Letter: Writing conference helps students find voice

To the Editor:

Writing is everything.

It is art, business, culture, persuasion, law, politics, weaponry, history, revolution, and information. Writing is learning.

Writing is indispensable.

Even more so, the ability to learn how to write well is invaluable. The English department and the one-on-one writing conferences offer more than just a foundation for further learning; they offer a foundation for finding a student’s personal voice. The capability to communicate to others exactly what you want to say in a way that is honest, eloquent, and empowering comes from finding your personal voice. These skills are learned best through individual, personalized teaching.

The English department at Ridgefield High School is fantastic in part because of that personal element. To help a student’s writing get better, the teacher has to know how they write, where their weaknesses have been and still are, what they forget and what they overuse. Writing is personal, and so requires a personal approach.

As an English and Political Science major in my third year of University and as someone who always has a lot she wants to say, I cannot stress enough the impact that those conferences had on my still developing mind. Ms. Wassall, if you read this, I will never be able to thank you enough for the lessons that you taught me and the confidence that you helped me find.

So, Dr. Baldwin and the Board of Education, I hope the irony of countless letters being written to The Press in defense of the importance of writing is not lost on you. This is a powerful medium. Teach young people how to use it.

Devon Harford

Peaceable Hill Road, Feb. 7