Summer Series: Student Writing Sample [High School]


This summer we will feature a writing sample from a student in each grade as we all enjoy a beautiful summer in West Michigan! Please join us each week to read these fantastic teacher-submitted examples of excellent writing!

Guard Dog
By Skyler Maitner

I dialed the number for a third time hoping that he would answer. My nervous fingers scrambled on the old, peeling paint of the windowsill. The sun high in the sky shone in my eyes as I listened to the annoyingly loud phone dial.

“Hello, this is Rob, how can I help you?”

“Dad it’s me. I know I’m not supposed to call your work number but this is important,” I replied frantically.

“What’s wrong?”

“King got off of his leash and Kyle Isn’t home to put him back, will you please call him and tell him to come home?”

My fingers gripped the landline tightly as I watched my neighbors pitbull run circles in his yard, barking vigorously.

“Sky,” countered my father, “Kyle is busy at work, just go over there, grab his leash, and put him in the garage.”

I glanced out the window and took in the size of the dog. King’s strong shoulders came up to my abdomen. His back legs were built with muscle, allowing to jump up and over me if he pleased. Although I had been around the dog numerous times before, the idea of getting pinned to the ground by an overly hyper, 90 pound dog was very unappealing, Especially when seven year old me was just about equal weight to the dog soaking wet. However, even that was the least of my problems.

“Dad you don’t understand. There’s this guy parked in Kyle’s driveway, and king doesn’t seem to like him.”

“What do you mean?”

The glossy back sedan was parked askew in the driveway. I watched as the man I never met before strode with purpose up to King. King was trained to protect his home and the people inside, therefore strangers in his yard didn’t suit him too well. The man’s shoulders were hunched forward as he stormed up to the dog. The stranger had a determined look in his eye, but hiding behind that were wisps of arrogance and fear. King continued to bark as the man got closer to him, rearing up. The man thrust his hand down towards Kingts head, most likely to grip his black fabric harness. King growled and froze, watching his movements. The man snapped his arm back up to his side, startled by the dog’s actions. He turned on his heel and started at a full sprint back to his vehicle. A mistake on his part. With a few long bounds, King lunged forward and caught the fabric of his blue jeans in his mouth, tearing a strip off. The man stumbled but continued to run before making it inside his closed vehicle.

“Nevermind I think he’s leaving now. Please still call Kyle though, King’s too big for me to grab.”

“Okay I will, just let me know what happens, alright?”

“Yes Dad.”

I hung up the phone and looked out of the window again. I was shocked to find that the man hadn’t driven away, he was just sitting in his car, almost like he was waiting for something.

King sat like a statue ten feet from the sedan, watching him. I began to get a sinking feeling in my stomach, but I wasn’t sure why.

King’s interest in the man lessened as the pitbull went to walk around the side of the house. However the car still stayed stagnant in the driveway.

I left my bedroom to return the landline to its charger in the kitchen. As I walked through the living room, I checked on my own two dogs, just to be sure that they weren’t freaking out after seeing King outside. When I returned to my bedroom window, my stomach dropped. In the short amount of time that I had left, two police cars now were parked in the street. I watched as two officers from each vehicle approached the house. My hands began to shake as they strategically walked up to King in a pattern that was meant to trap King against the side of the house. I frantically ran back to retrieve the phone and dial my dad’s number. My hands shook the the extent that even holding the phone was difficult for me.

“Hello, this is Rob-” He answered one more.

“Dad, Dad you’ve got to get Kyle to come home there’s police here and- ‘

‘Slow down! What are you even talking about?”

“There’s police here and Kings guarding the house and he’s scared and I don’t know what

“There are cops there? Okay I’m going to call Kyle again. Just stay where you’re at, all right? I’ll call you right back.”

The line went dead as I pulled the phone away from my ear. I continued to watch the scene across the street unfold in front of my eyes. King was backed up against the house, the hair of his back raised in a line, barking to the point where his voice was becoming hoarse. One of the officers took another step forward. I could see panic and fear mixing in the dog’s eyes. King lunged forward to find an escape from the trap the police officers before him had set.

The officer in front took the advance from the dog entirely differently, and he quickly drew the pistol from the holster at his hip. The officer held the gun just below his chest, aiming the barrel directly at King. His second hand was braced against the butt of the handle, his legs were separated and slightly bent to find firm grounding. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I sat helplessly, too shocked and scared to do anything other than watch.

King took another step.

I saw it before I heard it.

