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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

This week a student surprised me. He wrote that he actually enjoyed writing on the topic I had given him and ‘would not mind writing some more.’ Granted his comments were slightly out of place in his formal essay on whether or not we should be studying Greek mythology, but it cheered me up for two specific reasons.

First, he was a key member of a group of students in a particular class who seem to opt out whenever they find English boring or challenging, in any aspect.

Secondly, he had actually turned in his work, rather than done his usual act about not having access to my webpage assignments, or a computer with a printer, or a book, or a pencil or a piece of paper.

It warmed my heart a little. Perhaps it was his version of the ten dollar note that was stapled to the exam paper of a desperate student. I don’t know. My gut feeling is that even a step in the direction of trying to share my enthusiasm for writing, regardless of the motive, is a good thing. Who knows: the thought may be father to the deed… and all that.

If someone had asked me to nominate the task and subject that most enthuses students in their writing, the chances are that I would not have highlighted the essay question which motivated my student. It was: The Greek myths are outdated and irrelevant for study in a modern high school. Discuss.

What sort of things did you like to write about at school? Please comment.


Jemma said...

I like conflict essays. Those got me through both the Int2 and Higher exams so I'd say its a pretty good subject to write on for texts.

And I must say I agree with your student- writing about why we shouldn't be studying something in school is always fun. ;)

Sid said...

I generally liked a writing topic more the more free rein I got. The more imagination you are allowed to use the further you can go. I would imagine, however, that for a lot of students the idea of using imagination rather than following a set pattern to pick up the marks would be a bit daunting.