Our next assessment for the quarter is going to be a reflection paper. Many teachers check these assessments in various manners and I would like to express my expectations from you. This post is NOT intended to pressure you to get a good mark but to show you a new way of writing, of articulating your thoughts, and of relating concepts into your own life.
Thus, here are my expectations:
CONTENT MASTERY. I expect you to explicit;y mention the terms, concepts, or ideas that we discussed in class. Rest assured that whatever I flash on the board, you’ll need to remember it. Also, not only are you supposed to enumerate to me what you copied down, you’re supposed to explain it as how it was discussed in class. Remembering and accurately explaining the concepts is the MINIMUM REQUIREMENT.
APPLICATION OF CONCEPTS TO PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCE. It’s not enough that you simply know the content. The concepts have to be applicable to your personal circumstances or else what you know is useless. The Alfred Whitehead (1861-1947) even asserted that “A merely well-informed man is the most useless bore on God’s earth.” Real learning happens when the lessons don’t end when the bell rings. In fact, the lessons should ring a bell in you, signaling you it’s time to move.
CONCRETE ACTION. Reflection is supposed to inspire you to DO SOMETHING. You are not JUST students who leach off your parents resources and manage to squirm your way through high school. You are CHANGE AGENTS; you MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. Believe it or not, you all have more power than adults in changing this world. If your reflection papers do not have a resolution to do something different, after examining your own lives in light of the lessons, then the whole exercise was a waste. We are “Men for others” who do everything for “God’s Greater Glory.” What glory will God find in us if we simply resolve to appreciate what we have? Will verbalizing our gratitude make any real difference in this world? DO SOMETHING. ANYTHING. We owe it to our country that we help bring it to greater heights.
We are the best that this country has to offer. Let’s start acting like it.
Many of my A students last year followed this advice in writing essays. Just a few rules of thumb:
- ACTIVE VOICE. Use the ACTIVE voice in your sentences.
- Simple words bring results. Just because you sound like a dictionary doesn’t mean you know what you’re talking about. Use words that are simple but formal in writing your papers.
- Keep it short. If you can write your reflection in less than 800 words, do it. Get to the point immediately. I tend to ignore the latter pages of the reflection paper if you already made your point on the earlier ones. Save paper. Save words. Save time.
- If you don’t have any experience that’s related to the concept, then use your lack of experience as a point of discussion.
- Telling me what I want to hear won’t guarantee you a better mark. Speak from the heart. Tell me what the REAL YOU is REALLY saying even if you think it might “hurt” or “insult” me. Your words are safe with me. No one else will lay eyes on them.
With that, I hope this helps in our future assessments.
Image taken from: http://pinterest.com/pin/278589926919275304/