By: Adam Sutton
“Hey, Cameron. You work really hard and are doing well. Next year, why don’t you sign up for my AP Psychology class?”
“Mr. Hartz, no offense, but I’m just not up for that,” Cameron replied.
“What do you mean? You do everything I ask. You’ve been that way all year. Why wouldn’t it be a good step for you? AP Psychology is a good first AP class for students. You haven’t taken one before. Why not?”
“Mr. Hartz, I want to be a mechanic, working on cars. I know school’s important. I try my best and do ok. I’m not down with studying all the time. I’m no genius. A couple of my Dad’s buddies work for a couple different car shops, and they do ok. I just wanna come to school and do what I gotta do.”
With a sensation that combined being dumbfounded and full of respect, Mr. Hartz stammered, “You…You’ve thought about this.”
“Team, listen up! I need a few minutes of your time and you can get back to grading or planning or whatever, but I want to put something on everyone’s radar screen,” Principal Moulder announced to the faculty. “We are starting the registration process for next year. Sandy’s in charge of the scheduling, and one of our pushes for next year is to build our AP program. Think about those kids you’ve got who can step up and take an AP class. We want to boost those numbers. It’s part of our School Progress Plan. Let’s hit the mark. We’ve got lots of kids we can drive into the program. Susie’s got a few reminders about the copy machines, and Stan wants to remind people about using the PARCC rubric. Thanks!”
“Hi, Mr. and Mrs. Wallace. I’m Ms. Fitzgerald, Cameron’s guidance counselor. We’ve met a few times. I had Cameron in the other day, and we were reviewing his grades. They are fantastic, and I was pushing him to take some more challenging classes next year. You know some Advanced Placement classes to get him ready for college.”
“Ms. Fiztgerald. I don’t want to,” Cameron interjected, firmly but politely. “We talked about this.”
“Well, I think it’s important that your family realize how gifted you are. We want to push you,” Ms. Fitzgerald continued undeterred.
“Ms. Fitzgerald, I’m an accountant, and Cameron’s mom is a nurse. We’ve both been to college—first in our families in fact. We’re proud of that, but Cameron doesn’t want that. He wants to go to technical school and work with his hands. We support that.”