by Perla Jiménez, La Voz Editor
The next school year, Joanne Amador-Zapata, Spanish teacher, will no longer teach AP Spanish language to better care for her newborn.
Ms. Zapata said she felt “bittersweet.” She also said it feels “nice” because her son will be born, but she feels attached to her students.
This year, apart from teaching AP, Ms. Zapata teaches Spanish 4 and 5, sponsors Students Helping Accept Diversity in Every Situation (SHADES) and helps organize and plan the Display of Cultures.
AP classes add responsibilities that general-level classes do not.
“General-level classes do not have study groups at 6:45 on Sunday morning,” Alan Wahlert, world languages division head, said.
Ms. Zapata’s students feel that teaching AP takes more effort than teaching general-level classes.
“The rigor of the class is higher than your average class. There is more material to cover,” Zoeb Salehbhai, senior, said.
Students said that AP teachers have to teach each topic in more detail.
“I feel like in normal classes you get a brief overview. With AP classes, you go more in-depth,” Jose Ortiz, senior, said.
In addition to these responsibilities, Ms. Zapata ensures that all her students, AP or not, are well prepared.
“She is always willing to help kids if they are willing to help themselves,” Mr. Wahlert said.
Ms. Zapata’s efforts have been noticed and appreciated by their students.
“She’s a really good teacher. She does what she does perfectly. She gets down on a personal level. She’s kind of like a mom,” Ortiz said.
While Ms. Zapata feels thrilled to be a first time mother, she said she will miss the days when her students take the AP exam “and dominate it… and see that they are bigger than the test.”