Friday, July 2, 2010

Online Adjunct Teaching Assistant Application Essay

Create a scenario and describe your response to a nontraditional student seeking your support.

The students have been asked to write a personal essay in response to a recently assigned book. Before final submission, the Student has submitted a rough draft for my review. The essay is largely in a journaling format with some book summary and a few bold statements of opinion in response to content within the book.

Student Essay:
I really enjoyed reading Brandon Sanderson’s Elantris. It had some really great stuff in it about leadership and how the battle between good and evil plays out between individuals and within individuals. What a tough thing it would have been to experience the Shaod and to continue living but in the conditions that Elantris presented and separated from the world you knew before and those you love. But I’m not sure I would have faired any better in Sarene’s place who had to face a monarch destroying his country and the loss of any hope for a real marriage. Sanderson did a great job creating an amazing world in need of salvation and then using amazing characters to save it. If ever a book warranted a sequel, this one does.

Dear Student,
What amazing insights you have! Elantris is also recently one of my favorite reads. Writing is such a wonderful process of self discovery. It is very clear to me that you are well on your way to discovering your voice in response to Elantris. Here are a couple of thoughts that may help give you confidence and ability as you refine your response:
Look at what you have written and find the common thread to what you have written and what is in your heart about this book. Make this the heart of your essay. State it in the beginning and then use that thread to tie things up at the end. Is it leadership that you want to explore more? Or is it the internal battles you see happening? Tell us about your personal journey because of this book.
Show the reader with examples from the book what lead you to feel what you do. For example, tell us where you saw the leadership happening in the book and why it was great.
View yourself as an artist. Words are your medium, but they do not control the end result. Work and rework your essay until it communicates what your heart has to say. If your heart wants to speak about leadership, trust yourself enough to say it using the book to bring your thoughts to life.
I would love to share this journey with you. Please send me additional drafts if you feel a need for more feedback.
Verena Beckstrand

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