Stuff Students Say

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Apr 24 2012

My future writers

Somewhere in between all the test-prep madness, we do a little writing here and there.  And I love every minute of it:


A. wrote a letter to the editor in response to an article about the dangers of allowing teenagers to have cellphones.  Her conclusion?  People need cellphones, so clearly teenagers need cellphones.  Obviously, “teenagers are part of the earth.”

This is what I get for trying to quickly sneak in a lesson on the basics of journalism- a VERY literal interpretation of who, what, when, where, why and how:  “The spelling bee happened on a Thursday.  This happened in the cafeteria.  This happened because maybe the teachers wanted to know who would be 2012′s spelling bee winner.  This happened because we wanted this to happen.”


Essay prompt:  Compare and contrast life in ancient Egypt with life today.  This student was doing great until his unusual concluding thought: “Plus we are better than them…better technology…we have many places in the U.S…we are not a communist state.”

Bonus essay:  I posted about this awhile ago so forgive me if it sounds familiar, but I ran across the original copy while cleaning out a massive pile of papers on my desk.  I thought it deserved to also be recorded in photo form, as it may be the most unintentionally funny essay I have received yet.  Take note of the discussion of who Santa will bring toys to (only nice boys!) and also, the excellent use of the a postscript (I have an XBox at my house nice right).  Truly an engaging pen pal.


I don’t have photographic evidence of the rest of these,  but I promise they exist.  Honestly, I couldn’t make this stuff up:

A. wrote a news article about our field trip to the Minnesota Zoo that was both informative and hard-hitting:

“It was not a good field trip to the Minnesota Zoo.  We had to do math while we’re there.  I love the animal part that you hang around with animals.  I never saw a snake before.  It was fantastic to see a snake even though they are dangerous.  I saw a tiger it weighted 696.  He was a Siberian tiger.  Siberian tiger is one of the most dangerous and heaviest animals in the world.

Students from other schools were stealing candy when they were out of money.  They were stealing candy at the station that was close to the penguins.  They were good at stealing; one keeps the seller busy so the others take one while he’s not looking.

The camels were the funnest.  They kicked one of the staff and he fall on their food. The baby camels kick him a lot of them. animals are amazing specially monkies. they are skilled like humans and look like humans. They are also tool makers like us.  Many people believe that monkies are from hominids. No one knows!!”


More letters to the editor about teens and cellphones:  “It’s true that many kids and teens are overloaded with technologies but there are different kinds of technologies. For an example, computer and phones are not the same.  You can’t call nobody from a computer.  And also you can’t text someone from a TV.  You need phones for a reason, because you never know what’s gonna hit you!”

“I like cellphones everyone does. They think they can’t live without it but they can. It is just something that makes their life happy.”

“I like talking on the phone and texting. So please don’t make it a big deal.”

From an essay on women’s rights:  “I know that men can be a little strengthful than women, but it doesn’t mean that women should be inside their homes doing chores all day like they’re some kind of slave of someone.”
And one more article on the trip to the Zoo, this time a much rosier perspective:
“After we quieted down she started again.  “We will go on a field trip next week.” She continued on “We will be going to Minnesota Zoo!”  We all started shrieking at the top of our lungs!  Ms. McAvoy from next door had to come in!  Then probably two days from the trip my friends started planning what they were gonna wear how much money they should bring etc.!”

One Response

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I used to be a journalist. Now I just quote students.

Twin Cities
Elementary School
Elementary Education

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