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Here are some steps a new teacher might consider for a successful start!

1.  Become familiar with AP Central and download the AP course description (pdf).  Make sure you know what topics you can skip in your book.  Make sure you know what topics you have to teach.

 2.  Make a pacing guide.  Most of the textbooks come with a suggested pacing guide.  Sit down with your school calendar and the knowledge you have about your students, teaching time, typical interruptions, etc...  and plan your year.  Make sure to plan a couple (or more) weeks of review for the exam.

 3.  Now go back to your plan and shave 5 days from the 5 longest units and rewrite it with an extra week for review.  You'll probably use up that week with unexpected events, but now you planned for unexpected.

4.  Download, save and organize a ton on the old Free Response pdf's. Then find yourself one of the many guides that links those problems to the topics in the course.  Don't teach to the problems.  But do use them as a guide for the type of thinking your students will need.  And use some on your chapter tests.

5.  Buy a couple of the review books ("Barrons" type).  Download the complete '97 exam.  Get sample textbooks of the "big 5" (see the resource page). Buy the released '02 and '07 exams and all recently released MC tests (starting with 2012).  Get the audit "secure" exam (it is not really secure anymore).  Get some activity books.  Now your library is stocked and you can make exams not just from the test bank from your book, but with some easy cut and paste (especially handy if you have students who will cheat).

6.  Stick with your pacing guide.

7.  Find some activities that you like and make sense to you.  There are a million.  Don't try and do too many.  But do one every other chapter or so.  Remember:  Stats is fun to teach!  If you're students are glaring at you, it's time for some edible data.

8.  At some point, reading and keeping up on the email list will seem overwhelming.  But don’t give up!  Feel free to delete all the old emails and start fresh.  Practically no one read everything.  But everyone, rookie or pro, says they gain new insights by continued reading.  So read what you can and delete the rest!

9.  Keep reading this list and don't be afraid to ask questions.  And keep reading all 5 of your textbooks.

10. Stick to your pacing guide.

Note:  most of these links can be found at AP Central, the FAQ top 14 or StatsMonkey.  I cannot recommend strongly enough that you familiarize yourself with these 3 sites.


Disclaimer:  This is my own personal list and is not “official”.  It is based on over a decade of reading the list and listening to what does and doesn’t work for new teachers.