The horror of english
Our teacher was giving us reasons why we should choose AP English as one of our classes next year. I didn’t give it much thought; I’d just take regular English. No need to give myself extra work or stress. Then my teacher said something that that would get stuck in my mind, a phrase that to this day I find to be one of the strangest things a teacher has said. “You’ll learn how to write” those words made the choice for me, I would take AP English. I sat there wondering what she meant by that- wasn’t the whole point of her English class to teach us how to write.
As I look back now I realize she never taught us how to write, or more accurately how to be writers. We learned how to write but only to regurgitate what she was teaching; not how to express our own ideas and thoughts. Our writings were robotic and formulaic. We never learned or got to write just for the sake of writing. Under the current system writing is forced and this is killing and destroying any hope for students to enjoy the process itself. This current system is also failing because it doesn’t nurture students reading.
Students hate to read because they only read books they find boring. The books they read are over rated and stiff, most of them are not enjoyable. The teacher also spends weeks on a small book, which is over analyzed and dissected. The students don’t even get to or want to look for the message in the book they just blinded follow what the teacher says then spew that back up later on in their essays. Writing should be an enjoyable activity, something that helps you vent. A way for students to express themselves; but they don’t know about how writing for yourself is enjoyable and relaxing.
They only know about the bleak side of writing that has been shoved down their throats throughout high school. I think that in order to change to a better system and better our schools we need to give up on the formulaic way of writing that’s being crammed into students. We have to allow more creativity, give them more freedom with the works they write. We should also have class submission where people can share works that they have and get tips and comments. There should also be a more varied choice in the books that the class reads.
The class could suggest books they want to read and this gets put to a vote. In this way students will at least have one book they enjoy. A plethora of other things could be done to improve the English classes. Reading books a little faster is a crucial one. Spending an entire semester reading a book that’s only 100 pages is ridiculous. At that point you are just wasting everyone’s time because it’s a book you could finish in less than a week and learn about something else.