Teachers Are Important!

In response to a recent article in The Atlantic by Peg Tyre, a debate question has been posted. The debate, titled “Why American Students Can’t Write”, examines the success of a previously struggling high school in New York—New Dorp High– after changing their curriculum. This debate question argues that the reason students cannot write is because of all the focus on creative writing, rather than grammar. Using New Dorp High as an example, with its improved test scores and lowered drop out rate, “suggest that the trend toward teaching creative writing was hurting American students.”In rebuttal, Cindy O’Donnell-Allen wrote her article “The Best Writing Teachers Are Writers Themselves”.Allen’s article gives more of a complete look at both New Dorp High and creative writing. Prepping students to be tested is merely a bandage to a larger problem and is apart of what New Dorp High did. By getting rid of creative writing and implementing more standardized writing to pass standardized tests, schools will see the desired raise in their scores.

New Dorp High did more than this. New Dorp High put a much needed focus on hiring the right teachers and getting them trained. This strategy is what made New Dorp High successful. It is not wonder that this strategy raised New Dorp high’s scores. Student’s ability to write in a standardized form, and nothing more was the result. Creative writing is important for the writing that students will experience throughout their lives. Allen believes that, just as with New Dorp High, teachers important to successfully impact change. Allen ‘s article calls for a needed change in not just the English curriculum but also, a change in English teachers. In order to teach students writing skills that will benefit their lives. The focus needs to change from testing results to long-term result, starting with the teachers.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Teachers Are Important!

  1. I agree with most of this article. I believe teachers are the foundation of the school systems. It is imperative for teacher’s supply the proper tools to students so they will be prepared for standardized test. Is creative writing less significant? That is debatable but in my eyes one cannot construct a true creative writing piece unless they were taught the basis and necessary rules of writing.

    I do not agree with the removal of creative writing, perhaps it should be an elective not apart of the every day curriculum but getting rid of it all together. It is an essential piece of English that be taken away. I think it is important for the school system to hire not just the right teachers but well rounded teachers. Teachers that provide the basis and relay the emphasis and relevancy of writing in a standardized setting but also teach creative writing which will be used through out our lives, as mentioned in the article above.

  2. ashleyguthro

    I agree with Brittany on both points that she brings up. I do think teacher are essential and they shape our future generations. Change is always needed, especially when the world we live in is constantly changing. Technology is a huge aspect that teachers need to keep themselves updated with. I agree that sending teachers to trainings and being selective in what teachers we choose is imperative.
    I do not agree that creative writing should not be included in the curriculum. Students can write creatively while still using the fundamentals and standards they learned. Teachers need to become more educated on different ways to incorporate all elements of English. We, as future teachers should be able to create assignments that will allow our students to participate in all forms of writing. Teachers have choices; Authors, assignments, writing, linguistics, the choices are numerous, but a variety in these choices is what is key. Taking away creative writing is taking away from a significant part of a high school students experience and knowledge with English.

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