The endlessly editing english department

Max Greenwald

Over the course of my four year high school career I have amassed a prodigious number of written compositions – English essays, persuasive op-eds, research papers, and (most recently) college application essays. For each one of these that was successful, and I like to think a good majority of them were, I have the generosity of the English department teachers to thank.

I know I’m not the only person who, come their first sophomore year essay, came crawling back to their freshman English teacher for some editing and revision tips. And after that having an English teacher’s seal of approval became a requirement on each major composition before I turned it in. Until an English teacher had sacrificed time after school to impart their wisdom and tear apart my essay, I didn’t feel it was completed.

Considering the ridiculous number of essays and reports I’ve turned in over the years, that’s a lot of time sacrificed by English teachers who are already some of the most over-worked teachers in the school. It really says a lot about a person when they’re willing to take time to help out someone who isn’t even their student anymore on an essay despite having literally over 120 essays to grade in just a few weeks.

At the same time written compositions are often the main determinants in grades. I can think of several novel analyses, research papers, and argumentative historical papers that my grade has hinged on – and remembering the amount of red ink they seemed to have been soaked in after a quick look from some English teachers, I think the direction my grades would’ve taken might have been very different without the editing sessions.