Describe your classroom experience with teaching AP U.S. History
I have taught US History for 10 years, and this will be my 4th year teaching AP US History. My previous AP and college-level experience includes AP Micro and Macro Economics, and college level Behavioral Economics.
What is your experience with remote learning and online classes?
Even though this will be the first year I will be starting the school year fully virtual, remote learning is no stranger to me. Since 2014, I have experimented and implement elements of a flip-class design where students are able to do pre-work at home, and experience thoughtful and experiential learning in the classroom. I believe the same can be done in a full-online environment because technology truly makes the possibilities limitless!
What advice do you have for homeschool and self study students?
First and foremost: dedicate space to the learning. I mean this both mentally and physically. Mentally create a mindset where you're only thinking about and doing the work in a dedicated period of time. For example, every day before dinner, you're working on your course. Physically, if possible, create an area in your home or your environment where you go to do work, even if it's taking a small corner of your bedroom that is dedicated to study and get things done. The science says that these two small hacks trick your brain to get into a work-mode whenever you're in that mental and physical space. If you stay organized and keep to a specific schedule as best you can, you'll be in great shape to tackle anything. I'm also always here to help with ideas!
For students who haven't decided whether taking this course online is worth it, what would you say to them?
I'd ask them to consider the words of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton as he sings, "Hey. What are you waiting for? What do you stall for? We won the war, what was it all for?" Hamilton continuously asks Aaron Burr that if he stands for nothing, what will he fall for? No matter what you believe politically, claims and theories need to be backed up by truth-based evidence. It's a skill that has sadly been undervalued but necessary in an online world. But in order to truly take a stand, evidence is required, and argument needs to be strong. There is no other class that will teach not only the historical skills needed, but the argumentative skills as well with the full power of the internet at our disposal.
How hard will this class be and what can students expect from the workload?
This class will be challenging, as all AP classes are collegiate level courses, but will leave you feeling ready to debate even the most stubborn person. Students can expect multiple primary and secondary sources to be read throughout the week, culminating in written analysis such as three simple short answer questions (SAQs), document based questions (DBQs), or free response questions (FRQs).
Chris Brady grew up in Schaumburg, IL, and currently live in Chicago. He graduated from Butler University in 2010 with a B.S. in Secondary Education, with an emphasis in social studies education focusing on history, political science, and economics. When He's not teaching he's usually reading, watching TV (recommendations are always welcome!), finding new music, or trying new food (when there's not a pandemic!). He can't wait for Covid-19 to be over so he can start exploring the world again!