The Iowa Online Advanced Placement Academy (IOAPA) allows Iowa students to take APTM classes online. IOAPA is especially meant for rural schools that do not have the resources to support APTM classes. Educators can learn more at www.belinblank.org/ioapa
Mentors for APTM courses will inevitably run into bumps as they assist students in learning material and in completing coursework. Fortunately, a range of resources are available to help mentors navigate each semester. We offer a few suggestions below.
Participate in Professional Development
Mentors involved with IOAPA are strongly encouraged to attend the Belin-Blank Center’s Advanced Placement Teacher Training Institute (APTTI). This week-long summer workshop prepares teachers to develop and teach APTM courses. Mentors may also peruse a comprehensive directory of institutes and workshops designed for APTM teachers and mentors. For instance, refresher courses will be held in Des Moines in late October (see directory for more details). This directory is made available by College Board, the national organization that houses the APTM program.
Check out Online Resources
First-time and veteran mentors alike benefit from online resources. For example, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) provide a number of effective and engaging activities, strategies, and resources for teaching high school students (see links in Selected Resources). Tutorials may also convey new knowledge to mentors of all experience levels. These short Apex Learning videos explore instructional strategies and use of digital curricula.
Interact with Other Mentors and Teachers
Engaging with other teachers helps mentors share knowledge and develop a sense of community. Encountering teachers who teach in the same content area may be commonplace for mentors at larger schools, but these opportunities may be few and far between for mentors who teach in rural areas. Online communities, such as the College Board AP Teacher Community, are a great way to form connections with mentors who face comparable obstacles. Teachers can also utilize Twitter to interact with other APTM teachers, follow College Board and APTM for Students Twitter feeds, and even search #IOAPA.
Mentors: What are your go-to resources when teaching your APTM students? Tweet your responses with #IOAPA, and we will share your responses in a later post!