The ability to understand and communicate ideas through writing is a major goal of academic, as well as spiritual, development. As a follow up to the training recently undergone by the YISS English teachers, the middle and high school social studies teachers also underwent training in the Jane Schaffer method of expository writing, facilitated by English department chair, Vicky Deetlefs. They received over six hours of training in how to build up student reading and writing skills, most notably in the composition of essays. Through a combination of brainstorming topic sentences, finding concrete details, generating insightful commentary, and knitting these aspects together, students are taught not only to write, but also to think, in a clear and intentional fashion.
Over the next year, the English and social studies departments will strive to implement the adopted Jane Schaffer framework in organic, fruitful ways. Moving forward, it is the hope that there will be increased writing across the curriculum, consistent writing terminology, and greater collaboration between the two departments. Whether it is a persuasive essay in American Literature or a document-based question in World History, students at YISS will be trained to write, and write well.