Social Studies teacher discusses grading AP exams


The Magnet Tribune: Briana Sepulveda

AP instructor Sean Gaynor is seen during a recent first block class. He is also an AP reader for various social studies classes.

Briana Sepulveda, Staff Writer

A teacher who is also an AP reader is filled with inspiration and dedication and aspires to help students strive to be the best.

Sean Gaynor has been teaching Social Studies for about 12 years; 7 of the years consisted of being an Advanced Placement teacher. Along with his career, he decided to become an AP reader.

An AP reader consists of high school teachers and college professors that gather to score AP exams.

“In 7 days we find a way to score hundreds and thousands of exams,” Gaynor said.

Becoming an AP reader requires being an AP teacher for at least three years and applying for the position. One then has to be accepted by the College Board.

Traveling is a part of the job and Gaynor finds that as something to really look forward to.

“I really like going on site because as you go there you start making friendships. This was my fourth year and I look forward to seeing teachers from other parts of the country and old roommates,” he said.

Not only does Gaynor work and score thousands of papers but also enjoys being out there and doing what he loves.

“You’re surrounded by people who love the same thing you love,” he said.

While Gaynor said he takes pleasure in his career, he said his long-term goals would be to get into administration, preferably an assistant principal.

He said he wants to eventually try and pursue a career as an administrator because of the fact that he wants to help students succeed and strive to be at their fullest potential.

“I definitely want to do more to help students at my school to become more successful. In a classroom, I can help a limited number of students become successful, but as an administrator, you impact all of the students,” he said.

Being a teacher for many years Gaynor has not only taught at Vidal M. Trevino but also at Mary Help of Christians School.

If you want to do it badly enough you will find a way to be successful.”

— Sean Gaynor

He said he’s been too many different campuses, and had different roles at each of those campuses.

Gaynor was a technology trainer for 4 years at several campuses and was even a testing coordinator as well.

“I’ve been to many campuses, but I’ve never taught at any of them besides the two. I played different roles at each,” he said.

Gaynor has taught both AP and regular classes and said that they definitely have differences between the two.

Students have a lot more pressure in an AP class and have to study and focus a lot more, he said.

Gaynor as an AP teacher tries his best to get his students on the path to success.

“It’s not where you start out in the class, it’s where you end up,” he said.

He said he is very caring of his students and wants only the best for them. He is glad that he is able to share his experiences with them and use his skills as an AP reader to benefit them.

“Students sometimes say ‘The AP exam is too hard I can’t do it’, and I know that they can,” he said.

Gaynor said he is blessed to work at a school with very motivated students.

Overall he said he encourages his students to look at their different options, get the help they need, figure out the best path for them, and to never give up.

“If someone tells you that it’s too hard and you can’t do it, it’s not true. It’s like anything in life; if you want to do it badly enough you will find a way to be successful,” he said.