Honors and AP Classes, belonging

May 19, 2019

After the mentioning of the AP and Honors classes, Guzik recalled a Dragon Talk from three years ago in which Andres Coronel ‘16 spoke about his experience as a “Mexican kid in Honors and AP classes,” where there weren’t a lot of other students that looked like him. Based on this speech, Guzik asked if the students at the meetings felt the same way.

In his sophomore year, Beharry “stopped the Honors route” when he realized that “not a lot of people are like [him]” in those classes. This made him feel unable to find a sense of belonging, which on its own deterred his ability to learn.

Likewise, Claudio feels “uncomfortable” and “alone” in her AP Government and Politics class.

“No one in there looks like me, and I sit there and think, ‘are they looking at me?’” Claudio explains. Her love for the class feels like it is taken away from her.

“I’ve been in AP classes all of high school, and I am different with white people,” Claudia Chavez ‘19 stated. However, in Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), she feels comfortable as students there “all know each other.” AVID is a class that is predominantly taken by minority students.

She has questioned why she acts differently depending on the classroom she’s in and has come to the conclusion that she “just feels like [she’s] judged more” in her AP classes. This need to prove oneself causes self-doubt in the individual’s ability to succeed and eventually gets to their head, thereby diminishing confidence in the classroom.

For this group, it is not necessary for these thoughts to be true—the feeling is haunting enough to take control of their mindset, which is damaging both academically and emotionally.

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