As someone who has always loved writing, I hope it won’t be too hard for me to relate to students who may not enjoy it. Recalling my own school days, I know there were always some writing assignments that I didn’t find enjoyable or downright disliked, and I hope to minimize these assignments in my own classroom. Sometimes they’re necessary, but a lot of times they’re not. While in my classroom, I want my students to learn to write, but more importantly I want them to like to write. Some may argue that liking writing is not something that can be taught, but I think students can learn to enjoy writing if they are given the right assignments.
I plan on teaching and using all three rhetorics in my classroom because I think they’re all necessary for success as a well-rounded writer. Using the current traditional rhetoric model can be tedious and restricting, but it’s a necessary skill to have for the future, particularly when it comes to writing essays. Once students have mastered form, they will discover that they actually do have a lot of freedom in expressing their views within it. The epistemic model can be difficult because one always has to keep audience in mind, but it is also very useful, and shows students that their writing can make a difference. Certainly teaching students how to write convincing editorials, petitions, or letters will not only make them better English students, but also better citizens. That being said, I like the expressivist model best because it gives writers the most freedom to express themselves in their own voices. Unencumbered by a strict form or purpose, students are free to let their imaginations loose as they explore various aven...
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...better. When they become competent writers, as I hope they all will, they should be proud of the works they have produced, not of their standardized test scores.
That’s not to say that I won’t make my students aware of certain standards, particularly standardized tests. I just don’t plan on introducing them as the be alls and end alls of education, as many of my own teachers did. Will I resort to using test preps a few weeks before the actual test? Probably. Will I show my students the test’s writing rubric and maybe grade a few papers by it? Yes. However, I don’t plan on focusing on these things exclusively when we could be using the time in a more productive way. Between my own high standards for my students and the state’s, I feel confident that my students will become more competent writers and will therefore be prepared for any standardized test.
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