Writing! Writing! Writing!

As a future English teacher, I am inevitably going to stumble across my fair share of students who just don’t like to write and will fight me every step of the way. This is just a given; however, I completely agree with Dr. McCamley when he said that you don’t have to get them to like writing, that is not his goal as an educator to get someone to love to write. His goal is to make his students better writers, to prepare them as much as he can for the kinds of writings they will be doing in their future endeavors. Believe it or not, I have never actually heard someone say that before. In all my Education classes, they definitely push the idea of encouraging students to find their voice and how relating it to their own experiences will automatically make the material more enticing for students. And even though, I love these sentiments, I think that these attributes are more intrinsically motivated and even though, I certainly don’t think they should be forgotten, they don’t necessarily have to be the focal point either.

On a second note, I also agree with him that in an ideal world, students should definitely be taking a writing course every year because just like sports, art, music, anything of interest—you only get better with practice and writing is no different. I wasn’t entirely shocked but was definitely disappointed to hear just how many people in our class write less than one writing assignment per semester in their majors. The straight lecture and test taking kind of courses here at the University of Delaware are definitely good for one thing: making sure students can regurgitate information and for some, not very well due to the high amount of information that they are required to know. I can’t tell you how many STEM majors I am friends with who are happy as a pig in mud if they get C’s on their exams because it is just so much information that they cover in their exams. I think these exams are ineffective overall because it doesn’t show how the student can apply the information they are learning to a given situation like perhaps, writing about a case analysis or doing a research paper on a given topic could possibly do. I definitely believe a variety of assignments would not only be more effective for their curriculum but useful for the kinds of writings they will inevitably have in some capacity. Whether that be lab reports, case analysis, personal statements, or simply emails or tweets—writing is everywhere and therefore, should be recognized by all majors


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