History Amnesia at School


Alejandro Escobar, 12th-grade student, haltingly exiting the AP World History classroom after being told, at the end of last school year, that he would no longer have the opportunity to take the course. “After hearing the course was canceled, I was profoundly disappointed. Being a history buff myself, I was saddened to know I’d never get the opportunity to take the class,” Alejandro said.

Maria Pia Molina, Editor-in-Chief

Despite record-breaking high scores, AP World History has been canceled for the 2019-2020 school year due to low enrollment. 

Even though last year’s world history students obtained a prosperous outcome on the AP exam, earning a 100% passing rate, only one individual signed up this year. Former students attribute the cancellation of the course to rigorous work that caused apprehension among the TCS community. 

“I think people did not take the class because they are scared of the heavy workload. Also, there was kind of a bad reputation for the class all throughout the year because we did work more than any other class and pretty much had homework every day,” Miguel Calle, senior, said. 

Aside from the demanding work, both AP World History teacher, Michelle Schuler, and her former students have expressed having an efficient synergistic interaction which served as a base to propel their triumph. According to top-scoring senior Carolina Moreno, having both an engaged teacher and students is what drives success. Additionally, former students placed emphasis on the exhaustive work they conducted both inside and outside the classroom. 

“I remember having several projects that had activities in them because Ms. Schuler expressed the importance of using several techniques for memorization, ” Moreno said.  

Even if students were academically challenged for the entire course and occasionally suffered emotionally for it, both parties attribute their success to strictness. However, the effective study method promptly carved out a specific student profile that Calle defined as “well beyond some people’s league.”

“I would recommend this class to students who are very dedicated, who are willing to sacrifice their leisure time in order to study hard because it really takes a lot of effort and patience to remember everything,” Moreno said. 

As highlighted by Moreno, the class requires a proactive group that is willing to make history their priority. To be in the class, according to Calle, “You better know history already, because you are not going to learn it there.”

“In the crew that just came in, like 36 students came to me last year… and it [got] narrowed down to eight,” Schuler said. “I weeded those out who were only interested in history as stories and I was able to get the great eight.”

Students taking AP World History cite that channeling their intrinsic motivation is essential for success. Due to that innate ability in the 2018-2019 group, Schuler was able to get three students to score a five. Furthermore, Schuler believes that being explicit about her expectations results in an auspicious year.

“A lot of other teachers sugar-coated [the difficulty of the subject] for larger classes to keep their AP class. I was willing to give [the class] up. I’d rather have students be happy and do well and staying with a positive classroom environment,” said Schuler.