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1st draft of argumentative:

only teach subjects that you are certified to teach

having a union
investing in substitute teachers rather than pull teachers from their prep periods
including technology in the classroom
eliminating standardized testing
the importance of AP classes and why they are needed

**why every school needs a writing center- counterargument: why do we need a start with an anecdote of a personal experience with a struggling writer- writing center when we
have english/writing teachers; too much funding*- write a letter to the President
To Dr. Stacey Sauchuck,
Last fall, I was approached by a student who said he needed help with his college essays. The
essay was filled with misplaced commas, run-on sentences, conflicting ideas, and overall it was
a mess. He needed more help than what he was given in his English class, and he came to me
for help. During my free periods, ASP, and before first period, he would come to me with new
drafts, new ideas, and new edits from our previous meeting. Everyday for approximately one
month, I worked individually with this student on his writing. We worked together, learning from
each other, and helping him improve his writing. By the time it came to submit his college
essays, they were flawless. I realize that this is not the case with every struggling writer, but this
is one of the success stories. After working with student, I started a small Writing Center in my
classroom. Every week, students of all grade levels came to me to share stories they were
writing, get help on college essays, or simply ask me about writing. These students needed this.
They needed somewhere to go to bounce their ideas off of others, learn how to improve their
writing, or simply share a piece of writing that they were confident about. The space was theirs,
and they made it theirs. However, the Writing Center isn't a permanent part of the school. It is
only available during my free periods and after school, when it should be available at all hours of
the school day. Most high schools and universities have a permanent writing center, allowing
students to come and go as they please from early morning hours until the evening. Why
doesn't Valley Forge also have this component?
This year, I was originally assigned the duty of writing a grant proposal and holding the writing
center during the school day, making myself available if other teachers needed to send students
to me for extra writing help. However, with a new principal, and the removal of my partner in this
implementation, I was instructed that the option of a permanent Writing Center was no longer an
option. Administration raves about how great the Writing Center is, its appeal to parents, and
how important it is for students.
Writing Centers exist across the world, and their success is widely known.

The High School Writing Center

Establishing and Maintaining One
Edited by Pamela B. Farrell (Childers)
Digitized by Colorado State University

Both types of centers assist individuals at various stages of the writing process in a low-risk
environment. Those with peer tutors also promote certain relationships among students; those
staffed by teachers model informal relationships between adolescents and adults. In any case,
the spread of both types of writing centers suggests that, although the centers may be
competing for limited resources within school districts, they do fit into certain institutional 23



Dawn Fels and Jennifer Wells (National Writing Project and Teachers College Press, 2011)
. . . [W]riters turn to the writing center, where the perspectives of students, instructors, and
institutions intersect. Writing center tutors help students to understand these perspectives and
then to negotiate them. They do so through intimate discourses that tutors and students draw
upon from their experiences in the classroom and other communities to which they belong.
Through their conversation, tutors and writers connect different perspectives in a way that leads
to problem solving. We see this in writing centers when a student plans to write a paper one
way, but their tutor reminds him or her that the assignment, and thus the reader, is asking for a
different approach. We see it when tutors learn how to work with students whose language or
learning style is different from their own. We also see it when directors or tutors engage faculty
in conversations about ways to make their assignments clearer or more relevant to students'
lives. Such conversations are difficult to achieve in a classroom where the teacher has little time
for one-to-one instruction and the authority of the teacher and assignment are ever-present.
They are especially difficult among colleagues who do not often share teaching ideas or, as is
sometimes the case with new writing centers, misunderstand the writing center's role.
. . . Today's high schools need both the global and local perspectives in order to create an
accurate map of the literacy lives of all of their students. Although schools may have lists of
state mandated "literacy" checksexams, standards, benchmarks, and objectivesthese only
hint at the big picture, and in some ways distort it. As critics of such sweeping evaluation tools
know, desperately needed information is missing, information that can only be discovered by

talking to students one-to-one.

A high school writing center allows for both global and local perspectives. We see the global
perspective when the writing center becomes a place that enables authentic evaluation,
evaluation that reveals the stories of students' struggles and successes to an extent that other
measurement tools cannot. We see the local perspective when a tutor talks with a student,
getting to the heart of that individual student's questions or anxieties about and approaches to
their own writing.

FEEDBACK/also include: what students have said to me about the writing center

Why if we have english teachers?
-our students have a lot of writing requirements outside of the english curriculum-funding> i would be writing the grant proposal
-scholarship letters are important and take up a lot of time- these are the face of teh school for
the funders- need the writing center to help with these letters