How to Be an AP Calculus Teacher

Need a challenge? Try teaching AP calculus.

Need a challenge? Try teaching AP calculus.

Teaching a subject such as calculus is often considered its own reward. However, experienced teachers may desire the additional challenge of teaching Advanced Placement classes. If you are interested in this, then you must learn what it takes to become an AP calculus teacher.

Education and Certification

Obtain a bachelor's degree as well as a state certification or license to teach; states have different rules on how to obtain such certification. You must also demonstrate your knowledge of the subject through a combination of education, experience and satisfactory performance on a state-administered test to earn the "highly qualified" status required to teach under No Child Left Behind. Check with your school system as well as your state to verify that there are no additional requirements that you need to fulfill.

Register for a College Board workshop or enroll in a Summer Institute. Both offer valuable training and professional development with regard to teaching AP courses, and they are particularly valuable to newer teachers. College Board workshops typically last several days; Summer Institutes may last several weeks. The College Board also sponsors an annual conference that hosts a variety of discussions and lectures, which can further prepare you for teaching AP classes.

Create an account on the College Board's website, which will allow you to submit an electronic copy of your syllabus to the College Board. The syllabus must be thorough, including information about the curriculum framework, examples of exam questions, and anything else that helps exhibit your understanding of both the objectives and expectations of the AP course and exam. The College Board site provides examples, as well as a checklist that you can review before submitting your syllabus. At this time, your principal or other administrator must complete the AP Course Audit form that is provided on the board's website. When this form is completed, your syllabus will be reviewed. If the syllabus is approved, you will be able to teach AP calculus.

Tip

  • It may be tempting to immediately submit your syllabus, and to skip preparation, such as the College Board conference or the Summer Institutes. However, these programs help you to obtain an approved syllabus: If your syllabus fails the audit, you will have limited chances to fix it, and this may jeopardize your ability to apply until a later date.
 

About the Author

Dr. Chris Snellgrove is a writing specialist, and a veteran of everything from a book-length dissertation to a newspaper editor's desk. He has produced work for academic, business, creative, and non-profit endeavors.

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