When it comes to taking AP classes, students tend to feel a small variety of emotions ranging from stress…to anxiety. But Mr. Morris, Helix’s lone AP Human Geography teacher on campus, is here to tell his students that things aren’t as bad as they may seem, and they are not going through this process alone.
A football coach and tutor turned teacher, Mr. Morris has been educating his students here at Helix since 2007. He knows the pressure that AP students, especially freshmen, are experiencing.
With more deadlines, tests, and homework than ever before, it’s a lot to take in for new students. However, Mr. Morris praises students willing to take on this challenge, and assures that their decision to take an AP class was the right one. “Taking an AP class as a freshman exposes you to the rigorous content of high school. You learn that if you have a goal, time, and resources, you can do anything you want to do.”
In AP Human Geography, students study the correlation between humans and their environment through group discussions, presentations, and much more. Although Mr. Morris’ humor and outgoing personality can brighten the mood, many students still feel overwhelmed. He has some advice for those that are nervous about the challenges of the upcoming school year. “It’s all about perspective. It’s only one test, one assignment. All we can ask is that you tried your best.”
Just like their students, teachers also encounter many struggles throughout the school year. With Helix’s complex A/B schedule and random days off here and there, the amount of weight placed on their shoulders is increased. “With A/B days, organization becomes a challenge. Feedback, grading, and workflow are also messed up with Monday’s off,” Mr. Morris says.
When the calendar flips to May and the time to take the AP test arrives, students begin to worry about filling in the right answers and coming up with correct responses for the FRQs. However, according to Mr. Morris, students aren’t the only ones with sweaty palms about the test. “As a teacher, you hope you gave students enough time and resources. You also hope it can be a positive experience for them, and oftentimes you wish you would’ve answered things differently.”
At Helix, teachers create a bond with students that cannot be matched. There are so many opportunities for connection, whether it’s in a class, during tutorial, or at an after school event. With teachers like Mr. Morris on campus, it definitely makes going to school a little more enjoyable and taking AP classes a little less stressful!