King’s face recoiled back first, then his body fell to the ground in a heap. Blood specks flew out from his mouth. Less than a second later, the loud crack of the gunshot reached my ears. Despite the distance, it felt like the gun had been fired off directly next to my ear. The world around me felt as though I was underwater, the noises around me were long and distorted. Slowly it came back to normal, like somebody was holding a fast forward button on a remote to my life. The ringing of my ears dominated all other sounds around me.

I screamed out, tears now a steady flow down my face, gasping for breath. My chest ached as I slowly fell on my knees, sobbing openly.

The officer returned to firearm to his holster and stared down at the dog momentarily. The police turned around to go back to their vehicles to file a report. My eyes were locked on Kings bloodied body in the grass. Flecks of blood painted the previously perfect white picket fence behind him. The man that was earlier locked in his sedan, now stood calmly in front the the officers, flailing his arms about as he pointed to various places around him.

As I looked back at king once more, I noticed the tiny rise and fall of his chest cavity. He was still breathing, very much alive and very much in pain. King was later subject to intensive surgery. The bullet shot through his front teeth and down his throat, causing to lose his ability to bark. King pulled through just fine, however I do not believe that afternoon will ever be erased from my memory.

Skyler Maitner is a graduated member of the Class of 2016 and this short story was submitted by twelfth grade English teacher, Aaron Brossiet.

Summer Series: Student Writing Sample [High School]

LogoThis summer we will feature a writing sample from a student in each grade as we all enjoy a beautiful summer in West Michigan! Please join us each week to read these fantastic teach-submitted examples of excellent writing!

By Elijah Drake

I grew out of a backyard
where broken bones were weeds and weeds
were really flowers
I was watered by picnics
and beach visits
Forests, God, Sharon Creech,
Coffee, Parents, Love
Eternal love
I was trimmed with insults screaming worthless
and an award proclaiming
Big Picture World-Thinker Man
I was fertilized by phone calls
Good night moon
A musical fountain, The musical fountain
Bike Rides that lengthened our leash
Sunlight that came through
Skylights over my Grandma’s table
a since moved kitchen
and a broken pray-house roof
Branches grew around iron fences
and do not enters
wood splinters
lost jobs, no money, hot dogs
The backyard slowly grew too- smaller
even now it fades
(as fall leaves often do)
from the animation it held
the power of experience a gardener

Elijah Drake is a graduated member of the Class of 2016. This poem was submitted by his twelfth grade English teacher, Mr Brossiet. 

Summer Series: Student Writing Sample [High School]

LogoThis summer we will feature a writing sample from a student in each grade as we all enjoy a beautiful summer in West Michigan! Please join us each week to read these fantastic teacher-submitted examples of excellent writing!

Note from the Author: This story is about a relationship struggle I went through that ended poorly, and the ways I was able to conquer/get over the tragic feeling of loss. Talking a little bit about myself, I have a very big passion for helping the poor and needy. I have been on a couple mission trips including to Florida, in our community, Grand Rapids, and Haiti. Those days have changed my life completely. I am also very athletic. I was in soccer for five years, plus volleyball, and am in marching band hopefully throughout my whole high school years. I love to play music. It gives me the chance to relax, letting stress leave the body. I’m in the top concert band currently, playing clarinet for my sixth year. On the side, I play an additional instrument, piano, which I enjoy practicing in my free time. Furthermore, I sing in my church band every Sunday.
— Rachel Warner

The Falling Grace
By Rachel Warner

            I can still remember when I was best friends with a girl who was passionate and full of life, loving and kind. That smile on her face and that laugh of hers brightened my day and that itself made everything worthwhile. We would hang out all the time,  telling each other our deepest of secrets and could fully trust one another. And then, as the days got longer, I started to realize that the connection we once had before was gone. She said nothing and headed for the door, leaving me dumbfounded; leaving me stranded. She left me with nothing but pictures, old memories to look at when I was feeling alone and empty. I can still recall that day when she began to be nothing more than another face it the crowd.

“What did I do?” I cried. “I don’t understand why this is happening.”

“Nothing. I don’t want to talk about it anymore. Stop asking me about it,” she said as she turned on her heels and walked away.

It killed me inside to know that I wasn’t good enough. That she was entirely and utterly fine without me. Those days became months and I was still hiding myself in my room, crying. Not wanting to talk to anyone. I just lay there, listening to the sad music I had planned to listen to. That light started to fade and I couldn’t stay away from the monsters that were catching up.

