The 100 Percent Club


Elizabeth Ortega teaches AP and IB Spanish.

Hayden Gnat, Staff Writer and Website Editor

Ortega’s class receive a three or higher on the AP Exam

By: Hayden Gnat

Elizabeth Ortega can feel nausea growing in the pit of her stomach and can hear the clock ticking, the anxiety hitting her all at once. She puts the final touches on the breakfast she has been cooking for her students who are about to take their Advanced Placement test exam.

Ortega has been nervous for her AP Spanish class to take their exam, with all of her teachings the students performed perfectly with a passing rate of 100 percent with a three or higher. The only feeling Ortega had after the test results were revealed was exuberant joy and pride.

“I was really scared, nervous and proud of them that they were ready,” Ortega said. “My stomach hurt, wanted to vomit and a lot of anxiety. I’m really scared actually and I think I’m actually more nervous than they are.”

Ortega tries to make the kids feel as if their own learning is solely based on their observations, mistakes and intelligence. Learning a new language is all about trial and error until you finally get it right. Ortega wants to focus on any style of learning that will better further the kid until they have reached their full potential.

“I don’t want them to feel they’re being lectured. It should feel more like a group activity,” Ortega said. “They’re allowed to be themselves and the conversation is only the class themselves. I just guide them.”

The students aren’t the only people who are nervous before, during and after the test; the teacher is too. Ortega wants the kids to do well and try their hardest. Ortega does anything she can to help the kids prepare for test which includes last minute study sessions and cooking breakfast for them. Of her 26 students: 10 received fives, 14 received fours and two received threes.

“I like to focus on getting the kids prepared mentally,” Ortega said. “making them feel like they can do this. It is possible to get a 5.”

Ortega, of course, wants them to pass, but she really wants the kids to just learn something that will make the world a better place because that’s what she sees as the true definition of a teacher. Although Ortega thinks that all kids have the ability to do well in her class, she stresses that you don’t assume that the class is easy; you must work hard in anything you do.

“When some of the kids don’t feel motivated, they want to do the advanced classes, but not the work,” Ortega said. “It is an AP class, so it is more rigorous. We expect a lot more, high expectations with them. You can’t expect to not do the homework and do well in the class.”

The students in her classes this year are nervous for the May 3 exam, but with the teaching styles of Ortega they feel prepared. Though the test seems daunting with many different parts to it such as listening, reading, speaking and analyzing the students feel like they can do it.

“I’m really going to have to step it up with the vocab and play catch up,” Junior Zoe Kirkland said. “It’s intimidating, but with the right amount of time I will feel good.”