Killeen Students Open Through Persuasive Essays Using Teacher’s Creative Idea

KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) – A principal at a local college is getting creative not only to make sure her students know their voices are being heard, but, in the process, to practice writing.

Gina Brown, principal of Eastern Hills Middle School in the Killeen ISD, placed a box in front of her desk, encouraging students to submit persuasive one-page essays.

The students took the opportunity, writing to the principal about everything, about why they should have more access to the snack bar or why open seating at lunch is a good idea.

The idea started as a way to make lunchtime more productive.

“The 7th graders, I’ll be very honest, they had a hard time at lunchtime and they had a hard time gaining certain privileges,” Brown said.

“So we were also, on the other hand, on the academic side of things, a little concerned about the lack of opportunities to write and so I had this idea one of the 7th lunch days to give students the opportunity to earn a privilege that they really, really wanted, which was to have access to the snack bar by writing an essay and it had to be a formal essay, the best they could do, an essay of a page.

Ms., Brown’s Box(Courtesy photo)

While many students wrote about the snack, one student made an unusual request.

“So a student walks into the reception desk and she delivers this letter to the reception desk and asked, ‘Could you please give this letter to Mrs. Brown? “”

The letter was signed “Ms. Secret Seventh Grader.” It was later determined that it was written by college student Kylee Weaver.

“I was wondering, along with a few other students, if we could / could have more lunch writing prompts,” Kylee wrote.

What she pursued touched the heart of the director.

Not only did the student want to practice more writing, but she wanted Brown to know how much she appreciates the efforts she puts in to help educate and support the students.

“If you’ve gotten this far in the letter, I appreciate you very much and all you do to keep this school going,” Kylee wrote. “You really are a real superhero. You are not wearing a cape. You don’t have superpowers but, really, the fact that you come to work every day with a smile on your face and take care of what needs to be. Thank you!”

Ms. Brown set up a box outside her classroom to encourage her students to write persuasively ...
Ms. Brown has set up a box outside her classroom to encourage her students to write compelling essays.(Courtesy photo)

Since the availability of the purple “Dear Mrs. Brown” box, many students have written letters.

Student Julia Fonseca asked about vacancies during lunch, as she says it’s the only time many have to spend with students who are not in their classes.

“I really like the idea of ​​Mrs. Brown’s letter,” said Julia. “I think it allows so many students that if they have any questions or recommendations, instead of being maybe too shy to say something, they can just write a letter where they feel more comfortable. comfortable and just put it in the box. “

Student Abeer Ullah says being able to speak directly to his principal through letters makes him feel good.

“It gives us chances and gives us opportunities for something like the letter,” said Abeer.

Ms Brown says she is grateful the students have embraced the idea and hopes there will be a lot more group effort to improve the school in the days to come.

“My biggest thing is I know what I would love to see happen here in Eastern Hills, but it has to be a group effort. It has to come from the collaboration of all stakeholders and therefore students and staff are our biggest stakeholders in our building, ”said Brown.

“I’m always looking for ways for students, staff and parents to work together to give me ideas on things we can do here in Eastern Hills. “

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