Larissa Welsh is an English teacher at Columbine High School. She was awarded a grant for College Board’s AP Institute Training.
“I received a grant from the Academic Foundation to attend the 2016 Cherry Creek AP Summer Institute. I used the content of the training within the first month of teaching for the 2016-17 school year and continued to use its content throughout the remainder of the year. The training supplied me with outlining techniques for essays, new texts to teach, and an in-depth understanding of what skills students need in order to be successful on the AP Literature Exam. I teach English 9 Honors, and students of my classes are on track to take AP Literature their senior year; to work with prompts and teaching techniques for this class clarified the direction for my classes in terms of what skills to teach and how to teach them.
The portion of the course that made the biggest impact on my teaching was the poetry instruction. The institute equipped teachers with two books of poetry: Perrine’s Sound and Sense and The Norton Anthology of Poetry. I have taught multiple poems from these books in the past year, and the strategies used to teach them come directly from this professional development. As a result, the writing students submitted for this unit included more high-level thinking and ideas that were original and well-founded. My ability to partake in this course through the Academic Foundation’s grant enhanced my teaching and my students’ thinking and writing abilities, and I am (and will continue to be) thankful for what this opportunity afforded my students and me.”