Staring at the ceiling, I listened to the music ringing in my ears. “Save me I’m drowning alive / And keep me from dying inside / I only want to find my way back home / But I can’t make it alone.”

Goodbyes are always the hardest when they are left unexplained.  Experiencing such loss is double the tragedy and most people don’t know what to do with themselves. No one should have to go through that pain of being forgotten, but having those kinds of things happen is a part of life. It helps you to be where you are today. Without those adversities, we wouldn’t be as strong and mature as before.

I have been thinking a lot about those relationships with others and how all the relationships we have in our lives affect us every day. If you look for the bad, you will always find it. If you look for the good, you will find that too, but our experience of humanity and life itself is truly up to us. Saying that you’re okay is so much easier than explaining all the reasons why you’re not.  Ironic isn’t it? How we tell others to stay strong, yet we can’t do it ourselves? That you cared so much that it destroyed you inside?  How the anger or sadness bubbles up to a rate that’s so high and you have no idea how to comprehend your feelings? I found that you have to forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.

I decided to give it one more attempt. Right when I got to school, I saw her and another friend making conversation. I made a brave move by walking up to them to say hello.

“What do you want?” she asked.

“I… well…. I just thought…”

“Okay,” she rudely interrupted.  Rolling her eyes, they walked away laughing. That was the day I finally gave up.

The purpose of life is to live in peace, to love all beings and to know who you are. Know yourself, and you know everything. Throughout my years in middle school and high school, are some of the few places where I’ve learned the most about myself. Like most people say, I don’t like school, but I don’t love it either. In my mind, high school is like the waiting room for real life. To get to the real world, you have to go through all the experiences of being a teenager.

The immaculate knowledge alone is: emptiness. How can you come out of this when there are no limits? The appearance of a manifestation is but the play of this emptiness. Know who you are here, and now, by simply being quiet. Taking some peace and quiet might be all that you need. It’s all I needed, it just took a lot longer to bandage my shattered heart. Think about where you are now and how you can get through the situation.

You deserve to live your life filled with joy and happiness. Do not let the actions of others push you away from your religion, your family, or your real friends that care and deserve to have someone like you.

You can’t force love, I realized. It’s either there or it isn’t. If it’s not there, you have to be able to admit it. If it is there, you’ve got to do whatever it takes to protect the ones you love. There comes a time in your life when you walk away from all the drama and the people who create it. Surround yourself with people who make your life, forget the bad and focus on the good and not the kinds of people who leave a trail of memories and decide not to be there to make new ones. Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is part of life, but getting back up is living.

Rachel is a rising junior at Jenison High School. Her persuasive narrative was submitted by her sophomore year English teacher, Mr David Hast.

Summer Series: Student Writing Sample [8th grade, JIA]


This summer we will feature a writing sample from a student in each grade as we all enjoy a beautiful summer in West Michigan! Please join us each week to read these fantastic teacher-submitted examples of excellent writing!

Egg Can’s and the candy within
By Annabel Owen

The project or well service that I did was help with sorting cans at my church. This service is at the church to help the poor still have a good holiday. I worked with other kids my age that came to help out. My mother and sisters also helped out while they were there. Serving for the greater good can make others happy and be mentally good for your heart.

In truth the service project helped the more poor side of the community that we live in. The service project I did was described as sorting cans, although it was really for making Easter baskets for the children whose parents couldn’t afford an Easter basket. Now the children who will get them will have a wonderful Easter with candy and smiles. It not only affects the children though, the parents of these children get the best gifts which are the smiles on their Childs face. Happiness can be brought to those with little with just one gift.

This has affected me a lot, doing things for others just makes your heart glow. I’ve started to notice the small actions that people do and how it goes around affecting everyone. Just like hiccups, smiles are contagious. I’ve found what I really love and what’s most important to me through this experience. It may seem that serving and helping is hard work and not worth the effort, but in some respects there is something to gain.

Every little action we do effects something which also affects something and this process continues on forever. Everything effects everything is how I put it. The book The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens says that each person has a mental bank account and what you say either is deposit or a withdraw. In the end of it all if everyone helps here and there in this world, there would be a big difference. When people work together to change the world, they change the hearts of the people in the world.

When looking back I find it hard to believe that what I was doing was a service project. Sure at the end when we were putting socks in baggies was strange, but it was as though joyfulness had spread its wings. I wonder if the children who received the Easter baskets had as much fun as I imagined they did. Joy will known to the children and my heart is also filled with joy. It begs the question though; does everyone have such joy in helping others?

