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AP Seminar motivates students to enjoy their work

From a young age, teachers expect students to know how to research and complete work related to different topics, but many don’t stop and ask how thoroughly a student does this.

This new addition to West Essex provides students with the opportunity to further their knowledge and enjoyment in ways that will benefit their entire class schedules.  It is important for students to be confident in their abilities.  With the help of the new AP Seminar class, the hope is that this will become a reality.

“The class is supposed to try to get kids to think individually and develop good research skills,” AP Seminar teacher Caroline Blanchard said.

In addition to enhancing their skills, AP Seminar is meant to provide students with a new and different perspective for their writing and schoolwork.  Blanchard explains that it takes a certain knowledge to connect something to multiple areas, but it can prove to be extremely helpful.

“I think a lot of times when we do things in history, we do things from a historical perspective, but there are other ways to look at the same topic,” Blanchard said.

Students explain that they feel similarly, already receiving useful information and skills from class conversations, forcing them to look at topics in a way they wouldn’t have before.

All of my classmates are also very interested in what we are learning about and we are able to have meaningful discussions about real-world problems,” sophomore and AP Seminar student Zach Atlas said.

When completing various projects throughout the year, students have the ability to choose any topic they would like to research.  As Blanchard explained, this allows students to take greater enjoyment in their work, providing them with the opportunity to learn more about a specific one of their interests.

“I am really excited to see what kids are interested in and what they choose to research,” Blanchard said.

For years, AP Seminar has been a national class, but a limited amount of schools get the chance to participate.  West Essex was lucky this year to finally get the chance to spread this new addition to its students.  When applying for the class, the national officials attempt to diversify the students taking the class.

“They are trying to ensure that a variety of schools with different socioeconomic status’ are accepted,” Blanchard said.

In addition to the excitement of the staff, the students enrolled in this class are just as enthusiastic about the goals and results.  They value new points of view on their work in a different way than they are used to.

“I enjoy this because I get to hear other people’s perspectives which helps shape/refine my own opinions on the very important topics that we discuss,” Atlas said.

Faculty and students alike are grateful for the chance to introduce this class.  West Essex as a whole can only hope that students take advantage of and appreciate the positive impact AP Seminar will demonstrate on their overall work habits and research abilities.

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