Writing is important.
The Harvard study, which followed the writing development of more than four hundred students over four years of college, clearly shows the importance of good writing instruction and extensive writing experience to the overall success of students (Sommers and Saltz 126-127). The students themselves report that writing is an essential element by which they get â€œinvited into their educationâ€ (127), whether they wrote for smaller or larger classes (129).
from Alice Horning’s The Definitive Article on Class Size from the Writing Program Administrators Journal, page 16.
This is one of the reasons that I think being an English teacher is so important. We have the opportunity, especially as composition teachers, to significantly improve the students’ college careers.
I love the idea of getting invited into education.
I want to add a first day writing assignment to my class. But the class also has other requirements. I have to be able to give the students the syllabus and introduce myself, the class, and meet the students. Then the second class I have to give an exam. (It’s required.) So, I need a writing assignment that would take less than 30 minutes.
Perhaps I could have them write a paragraph about previous experience with writing or with English class or with college in general. That gives them three starting places to choose from. Yes, I rather like that idea.