Annabel Owen is a rising 9th grader in the Jenison International Academy. Her piece was submitted by her 8th grade mentor teacher as part of an assignment studying “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” and a corresponding service project. 

Summer Series: Student Writing Sample [8th grade]

LogoThis summer we will feature a writing sample from a student in each grade as we all enjoy a beautiful summer in West Michigan! Please join us each week to read these fantastic teacher-submitted examples of excellent writing!

Literary Essay on Ransom of Red Chief
By Jacob Frollo

In the short story “Ransom of Red Chief”, by O. Henry, Bill and Sam need money so they kidnap a kid. They took a little boy who calls himself Red Chief, but they got more than they bargained for. The boy beat up and harassed them. The boy was such a handful that they ended up paying his father to take him back. This story shows that before you act, you should think about the consequences.

For instance, Bill and Sam Were so desperate to get some money that they acted and didn’t think about the consequences. “ The kid was in the street, throwing rocks at a kitten on the opposite fence”(pg. 274). They took the boy because they thought he was the banker’s son but didn’t stop and wonder if it would be a bad idea to take him because he was throwing rocks at a kitten on the fence. Bill and Sam didn’t think of the consequences before they acted and took the boy. Also, the boy acted without thinking of the consequences. Red Chief was sitting on Bills chest with one hand grabing his hair and in the other hand he had a sharp knife which he was trying to cut Bill with(pg. 277). The boy was just pretending to be an Indian and was trying to have a good time, but he didn’t think about the consequences he would have for harassing Bill. For example, Bill and Sam could send him home and he didn’t want to go home because he was having fun. Later in the story they did threaten take him home. He beat up Bill without thinking of the consequences that he almost got sent home. In addition, the boy’s father acted, but he was aware of the consequences. “You bring Johnny home and pay me two hundred and fifty dollars in cash, and I agree to take him off your hands”(pg. 281). In this sentence from the text the boy’s father offers the kidnappers a deal so he could get his son back without paying the ransom. This shows that the boy’s father thought about the consequences and decided to write the letter like that anyway. He was almost positive the kidnappers would take the offer because his son was such a handful and they were getting sick of him. The boy’s father thought about the consequences and acted based on what he thought was the best choice. Another situation where someone acted was when Bill and Sam decided to give the kid back without getting the ransom. “We’ll take him home, pay the ransom and make our getaway”(pg. 282). Bill and Sam decided to pay the 250 dollars to get rid of the kid because he was getting on their nerves and they didn’t want to deal with him any more. Bill and Sam knew the consequences, but the decided to act and pay the ransom so they could get rid of him.

Furthermore, there were also many consequences for the characters actions. For example, Bill and Sam had consequences for kidnapping the boy. Red chief had put a red hot potato down Bill’s back and smashed with his foot. Then Bill hit him and he threatend to bash his head in with a rock(pg. 277). When they took the boy they didn’t think of the consequences, but there were many consequences including this one where the boy threatened to hit Bill with a rock. That was one of many consequences they had for taking the boy. Additionally, the boy had a consequence for being such a handful. “When the kid found out we were going to leave him at home he started up a howl like a calliope and fastened himself as tight as a leech to Bill’s leg”(pg. 282). The boy got angry because he was having fun and didn’t want to go home, but he had to because he was being such a handful for Bill and Sam and the wanted him gone. If he wouldn’t have been such a handful Bill and Sam might not have taken the deal that was offered to them and the boy would have got to stay longer if his father didn’t pay the ransom. Going home was the boy’s consequence for being a handful. Bill and Sam also had consequences for taking the offer that the boy’s father gave them. “We took him home that night”(pg. 282). Bill and Sam brought the boy back to his father and by doing so there were many consequences. One is that they wouldn’t get the ransom money that they needed. Another is that they had to pay the man to get rid of the boy. Bill and Sam gave the boy back and they knew the consequences, but they did it anyway because they were so sick of the boy.

In conclusion, some people acted without thinking and had consequences for their actions, while others thought of the consequences and then acted on what they thought they should do. You should just think about the consequences before you act.

Our 8th writer, Jake Frollo, has attended Jenison Public Schools since kindergarten. He is a percussionist in marching band and enjoys snow skiing in winter. His favorite book is The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Jacob is a rising freshman at Jenison High School and his writing was selected by his 8th grade writing teacher, Ms Deb VanDuinen.

Summer Series: Student Writing Sample [7th grade]

LogoThis summer we will feature a writing sample from a student in each grade as we all enjoy a beautiful summer in West Michigan! Please join us each week to read these fantastic teacher-submitted examples of excellent writing!

