment is very new to me, but I really love the fact that we get to use so much technology. I’m using programs I’ve never used before, which is nice because I feel like I’m expanding my tech vocabulary.

       

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