Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Great teachers

When I read the prompt for this week, the first thing that popped into my mind were the names of my APLIT and APLANG teachers from high school. Their classrooms are without a doubt where I felt like I finally learned how to write academically. I was lucky to have several good English teachers throughout middle school that got me on the right track when it came to writing a solid five paragraph essay, but it wasn't until I started into AP Language my junior year of high school that I really started to progress as a writer. My teacher, Mrs. Bowie, made it clear right off the bat that the secret to better papers was deeper thinking. She changed the way that I interpreted readings, opened my eyes to different points of view, and taught me the essentials of forming arguments. The first time I had to write a paper over five pages was in her class. I had only written a few research papers up to that point, but it felt like a whole new monster to me. I finally understood that there was so much more to writing a research paper than just pasting in quotes and slapping a citation behind it. Over the course of that year I felt that I improved exponentially as an academic writer.

My senior year I took AP Literature. I went into that year with a much clearer grasp of what would be expected of me in a college level class, but I still learned new ideas and techniques throughout the class.My first experiences with having to really analyze literature occurred within that year. I had done some level of analyzing in APLANG, but this teacher made me take it even one step further. I will forever be grateful to these two wonderful teachers for teaching me the art of writing, as it made my transition into college so much easier.

I tested out of 1010 and 2010, but my academic adviser suggested that I take 2010 again. I am so glad now that I did, because it led me to this job opportunity. More importantly it gave me a better perspective into what is expected in collegiate papers. I really didn't have to make a huge leap to get up to the level of writing my professor was asking for, but I still had to make some changes. I had learned a few bad habits, and I still found myself always wanting to write a five paragraph style essay. My 2010 class was a good experience, but I would still give primary credit to AP courses and teachers for helping me fine-tune my writing.

I really feel lucky to have had great English professors over the years. I have always enjoyed writing, but being taught the skills necessary to create a truly great paper really solidified my love for English. It makes me happy to know that there are still teachers who really love the subjects they teach and who actively foster a love for learning and writing. I know that in my case I owe two of these high quality teachers for helping me get to a point in my personal writing and tutoring that I can be happy with.


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