Flint: Soon to Lose all Citizens
By: Melia Brewer

The city of Flint is a beautiful place that will start to lose all of the people there because of the water. In another word, Flint will be filled with lead all in their water, soon to kill many of the people if still drinkin. For a while, the water in Flint has been caught with a lot of lead in the pipes but, now it is more of a problem than ever. Altogether, the Flint river, not using corrosion and switching water systems have started a high level of lead in Flint’s water. Lead is definitely a dangerous thing in water for humans in Flint. It will carry death or seriously bad problems for Flint. Some professionals have found that the lead can cause many problems like learning disability, speech and behavioral problems. If not taken care of every citizen in Flint will be affected. With the increasing amount of people in Flint the more people’s lives will be taken by the lead. With a growing population the more water that will need to be used and more of the pipes will have to be taken care of. Unfortunately, plastic water bottles would be at the bottom because of how cheap and simple it is. Water bottles would be the more economic way to go, but it is the worst because of how fast they would go out. Lead in Flint’s water is a major problem that must be taken care of soon.

Before we can take any actions, we must find out how the lead was even in the water of Flint. The main cause of the problem is that the Flint river brought the lead into the water. “Flint had switched water systems to the Flint river to save money, but found out that there was eight times more chloride than Detroit’s water” (Sanburn). This problem has spread all throughout Flint and might get worse later on. Many of the water in the Flint river had been affected by lead so many of the people had to drink that water. Also, this means people in this situation need the fresh water to drink because they had been used to that and now the water has been affected by lead. The city did not try to do this, but the water became to have lead in it when it reached people’s houses. This is important because it could end up hurting other people if they drink it because there is nothing else for them to drink. We must get rid of the lead in Flint’s water. Another cause that brought lead into Flint’s water is “ The city did not use corrosion to control to prevent the lead from entering the water” (Sanburn). This quote means that when Flint switched their water system the lead was still in there from the Flint river and, the state did not fix the water pipes for clean water after they knew that there was lead in the water. Also, this means that the lead could stay in Flint’s water for a long time because it could start to get worse after awhile if not taken care of soon enough and the proper way. The quote also states, that even if you don’t do one thing to anything something really bad could end up happening.

Certainly, there are many consequences of lead in water, as well as the horrible effects. Lead is basically a chemical element in the carbon group. “ Lead can cause learning disability, speech and language problems and behavioral problems (Detroit Free Press). This states that if someone drinks the lead they could be different in the way they talk, behave and learn all because of drinking that lead water. Also, studies have shown that the lead can cause a different blood level usually a lower blood level. This lead in the water can lead to killing every organ in someone’s body killing them. Lead is obviously very bad for your body and is very likely to give you disability at the least, if not it will cause many unwanted things.

Flint’s citizen’s need the help for a better solution to help them drink healthy water. Other people in Michigan could just send plastic water bottles, but a better long term solution is the people could keep sending money to Flint to pay for more filters according to Bryan McGrath. This means that everyday more and more people could send money to Flint for the water pipes could be fixed. Also, this means that the more money people send the people in Flint the quicker the water can be fixed. Finally this means that the water would stay healthy like it always was and will not get affected again unless they switch water systems again. Another, solution is that the state can start to send filter supplies and water testing kits to Flint according to the Detroit Free Press. This states that the state of Michigan should start to help Flint by sending them their needs because right now they have to handle this all on their own. Also, that means that the state needs to fix this problem or else people from other states will not want to come here because of the bad water, and might think that we are a poor state because the state is not giving up the money to fix the pipes. Finally, that means that Michigan’s population will start to die down because Flint’s water can end up killing a majority of the people that live there, and as of 2013 there was 99,763 people that lived in Flint that could soon all die because of water. A final, solution is to just start to send money for the families to pay for their own pipes to be fixed for good water. This means that other people in michigan could start to help with a shorter term solution with just giving the families that have been affected with the lead money to start to pay for them to have brand new water. Also, this means that if people of Michigan start to send money the families might end up saving the money so that they can end up without having to to buy any plastic bottles. Unless we act now to help others in need all of the people in Flint could be changed in their lives with the lead in the water. And beautiful Flint, will soon lose all of the people if not taken care of now.

Melia Brewer, is a rising 8th grader at Jenison Junior High and is in her second year at Jenison, transferring from Hudsonville in sixth grade. She is involved in many activities at the Junior High, such as volleyball and softball, and plays viola in the orchestra. A favorite read for her is the Hunger Games series. This essay was selected by her 7th grade writing teacher, Ms Deb VanDuinen.

