Location: Halstead, Kansas, United States

This is my seventh year at Halstead which is also where I live with my wife and my soon to be two year old daughter.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Why do we have to write this stuff?

I find that most students do not enjoy writing. There is some biological evidence that states the mind does not like to write once it feels that it has the ability to write well. Sadly, the mind's definition of 'well' rarely meets society's definition of 'well'. So, why do teachers care if students write well? Mainly, because it is needed in most occupations, but many workers currently do not have these writing skills. This is from the College Board's National Commission on Writing:

A majority of U.S. employers say about one-third of workers do not meet the writing requirements of their positions. While writing has always held a spot in American education as one of the three Rs, many say writing clearly and accurately is more important than ever and not all workers are up to the task.
In a fast-paced workplace, precision and brevity are essential. For e-mails, reports and presentations, the commission found that accuracy, clarity, spelling, punctuation, grammar and conciseness ranked among the most sought-after skills.

FOR DISCUSSION: Do you think improved writing skills can increase you marketability for jobs?


Blogger Naena said...

yes i think that if students inprove on their writing skills than they can get better jobs and be more likely to suceed becuase in todays socitey most of the time when teens and adults write it is usually in emails or im's with abbriviated words and when you get into the real world and get a job your not going to be able to use all of these abbreviations. You boss is going to expect you to be able to probduce an above average letter or presentaion.

6:25 PM  
Blogger Dale said...

Maybe HHS doesn't concentrate on English. I guess such a great math department distracts us from it, but I think English is just as important. Computers can do math for us, but they can't write us papers and such, so we should be concentrating on more writing until computers get better. This is easy to say since English is more my subject.

9:29 PM  
Blogger Mr. Warsnak said...

Well, this has brought up an interesting subject that I have not thought about. Does HHS have a bias towards certain subjects? I feel most schools have a leaning towards "core" subjects but Dale says something new. Does the school lean more towards math? If so how is does this bias manifest itself? I am intrigued please respond.

PS Social Science is more my subject :)

9:39 PM  
Blogger Corey Wells said...

I would agree with the statement that Dale has posted. I definitely agree that the school focuses on math above any other subject. All i have heard leading up to this year is about how my class needs to get standard of excellence in math. I havent heard anything about reading standard of excellence or about any other test of the sort. Yes i would agree that writing is very important in work today but do you think that less emphasis should be placed on math?

9:08 PM  
Blogger John said...

I strongly disagree with both Corey's and Dale's statements. The school does not focus on any one subject. It might appear as though the school focuses on math only because the math department has strived to find math related activities for the school to participate in, such as the Emporia State Math contest. Also, Corey, the reason you are hearing a lot about the standard of excellence in math is simply because that is the only standard your class can achieve this year. Your junior year is the year that you will try to achieve the standard of excellence in english. Lastly, lets put it in numbers. In order to graduate, you are required only to take 3 credits of math, but you need 4 credits of english. Also, we have only 2 math teachers, while there are 3 english teachers.

9:12 PM  
Blogger Mr. Warsnak said...

John and Corey both make interesting points. I suppose my overall question is can a school be so worried about student achievement on standardized tests that it forgets to actually prepare students for future situations?

As a teacher my main concern is trying to get students to think based on a historical and economic basis. Sadly, this is almost impossible to test on a standarized test (example: What was the main cause of the Civil War?). Which is more important to know the economic basis for the New Deal programs or what the TVA, CCC, AAA, REA stand for? It tough for me as a teacher to decide whether to focus on the test or try and prepare the best way I see fit but the consequneces of my decision (and the decisions by other teachers and the district) will have a very real effect of you the students. Keep posting the good comments.

9:27 PM  
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6:33 PM  

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