Exceeding Expectations
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Every summer NLCP's teachers enjoy a six-week break from their classrooms. Jason Patterson, gave up one of those treasured weeks to participate in Northwestern’s AP Summer Institute.

Mr. Patterson is a veteran Collins English teacher and newly appointed Department Chair. He joined over 400 teachers from around the world to attend this training which focused on all aspects of AP course content, organization, and methodology.

The majority of the conference was spent in break-out groups for a specific subject. Approximately 50 English teachers were lead by Stephen Heller, a 24-year Illinois teacher and contributor to the AP Language and Composition exam. In these sessions, teachers were able to share their own expert advice and collaborate with their peers. Mr. Patterson believes all of this information will translate to our students doing better.

“Our students are good communicators. They understand important aspects of writing like audience,” he shared.  He went on to explain that one of the biggest struggles in his AP class is vocabulary.  He hopes to use the tools to help students to expand their vocabulary and ultimately strengthen their writing skills.

Two weeks in to the school year and he has a completely positive outlook.

One of the biggest takeaways for Mr. Patterson was the philosophy of being intentional in every lesson and viewing his AP students as premier academic students. While he acknowledges that it is fairly easy to be optimistic in the beginning of the school year, he knows that having the tools and notes from the AP conference over the summer will help to refocus his energy when the luster of the new school year runs out.

Mr. Patterson hopes to attend the conference next year with a few more NLCP faculty members. He shared, “It’s hard to give up a week of your summer, but it is definitely worth it.”