Works cited

“Flint’s Water Crisis Explained in 3 GIFs.” Time. Time, n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2016.
“Health Problems That Followed Switch in Water Supply Anger Flint Residents.” Newsela. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2016. Kristof, Nicholas.
“America Is Flint.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 06 Feb. 2016. Web. 27 Feb. 2016.
“Lead Poisoning­Topic Overview.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2016.
“News.” A Water Crisis Deepens. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2016.

Summer Series: Student Writing Sample [6th grade]

LogoThis summer we will feature a writing sample from a student in each grade as we all enjoy a beautiful summer in West Michigan! Please join us each week to read these fantastic teacher-submitted examples of excellent writing!

What Advice do you have for a young child? [Journal Entry]
By Emma Millin

Here’s a piece of advice for a young child who is still figuring out life:

downloadIf you be yourself, people might make fun of you. They might call you weird or give you dirty looks. But, you’ll just have to ignore those people. Being yourself is probably one of the best things you can do.
If you want to put paperclips in your hair, do it!
If you want to dance down the hallway, do it!
If you want to sing loudest in music class, even though the kid in front of you doesn’t like your voice, do it!
If you want to get an E on a test… well maybe you shouldn’t do that…
Be yourself, the best you you could ever be!”

Emma is a rising 7th grader at Jenison Junior High. This journal entry was selected by Emma’s 6th grade teacher, Ms Kendra King at Sandy Hill Elementary.

Summer Series: Student Writing Samples [5th grade]

LogoThis summer we will feature a writing sample from a student in each grade as we all enjoy a beautiful summer in West Michigan! Please join us each week to read these fantastic teacher-submitted examples of excellent writing!

Educational Rise or Fall?
By: Samantha Eriks
[Samantha accepted the challenge in her Spanish Immersion Class to submit a fully translated essay. For the English version, scroll down, or, if you’re as smart as a 5th grader, check out her writing in Spanish!]

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 2.40.46 PM

¿Educación, subiendo o bajando?

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

¿Alguna vez has pensado en los leyes de educación? La mayoría de estos leyes no tiene el aporte de los maestros, quienes son las personas que están afectados lo más. Algunas veces, los leyes no están creados en la mejor manera. Los legisladores educativos están aquí para mejorar escuelas pero ¿esto es que está realmente pasando?

¿Alguna vez has pensado en cuánto tiempo tu maestra trabaja para hacer lecciones, enseñar y hacer cosas extras para tu clase? La paga que reciben debe ser elevado. Hoy de partir de ser maestro recibe $40.255 (salario de Jenison de 2010 encontrado por Googling) pero esto puede cambiar depende en la escuela, el tamaño de clase y cuantos años el maestro ha trabajado. Si los creadores de los leyes educativos estuvieron maestros primeros, entenderán todo el trabajo que el maestro hace y que deben recibir más dinero por su trabajo. Tristemente, porque maestros no están pagados correctamente para su trabajo menos personas ven a querer enseñar.

Hay otro ley educacional creado sobre la lectura de tercer grado que sería mejor con la ayuda de maestros. Aquí es una explicación de Jonathan Oostiing’s desde mlive: “La propuesta de lectura de tercer grado, que complementa un empuje literario de Gov. Rick Snyder, prohibía escuelas para promover a niños a cuarto grado si están un grado detrás en lectura. Sería excepciones, y niños que tenían dificultades en la lectura podían tomar otras clases en otros sujetos” (Oostiing).

Piensa en estas leyes y qué efecto van a crear. Por uno, imagina estos niños que tienen un tiempo difícil en la lectura, y cómo este cambio afectaría a ellos socialmente, sería muy difícil estar un grado mas atrás solo porque no podías leer. Esto también va a afectar estrés de intervención. Esto va a causar más presión en grados más bajos para asegurar que todos están en el nivel correcto. Si los creadores de estos leyes fueran maestros, o si tuvieran la ayuda de maestros, tal vez entenderían que están creando con esta ley. No estoy diciendo que este problema no debe estar abordado, pero definitivamente no debe estar abordado en esta manera.

Otra cosa para pensar sobre es que muchos políticos que especializan en la educación no han sido maestros. Si este grupo de personas tenía experiencia de ser maestro sabrían qué escuelas necesitan y que no. Sería muy bueno tener personas que entienden que pasa en un salón de clase, como cuánto esfuerzo maestros ponen o la cantidad de énfasis en resultados de prueba. También sabrían qué leyes deben ser mayor prioridad y que tienen sentido estar pasados. También sabrían que leyes no necesitaremos en escuelas.

