PS - updated- comments needed

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otnemem
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 4:23 pm

PS - updated- comments needed

Postby otnemem » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:05 pm

see revision below
Last edited by otnemem on Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:12 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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sendmeonmyway
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Re: Help needed on the rough draft of my PS on teaching

Postby sendmeonmyway » Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:48 pm

Hi there Otnemem. Please don't take anything I say harshly -- I have been editing papers for years, and I only want to help you. I think the first problem with your PS is that the adcomm reading it won't learn anything about you that they couldn't learn from your resume. Teaching in Korea could be a fine subject for a PS, but if you're going to stick with it, you need to delve deeper. Get a lot more specific, and a lot more personal. For example...

I yearned to break out of New Hampshire after graduating
Tell us what's so bad about NH. Give us some BRIEF examples. This is your chance to get a bit creative and colorful with your language. It's also a good opportunity to slip in a quote. Is your hometown's population really all we need to know about the place that molded your formative growing-up years? What stifled you about small-town life? What kind of person were you before you broke out of NH? IOW, give us the "before" snapshot. Again, you can keep this very brief, perhaps 2-3 sentences.

Also, I think you need to focus your introduction more. You don't need to mention Japan, China, and India if they're on your resume or if -- more importantly -- you only focus on Korea in your PS. The whole America's shortcomings bit is dangerous. You're throwing a grenade out there and running away. Either elaborate on that point (defend yourself) or take it out; it's too distracting. Hold on: more to follow...

otnemem
Posts: 117
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 4:23 pm

Re: Help needed on the rough draft of my PS on teaching

Postby otnemem » Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:00 pm

Thanks, this is my rough draft and I know its pretty weak at this point.

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sendmeonmyway
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Re: Help needed on the rough draft of my PS on teaching

Postby sendmeonmyway » Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:03 pm

(continued...)
realizing my own shortcomings, I sought out resources and guidance from other teachers. Through their help, I slowly began to see improvements in my ability as an instructor
Flesh this out. Paint us a better picture of your frustration (get more personal.) Also, what resources and guidance helped you? What improvements did you see, exactly? Anecdotal evidence would be great here. Was there one student in particular who really illustrated your experience with teaching?
The differences in the [learning center] curriculum from a traditional Korean academy alluded to the unique benefits it could provide...feedback and input would not simply be allowed, but demanded on a daily basis.
I would add in a transition sentence or two between your "improvements in my ability" paragraph and your "learning center opportunity" paragraph, explaining exactly why/how the Korean after-school program hindered you in your newfound ability to provide feedback and input. You need to more clearly delineate between the teaching styles of the Korean school and the American-style learning center. Again, anecdotal evidence would work well here. Give us specific examples of changes you suggested/implemented (not just the kinds of changes), and then give us specific examples of those changes' effect on your students.
Of course, don't forget to edit for sentence structure/grammar/etc, especially the first paragraph. I like the last paragraph. Keep working at it -- best of luck in your cycle. I wish you all the best!!

otnemem
Posts: 117
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 4:23 pm

Re: Help needed on the rough draft of my PS on teaching

Postby otnemem » Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:09 pm

Bump for new version.

otnemem
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Re: PS - updated- comments needed

Postby otnemem » Sun Nov 06, 2011 11:25 pm

Reworked again. I would love some comments on the last paragraph, namely whether I should include a stronger why law, and if so how to do it. To be honest, one of the primary reasons I want to enter the legal profession over teaching is that I miss the intellectual challenges and analytical thinking from my days as a philosophy major. I'm not sure if I can say it that simply without it sounding hollow and vague, but I also don't really have the room to expand on it too much.

Thoughts?

CanadianWolf
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Re: PS - updated- comments needed

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:34 am

Your final paragraph is weak. The last sentence should be deleted. Your explanation in the post above regarding why you want to attend law school is real & convincing.

otnemem
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Re: PS - updated- comments needed

Postby otnemem » Mon Nov 07, 2011 11:46 am

Is this conclusion any better?

I have immensely enjoyed my time as a teacher but feel even more drawn to a legal career than I did two years ago. Despite the gratification I received from helping students, I miss the demands of critical thinking and analytical writing that I enjoyed so much from my days as a philosophy major. My time in the workforce has taught me that to be fully satisfied I must be intellectually challenged on a daily basis. I will return to my own education strengthened in my ability to not only analyze real world problems, but to work independently and collaboratively in constructing and implementing solutions. These past few years living, working, and travelling abroad have taught me many things, but perhaps the most significant is the practical effects that diligence coupled with expertise can bring. I leave Korea confident that a legal career will offer the opportunity to continue to impact individuals while providing the stimulation and challenges I seek.

Or this?

