August 26, 2008

The Impossible Mission

I had my high school students, who are taking my class because they need some extra help to pass the proficiency exams, write an essay for me tonight. Of course there would be some challenges. There are always challenges, but I can't help but be shocked at how bad at writing some of them are.

You know, like the student who only used one period throughout the entire piece of writing. I hate to call it an essay when it was technically a run-on sentence. A deluxe run-on sentence.

What about the student who couldn't spell because? Sadly, it was the most sophisticated word in the whole essay, and it was used frequently. With the wrong spelling. It was consistently spelled the same way, but still wrong...

The majority of them wrote functional essays. Stinkin' functional, bare bones essays that are safe and uninteresting. Oh, I'm crossing my fingers that the writers of those essays aren't too set in their ways. Often those students are perfectly happy with their skeletons and can't see the point of breathing life into their stiff words.

In these beginning days, I am so unsure of myself. Can I truly help these students? Where do I begin? What are my first steps to encourage growth?

It's a new year. So it goes. Trying to create writers, one student at a time.

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