Friday, December 2, 2016

Passion Counts: The “I Love” Admissions Essay

  • Passion Counts: The “I Love” Admissions Essay
  • Rethinking Schools - by Linda Christensen – Fall 2016
  • Article Link
  • Key Points: A teacher at Jefferson High School in Portland, OR describes a writing unit she has on college application essays. She considers her school’s demographics and examines the various hardships each individual student faces on a day to day basis. Many of these students have been raised and taught that only a certain group of individuals will go to college because of test scores and GPA’s. She challenges her students to write about their interests, passions and hobbies in order to showcase to college application committees their “amazing ability to focus and persevere, to practice and rehearse,” traits that would be crucial in order to survive college.
  • Relevance: I think as educators we play such an important role in young people’s lives, not only in the classroom but outside of school and in their home lives as well. To some students we as educators may be the only adult figure that a student sees or talks to on a daily basis. I think being able to find ways to connect to them through assignments such as these benefits not only the student, but the teacher as well. This article should inspire teachers to go the extra mile for students and to always preach to them to go after their dreams in life, whether others say they can’t or not. Many of our students will struggle in the classroom for various reasons but it’s our job to find ways to help them succeed and help them pursue their goals.


  1. I really liked this article! I think there are so many factors and underlying problems that go into a students academics performance that are so often overlooked. Many students have much greater issues going on than just focusing on getting good grades in school. However, it is our job as teachers to help them to see a successful future in some way. Being able to tie into their passions and helping them to see that they can be successful in this area as well as others is such an important tool. And I agree with you Graham in the fact that, for many students, we are one of the only positive role models they may have. We might see them more than any family member or parent. This article does inspire me to go the extra distance in order to make a connection with the students to help better their future.

  2. This article is pure gold for anyone who is looking for what a teacher should be to their student. Teachers have a great many number of jobs. They need to teach, organize, plan, inspire, condition, penalize, prepare, and shape. There are so many things that teachers do that sometimes they forget what they can be. Students definitely need teachers to be there when their parents can't or when they have no where to go, which presents teachers with the opportunity to make something awesome! Students who have the courage to embrace who they are is the best result any teacher can ask for.