Recently, one of my Writing Moms asked me to write a recommendation for her son, who has just completed Level 2, for admission into Honors English at the college preparatory high school he will be attending this coming fall. I was happy to do it. The student has worked hard for the last two years in Level 1 and Level 2. As a result, his skills have steadily grown and he has developed great discipline and competence in his writing.
In addition to my recommendation, the student had to submit several papers from Level 2 as examples of his writing, which met the following criteria: “full essays that have critiqued something in literature or history, a piece of writing that demonstrates [his] ability to give insights and proof/evidence in the form of quotations or illustrations.”
After the student submitted his work and I submitted my letter, I realized that this was as much an assessment of my work as it was of his. I generally have so much confidence in the IEW method and my application of it through my classes. I have seen over and over again the marvelous transformation of students who are able to successfully meet any writing challenges they encounter in high school, college, and life. But would it be enough for this challenge? Suddenly I had doubts.
I didn’t have to suffer long. This week his mother informed me that my student had indeed been accepted in the Honors English class for the fall! Also, she kindly wrote a review for my website. Many people are reluctant to write reviews for writing teachers, because they are afraid they will write something incorrectly, so I really do appreciate parent reviews! 😀 I am elated and imbued with new enthusiasm for the year ahead.
As a freelance teacher, my opportunities for professional feedback, outside of my biennial reaccreditation from IEW, are infrequent. It was a blessing to have that affirmation from an unbiased reviewer that, indeed, the work accomplishes its goal: the formation of writers with the flexibility and knowledge to apply their extensive repertoire of transferable skills to any writing task.
Witnessing students blossom in their writing ability is why I love my job and why I keep doing it.