These past few years living, working, and travelling abroad have taught me many things, but perhaps the most significant is the practical effects that diligence coupled with expertise can bring. This experience has strengthened my ability to not only analyze real world problems but to work independently and collaboratively in constructing and implementing solutions. I leave far my confident in my ability to affect change than when I left the confines of my college classrooms. Nevertheless, I find myself yearning to return to an environment which demands the critical thinking and analytical writing that my philosophy degree provided. While my experience teaching was more rewarding than I imagined it could be, it also taught me that I will never be satisfied in a position that lacks the type of intellectual challenges that I enjoy. I enter law school confident that a legal career will offer the opportunity to continue to impact individuals while providing the stimulation and challenges I seek.

CanadianWolf
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Re: PS - updated- comments needed

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:24 pm

CONSIDER: Although I enjoyed teaching, I miss the demands of critical thinking and analytical writing that I experienced during my days as a philosophy major. The daily intellectual challenges of law school and a legal career appeal to me. I look forward to analyzing real world problems while constructing and implementing solutions. I am confident that a legal career will offer the opportunity to continue to impact individuals while providing the stimulation and challenges I seek.

otnemem
Posts: 117
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 4:23 pm

Re: PS - updated- comments needed

Postby otnemem » Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:13 pm

Updated again. I tried to cut out some of the fat and more strongly tie why law in at the end. I would love to hear that this is getting close to a final draft, but if it's not please tear it apart.

“Konnichiwa,” Andy exclaimed, as he raced to his seat on the first day of class. I would come to expect similar greetings from Andy, despite the fact that we were in South Korea at an English academy. As a playful fourth grader, he enjoyed delaying the start of class for as long as he could by exhausting his limited vocabulary in Japanese or Chinese. While his knowledge of English was certainly more expansive, it was not so different in kind. As a product of numerous years of supplementary English classes, Andy had studied and memorized long lists of words and phrases. He could repeat them on command but struggled to communicate in a natural or meaningful way. I had taught at a similar academy before and was well-versed in the endless barrage of flashcards that young students endured late into the night. However, I began the inaugural class at [well known american learning center in Korea] confident that this year would be different for both of us.
I had come to Korea over a year before, with the notion of teaching English and traveling as an adventurous one year respite from my own education before law school. While the challenges and experiences of living halfway around the world were rewarding, it was the experience of teaching that was far more influential than I originally expected. I took pride in my students as they progressed over the course of the year, but I also knew that there was so much more for them to learn. The typical Korean academy curriculum of rote memorization prepared the students quite well for the vocabulary section of a standardized test but did little to develop their oral or writing abilities. I set out to return to an educational environment that would allow me to nurture those skills in children like Andy.
As one of the initial instructors at the first branch of [well known american learning center in Korea], I suddenly possessed a meticulously researched and well rounded curriculum with the institutional support to implement it. Instead of stacks of flashcards, I was equipped with resources aimed at developing students’ critical reading skills and writing ability. However, the novelty of this material presented obstacles for the students. From the first week Andy and other students floundered in a class of guided independent practice designed to develop a student’s ability to understand unknown vocabulary through the context of a passage. Through patient one-on-one guidance and supplements I helped draft, the students slowly became more comfortable with the structure of the class. In time they learned to effectively analyze and decipher words they had never seen before, and as this skill grew so did their confidence.
This growing confidence in his English ability led Andy to progress in all his classes. As his writing teacher, I first guided him on writing the single paragraphs his textbook required. When I felt he had progressed beyond what the curriculum provided, I incorporated material from an intensive summer session I had taught to international students. By the end of the semester he was writing five paragraph persuasive essays; an impressive feat considering he has yet to write one in his native language. As his writing improved, so did his speaking ability, to the level that he will now use those skills in our new debate program. While Andy never did tire of starting class in Japanese, his interest in English has grown to the point where he now deciphers new words in the chapter books he checks out from our library. These facts were enough to confirm the value of what we had accomplished. Nevertheless, it was gratifying to see Andy’s mid-year exam results; a raise of almost a full American grade level after only attending our academy three afternoons a week for six months.
Undoubtedly, the bulk of the credit for the success of a student like Andy belongs to them. However, the students from my first year were not any less bright or hard working. The resources and guidance that Sylvan provided along with the tireless efforts of my fellow teachers and I made a great deal of difference for students like Andy. I will leave Korea with an added level of gratification, knowing that the documents I drafted and curriculum I helped adjust will aid similar students and teachers across Korea as [well known american learning center in Korea] expands.
The past two years of teaching leave me far more eager to influence the lives of others than when I arrived. Further, my experience analyzing real world problems and constructing solutions has strengthened my confidence in being able to do so. Yet as a teacher, I constantly miss the demands of critical thinking and analytical writing from my days as a philosophy major. It is for these reasons that I am drawn to a legal education, as I believe the intellectual challenges and practical effects of a legal career lie at the perfect intersection of my interests and goals. I am confident that law school will offer the opportunity to continue to impact individuals while providing the stimulation and challenges I seek.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: PS - updated- comments needed

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:26 pm

DELETE:"...as I believe the intellectual challenges and practical effects of a legal career lie at the perfect intersection of my interests and goals."




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