By Haley Lee (HS student)
"As a high school student myself, I was intrigued by Peg Tyre's article about a Staten Island school's turnaround. Tyre shows the importance of writing skills to academic and professional success. She looks specifically at the new and improved curriculum at New Dorp High School, which emphasizes analysis over self-expression...
"I like to think about writing as a two-dimensional process. The first dimension, which Tyre hits upon, is the act of putting ideas onto paper. Mechanics are important in this regard: If a student grasps for a word and comes up empty-handed, it becomes impossible to move forward.
"But, in my experience, the best teachers don't just show their kids how to use nouns, verbs, and adjectives. They make their students aware of writing's second dimension: the dialogue between author and reader. It is the unearthly chill of witnessing a character die, the cementing (or dissolving) of a set of beliefs, or the thoughtful pause before flipping the page of a magazine, that epitomize the type of connection writing can ignite."