One thing that has been on my mind this year, and part of the reason I was hired was my desire and the necessity of growing the AP Art History program.
How was I, as a first year art history teacher and new to the school, going to promote and recruit students into the class for next year?
Here are three things I did, that helped me QUADRUPLE my program in one year!
1. Talking to my studio students AND students I don’t have.
Just hitting the ground running and making connections with students in my Art I classes and meeting kids outside of the classroom, when I was supervising after school dismissal. Introduce yourself. Strike up a conversation. Ask their name and what they like to do at school. Share your passion too. I can’t tell you how many students that I met, just in the hallway or at lunch or at games I would attend that I’ve convinced to take Art History next year. And if you take an interest in what they are doing, they’ll remember you for sure!
2. Promote through posters and Art History Club.
At the beginning of the year I asked my AP Art History class if they’d be interested in starting an Art History club and half the class jumped on it! They are in charge of promoting the class and special events. We’re even partnering up with other clubs on campus to incorporate art history into their events. I had students also make posters during class registration so that students would remember AP Art History is an option for a fine art credit and a GPA booster!
3. Using DATA from the PSAT scores and sending personalized invitation letters and emails.
This was the biggest help! Our department head showed me the data from PSAT and how it predicts some students that would do well in the AP Art History class. I took about 90 of those students wrote a very convincing letter and hand sealed them with a fun wax seal. Then the front office was kind enough to have their office aides hand deliver them to students. This created a lot of buzz and I even had students that did not receive letters email me to inquire about the class!
All of that said and done, I still have a lot of work to do before my new students walk through my door next year. Until then I’ll remain optimistic about the direction this program is going!
Do you have any tips to growing your AP Art History Program? Share below!