Creadores de leyes educativas deben recibir aporte de maestros o deben ser maestros primero. Las leyes de educación no están pensados al mejor posibilidad que podían hacer. También, maestros deben recibir una paga mejor. Escuela es una parte muy importante en una vida de un niño y todos deben recibir la mejor educación que pueden. ¿Qué está pasando con la educación? ¿Está mejorando o las leyes que están creados no realmente están creados a la mejor posibilidad?

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but rather the lighting of a fire” – William Butler Yeats

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” -Nelson Mandela

Samantha Eriks is a rising 6th grader at Bursley Elementary where she is in the Spanish Immersion program. Some of her interests are playing piano, learning new things, reading, playing basketball, singing, writing, and anything to do with technology!  She looks forward to learning new things and spending time with her friends in 6th grade. Her writing sample was chosen by her 5th grade teacher, Rebecca Chicklon, as part of a lesson in persuasive writing.

Educational Rise or Fall?
By: Samantha Eriks

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

Have you ever thought about what educational laws are like? Most laws never even have the input of teachers, who are the people that seem to get affected the most. Sometimes the laws are not created in the best way possible because there is not the input of teachers being incorporated. Educational lawmakers are here to help make schools better, but are they?

Have you ever realized how hard your teacher works to make lesson plans, teach, and do extra stuff for your class? Well the pay they get should be raised. Todays starting teacher makes $40,255 (Jenison salaries from 2010 found from Googling) but this can also change depending on what type of school it is, class sizes, and how long the teacher has been teaching. If the law creators were teachers, they would understand all the work teachers put in and that teachers deserve a better pay. Also, this will sadly mean that less people will want to become teachers because of the starting pay.

There is another educational law created about third grade reading that could have been better with teacher input. Here is Jonathan Oosting’s explanation from mlive: “The third-grade reading proposal, which complements a literacy push by Gov. Rick Snyder, would prohibit schools from promoting students to fourth grade if they are at least a full grade-level behind in reading. There would be exemptions, however, and struggling readers could take some fourth grade classes in other subject areas.” Think about this law and all the effects it would create. For one, imagine the kids who struggle in reading, and how being in third grade would also affect them socially, it would be very hard to be held back a grade just because you could not read. This will also affect third grade intervention stress. Causing more pressure in lower grades to make sure everyone is reading at the right level. If the creators of these laws were teachers, or had teacher input, they might actually realize what they are creating with this law. I am not saying that this issue should not be addressed, but it definitely should not be addressed in this way.

Another thing to think about is that most politicians who specialize in education have not been teachers. If this group of people had experience as teachers they would know what schools need and what is not needed. It would be very nice to have people who understand what happens in a classroom, like how much effort teachers put in or the amount of emphasis on test data. They also would know which laws should be at a higher priority and make sense to get passed, and which ones are not needed. Educational lawmakers should get the input of teachers or be teachers first. Educational laws are not always thought through to the full extent they could be. Also, teachers deserve a better pay. School is a very important part of kids’ lives, so everyone should be given the best education possible. What is happening with education? Is it becoming better, or are the laws that are being created not being fully thought through?

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but rather the lighting of a fire” – William Butler Yeats

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

Summer Series: Student Writing Samples [4th grade]

LogoThis summer we will feature a writing sample from a student in each grade as we all enjoy a beautiful summer in West Michigan! Please join us each week to read these fantastic teacher-submitted examples of excellent writing!

Charlie Myracle the Superhero
by Abigail Majestic

In a small town called Treehouse Town all of the treehouses were quiet except for a blue and purple one. There was loud music and lots of lights on. That was because this treehouse was owned by Charlie Myracle and his cat Imagine. Charlie Myracle and Imagine never slept. They didn’t need to! They were SUPERHEROES!!! Charlie Myracle wore blue leggings and a purple suit. His suit had a big yellow star right in the middle. Imagine was a gray pussy cat that had blue and purple swirled wings and, could also talk. Charlie Myracle and Imagine could both fly. Even though they were superheros, they had a weakness.

Their weakness was a villain named Sir Hypno’s slowness potion. Sir Hypno was feared by all in Charlie Myracle’s town. Sir Hypno had a sidekick named Linlo. Linlo was a zebra. Sir Hypno wore a black and white jacket and hypnotizing glasses. He lived in a large pair of hypnotizing glasses. Charlie Myracle and Sir Hypno were sworn enemies.

