Probably because it’s boring. Earlier this summer I read an amazing blog post from Tona Hangen on giving your syllabus/course expectations a makeover. It inspired me to make my syllabus awesome this year. But first, let’s look at the past. This is my AP Literature and Composition Syllabus from last year:
SNOOZE FEST! I barely want to read it (although it is pure teaching gold). So, I set about to change the look of my syllabus. In a world so filled with stimulating visual media, I figured it was high time that the introduction to my class looked a little snazzier. Tona used a mac (that lucky devil), but I was stuck with using Microsoft Office 2007. So I simply downloaded a newsletter template from the MS Publisher online resources (they already had one with books) and went to work. Sure doing this took me a while, but I am so please to pass these out to my students. What it turned into was basically a handbook to my class instead of simply a set of rules and expectations. Although the page size went up, I feel like there is more room to breathe with the new one. This really was a fulfilling project and I hope that if you have the time that you will think of restructuring your syllabus to make it more appealing to the eye!
Reasons I love this:
- Allows me to personalize and add some spice to my syllabus.
- Allows me to set the tone for the year right off the bat (the tone of awesome).
- Keeps students interested because it is less dense and has visual stimulation.
- Sets my syllabus apart from all the boring ones.
- Has a table of contents, so students can easily find information at a later date.
- It is easier to keep track of than a normal syllabus because it is unique.
- It’s just so darn pretty.
With that said, Here is my new AP Syllabus 2013:
I always expect so much out of our students, and I love how I can show them right off the bat that I am willing to work hard for them as well. If you are a teacher and would like an editable copy of this, just comment below with your email or email me at The WordyTeacher@gmail.com.