composition-book-thumbAs a high school student focusing on an education career and seeking opportunities to become a better writer, I have noticed something that disturbs me a little bit about our English classrooms. Actually, our classrooms in general.  The first things that we are all taught as young children in school, are how to read and write, to add and subtract, both very important things. But I feel that not all the components, particularly in writing, are being taught and addressed to the students as they should be. As a regular high school student, I feel that grammar, punctuation, and spelling aren’t being taught the way they should be, and that the enforcement of those components is not being put into use. I think that these components should be retaught in middle schools and retaught briefly every year after that up until the student’s senior graduation of high school. I also feel that in high school, when students have a writing assignment that they are to be tested on, that grammar, punctuation, and spelling should be counted into the score on the whole assignment.

Now other students would probably disagree, with that proposal. Other students would probably think, that, that just adds to a possible failing grade. After all, students hear all the time from their teachers, that spelling, grammar, and punctuation doesn’t matter to the administrators as long as the the writing piece itself performs what the prompt is asking. Therefore, that takes a load off of the student’s back and takes away part of the stress. If students don’t have to worry about including those three components in their writing, effectively, then it’s easy for them to get a good grade.

However, if they did have to worry about including those three components effectively and appropriately, than that increases the chance that their paper will not earn the grade that they want too, because they haven’t been appropriately taught how to use those conventions correctly. If the administrators and teachers grade the English papers expecting those three components to be included correctly, without them even teaching how they are supposed to be used, then yes, their paper will probably have a failing grade. However, if it becomes part of the curriculum to teach those three components, students will learn them like they learn everything else, and they will do better on their papers instead of only earning a good grade based on answering the prompt right or not.

I believe that students are being done a disservice because they are not being taught spelling, punctuation and grammar, which are things that they need not only for high school, not only for college, but for their careers. No matter what career a student decides to study, they need to know how to write correctly. If teachers and administrators are lenient on how a student writes as far as those three components, they’re going to carry those habits with them to college, where they will fail if they don’t write correctly. College is a whole different ball game. Professors will not be lenient on those sort of things at all. They already expect the students to know all of that. These are, after all, skills that should have already been covered when students were in middle school.

It is typical for students to sometimes forget what they were taught the previous year; that is why I think that it should be briefly retaught every year until senior graduation. If students aren’t taught these things by the time they get to college, they’re going to look like complete idiots, all because their high school administration didn’t care if a word was misspelled, or a punctuation mark wasn’t used where it should of been, or a sentence wasn’t stated correctly. That also reflects badly on the high school that student went to. I thought that our educators cared about our students; and I’m sure they do, but I don’t think their actions of not caring about how a student writes, matches up with their words of positive vision for our students.

I don’t know about you, but I feel this is a serious problem, and I think that it should be fixed. But it’s up to you to make your voice heard. If you don’t care about your education, your children’s education, or even your grand children’s education, then obviously you shouldn’t bother. But if you want your children to be smart and to be taught the right things effectively, and you want them to be successful in their college and career experience, then make your voice heard. Write letters to your principal, to your county headquarters of education. Make your voice heard. Do your children a service. Lets truly allow our actions to match up with our words.

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