Ms. Russell Offers AP US Gov. & Politics Elective

Diego Rolon, Senior Editor

With scheduling happening at Woodbridge High School, students are selecting elective courses for their 2021-2022 schedules. Ms. Russell, a history teacher in her ninth year, has taught US History 1 and 2, World History, and AP US History 1.

Next year, Ms. Russell’s Advanced Placement elective, US Government and Politics, will be available to all students in grades 10 to 12.

Barron Perspective: Tell us a little about AP US Government and Politics, and how it fits in the master schedule.
Ms. Russell: II have taught the class since it started at Woodbridge High School three years ago. It is typically offered in the Fall semester, but can also fall in the Spring semester depending on scheduling.

BP: Who is the course available to?
MR: AP US Government and Politics is offered every year to students in 10th, 11th, or 12th grade, typically during the Fall semester.

BP: What are the prerequisites?
MR: There are no prerequisites to take this course.

BP: What are some of the assignments like?
MR: There are a mix of assignments that we do depending on the topic we are on. When in the classroom I really like to do hands-on activities. For example we create a type of government using gummy bears and props during the first few days of class or big paper activities where students can work together to break down the material. This year with remote learning it has been difficult to have real hands on activities but we have been able to have great discussions and debates during our Google Meet classes.

BP: What are some of the major assignments?
MR: Major assessments for this course include exams, written assignments, and projects. Some of the projects we have done in the past are a school-wide polling project, Bill of Rights songs, Supreme Court case bracket games, to name a few.

BP: What are some aspects about the course you wished to inform future students about?
MR: This is an AP course so there is some independent work like readings and exam practice. I think some students are nervous when they see “AP class” but with this course if you have good time management skills and a genuine interest in learning about government and politics you will really enjoy this class.

BP: Why should students take this course?
MR: I think it is really important for students to understand how our government works and to be informed on their rights. As well as understand the Constitution, how it was developed by the Founding Fathers, and how it has evolved. Since it is an AP course, students who take the course will have the opportunity to take the AP exam and possibly earn college credit.

BP: What are some things students could learn from this course?
MR: The course begins with some history of the founding of the United States and developing the Constitution, different types of government, different branches of the government and how they interact with each other, mass media and its effect on politics, political ideology, economic and social policies, political participation, civil liberties and civil rights. The course also focuses on current events.

BP: Why is it that you enjoy teaching these courses?
MR: I have always been interested in government and politics and really pushed for this course to be offered at Woodbridge High School. I think it is important for students to know the history of government and understand how it works so that they can become better educated citizens and hopefully in the future will be informed voters.

BP: Is there anything else you would like to add?
MR: Hope to see you in AP US Government and Politics next year!