Charlie Myracle and Imagine went out to watch the sunset. Imagine spotted a tiny light and went

MEOW. Charlie Myracle then spotted the light too. He then noticed that it was the glare of Sir Hypno’s glasses! He was plotting a plan! What for? Charlie Myracle then figured out, Sir Hypno was going to hypnotize the town!!

Suddenly, Sir Hypno spotted Charlie Myracle. He blasted a quick ray of his slowness potion and, knocked Charlie Myracle out! Imagine tried everything to wake Charlie Myracle up. Then, Imagine hoisted Charlie Myracle on his back and flew back to their treehouse. Charlie Myracle woke up after an hour of rest. Imagine told him what happened. Imagine said that he had to wait one day until the slowness potion wore off. Charlie Myracle was upset because he had to stop Sir Hypno before it was too late. One day might be too long.

Charlie Myracle was lying in bed that afternoon and said, “Ugg. Just let this slowness potion wear off! I NEED to go stop Sir Hypno!”

Charlie Myracle decided to just go to sleep. Imagine jumped up on his bed and fell asleep too.

They woke up and Carlie Myracle was happy to find out, it was morning! “Come on Imagine, let’s go fight Sir Hypno!” announced Charlie Myracle. They flew out of their treehouse. Off they went to go defeat Sir Hypno! Soon they arrived at Sir Hypno’s house.

“I’m gonna get you now!” exclaimed Charlie Myracle.

“Well, well, well. Who do we have here, Charlie Myracle and Imagine. Linlo I think we have to take out some overdue trash,” murmured Sir Hypno.

“The real trash is you. And, and I’m gonna get your glasses!” yelled Charlie Myracle.

“Wow such impolite words for a guest!” exclaimed Sir Hypno.

“I’m not a guest, I’m an ENEMY!” cried Charlie Myracle.

“Just GO!!!” yelled Sir Hypno.

Sir Hypno’s glasses started to spin. Charlie Myracle knew that meant danger. He slowly backed away. Sir Hypno walked closer. His glasses were spinning faster and faster! Suddenly Charlie Myracle SNATCHED the glasses! “Police!” cried Charlie Myracle. Two police officers came in and took Sir Hypno and Linlo away. “I’ll get you Charlie Myracle!” Yelled Sir Hypno as he was taken away. They were locked up for 50 years.

In the end Charlie Myracle and Imagine got a lovely statue in Treehouse Town. Everyone lived happily ever after, except for Sir Hypno and Linlo!

Abigail Majestic is a rising 5th grader at Pinewood Elementary and her writing was selected by her 4th grade teacher, Mrs Susan Pope, as part of a writing lesson on action/adventure stories, focusing on plot development and dialogue.

Summer Series: Student Writing Samples [3rd grade]

LogoThis summer we will feature a writing sample from a student in each grade as we all enjoy a beautiful summer in West Michigan! Please join us each week to read these fantastic teacher-submitted examples of excellent writing!

Accepting Change
By: Izzy Costello

What’s up with changes these days? It’s like no one likes them, but I do! They might be one of the best things. Here is an example. My mom was dating a guy named Matt, and at first I didn’t like him at all! Then I got to know him a lot better. It turns out now they are married, and now thanks to my step-dad, Matt, I have two step-sisters Lilly and Audrey, and one half-brother Braxton. Trust me it’s not the easiest to deal with an eight year old, a six year old, and a six month baby. It is hard, but totally worth it. Now when I am down I have someone to comfort me.  I also ALWAYS have someone my own age to in which to collaborate, laugh, and play. My siblings and I love to play jokes.  My favorite part about my sisters and brother is I make them crack up a lot, I mean a lot!

Another time in my life when accepting change was hard was when I learned my dad was dating a girl named Erica. At first I was thinking, “NO!”  Then I thought about Matt and his girls and started to think, “Let’s give her a try!”, and I totally don’t regret that. Then a couple of months later Erica moved in, I would say about July. Then at the end of summer Erica’s girls moved in. My other two step-sisters Lily and Willow are some of the cutest six year olds and four year olds I’ve ever met.  The best thing of all is they look up to me as a good example and a big sister. Those are two examples of how I accepted changes, and I think you should accept changes too.

Izzy is a rising 4th grader at Pinewood Elementary and her writing sample was selected by her 3rd grade writing teacher, Mrs Mary Veldink.