Tuesday, September 23, 2008

[TIPS] Do YOUR students write like this?

http://students2oh.org/2008/09/21/tragedy-of-the-student/

Read that post. You’ll probably find yourself thinking a few different thoughts. Like, “How interesting that she would write about Oedipus.” And, “What an interesting comparison she’s making to her life and that of Oedipus.” And, “Wow. Very nice.”

Now ask yourself if YOUR students would EVER write something like that. Maybe they COULD, but WOULD they? DO they? Maybe they do, but in a smaller scale. Maybe they do, but their analogies aren’t quite as good. Maybe they do, but YOU never see it.

Why do you suppose that is? I think the answer might lie in this statement:
“I built my blog on the idea of exploration: expressing myself without limits and without a clear idea of what exactly I was expressing.”

“Expressing myself without limits”, eh? What? Not for a grade? Without fear of little, “Gotcha’s?” Without someone telling you to write so many words about a topic you couldn’t care less about?

This is NOT a slam on teaching methods. NOT AT ALL! I’m merely pointing out there the blog is a medium that allows a student to publish and be read by someone other than a teacher who is looking to give a grade. This girl is always writing, reading, and reflecting on her writing in order to improve herself. The medium is its own motivator. She’s MOTIVATED to write this post in which she reveals some personal vulnerabilities. Yes, she’s not your typical student, I’ll give you that. But, don’t YOU have a non-typical student who loves to write? What are you offering that student to help her/him develop that talent? Are you Ok with just letting him/her post to MySpace? Or, do you see that perhaps if this student had a blog for REAL, and some guidance (so as not to write about things that would give away identity, for example) that this talent could develop into something? And, even if it didn’t, when that student applies to a college and points the Admissions Office to the blog as evidence of her abilities, don’t you agree that it would make a MUCH greater impression?

 

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