AP Psychology: A new offered senior class

Ryan Palmer's name plate outside his classroom door, 213.

By Rosalia Lopez ’18

Starting this new school year, seniors were offered the opportunity to take another AP class: AP Psychology. Seniors were able to select a science class of their preference, their junior year. At the end of junior year, when the classes available for senior year were announced, there was a new change on the powerpoint.

The change was that there would be a survey of 6 potential AP science classes: Chemistry, Psychology, Environmental Science,  Biology, Physics, and Computer science. Seniors were ecstatic of the changes made because they were able to pick a class of their preference. Psychology and Physics were the the selected official senior classes.

The AP Psychology teacher is Ryan Palmer. Last year Palmer was a junior teacher for AP and regulars Chemistry. Palmer is on his third year of teaching here at Pritzker currently. Palmer also majored in Psychology and Neuroscience from Macalester College. Palmer’s opinion on teaching AP psychology this year was, “I’m excited, it is fun. Everyone is decent at psychology because everyone has emotions.”

Some of Palmer’s students were very excited to learn that he was going to be the teacher for AP psychology, since he had taught seniors their sophomore year. When Palmer was asked what his emotions were towards teaching seniors again, his response was, “I do like it. It makes things easier because I already know some of them, it is easy to connect on a higher level since I already know some of them.”

Antonio Calderon, a  current senior taking Psychology, mentioned that he was very excited to be in Palmer’s classroom, since it is runned differently than other classes. Students in Palmer’s class have to say something meaningful during the conversation at least once in order to improve the class conversation. Students get graded for their individual participation and also for the whole class participation. They all have to encourage each other to speak up to earn a good grade in that class.

Students in AP psychology prepare for their AP exam taking place in May by having a discussion every day in class. Yancy Alvarenga, a senior at Pritzker currently taking AP psychology mentioned, “I really like Mr. Palmer’s class because it is fun and different than any other of my classes, since the structure of the class is different.” Alvarenga also mentioned that the class was fun because she has to willingly participate to achieve a good grade in that class every day.

AP psychology was a very popular choice for many of the seniors. A lot of students could not take AP psychology because there was no more space in each AP classroom, so there was a lot of students not accepted into AP Psychology. Overall, students were very happy and excited to have a new senior class offered to them that they were very interested in. During the powerpoint announcement of potential senior science classes everyone erupted with cheers and applauses for the new opportunity.