Daily journaling fosters writing skills

Every day my Junior English class meets (we are on a block schedule so it is basically every other day), they have to respond to a journal prompt I give them.

This is done just to get them writing because I feel writing is one of the most important skills a person needs. After all, regardless of where you work, you are going to have to communicate to others. Strong writing skills will lead to strong speaking and reading skills, and strong reading skills will lead to strong writing and speaking skills. If you expose yourself to quality writing on a daily basis, you will be able to begin to emulate that, and you will be able to read higher-level writing as your own abilities grow.

This is even more important now that writing assessments are being reintroduced. For my class, they will have to write persuasive/argumentative pieces. Therefore, at least once a week the journal prompt will be one of an opinionated nature.

As you probably know, I love to write. Yet, I haven’t been taking part in the journal prompts alongside my students.

I’m fixing that. Starting today.

I will be posting the prompt and my own brief entry on here. The only difference is mine will be public. My students are currently writing in private Google Docs.


Journal Prompt: 09/20/12

Do you think that parents are obligated to pay for their children’s college education? Why or why not?

Parents are not obligated to pay for the college education of their children. A student attending college has made an adult decision to pursue further education. He or she is a young adult. As such, he or she needs to want to take the initiative to fund the college education independently.

Doing so will result in the student being more emotionally invested in his or her education. With his or her own money on the line, the likelihood of consistent class attendance, homework completion and focusing on being responsible is increased.

Of course, this isn’t to say parents shouldn’t help with college. If they choose to, that is more than OK, and the student should be grateful. However, there should be no feeling of obligation.

Sure, some may argue that parents need to pay because the student can’t afford it, and the student needs to focus on school, not work a part-time job. These arguments make sense on the surface. However, student loans are available, and most students will have plenty of time for a part-time job because they will not have every class every day. They will be confronted with more free-time than they are used to.

The problem with society nowadays is the feeling of entitlement. Students entering college are not entitled to that education. They need to feel blessed to have the opportunity. Therefore, students should not put pressures of obligation upon their parents If their parents choose to help them, they should be thankful.

Personally, my parents did assist me through my first two years of college. It something they didn’t have to do. They wanted to, and to this day I am very grateful for that assistance. After I earned my associate’s degree, I took out the loans to fund my bachelor’s and master’s degrees. I worked harder and focused more because I knew it was all on me. I would have to earn the degrees and use them to better myself. Otherwise, I just took on more than $40,000 worth of debt for nothing.

Students need to be motivated to succeed, and by paying for college on their own — whether by part-time job, student loans, or whatever — they become more motivated. Assistance should be appreciated, not expected.

And parents, don’t feel like you have to pay for your student’s college education. That is not necessarily your cross to bear. Times are tough financially. If your son or daughter truly wants the education, they should understand this and exhaust all avenues of funding. If you choose to help them, fantastic, but don’t ever feel like you have to. You are a parent, but that doesn’t mean you are also an ATM for your child.