Students will be able to write a persuasive essay in class.
To give me enough time to grade before the end of the semester, students took the essay portion of their final exam Thursday. It was a persuasive essay, but unlike the ones we’ve been looking at most recently – dress code, vending machines in schools, drinking age – their prompt asked them the very philosophical question of which is more important, actions or thoughts. Many were baffled and responded with either very well-written expository essays or very poorly written persuasive ones. It’s a funny transition – at the entrance to freshman year they had been well-trained to write literary essays, so when asked to write expository they wrote stories. Now, I’ve trained them well to write expository essays, and when they’re asked to write persuasive they write expository. So I suppose next year, when asked to write an analysis, they’ll argue the heck out of a position not found in the prompt. But at least they’re learning new skills slowly, even if they’re not necessarily applying them at the right times.
I got a little bag of candy from a student today for Christmas with a sweet note: “Thanks for being such a great teacher! You inspire me like no other teacher has before! Your amazing! Merry Christmas!” Grammatical error aside, this did make my day. I know high school teachers don’t tend to get the gifts that elementary teachers do, but this little one will get me through at least until Friday!