[I]t is the most common thing in the world for a new English teacher to demand that her students throw out everything they’ve worked so hard to learn and then start completely from scratch. New semester, new teacher, new rules.
I say we have no right.
I tell my students that, too–we have no right!
How, you might wonder, do I square this conviction with the fact that I explicitly tell my students that they must not write the way a lot of other teachers have taught them to write?
Well, I throw myself on their intellectual mercy, as it were. I appeal to their intelligence as readers. “What sort of writing do you like to read?” I ask them. “What sort of writing do you actually find out there in the real world? Does it look anything like what you were taught to write in your English classes?” — Tina Blue —AP English Blather (Teacher Blue)
Via Mike Arnzen, whose comments are also well worth reading: “In many cases, AP English writers are also allowed to skip college writing classes…and end up being the very same English teachers that reproduce this problem! Additionally, many composition teachers were skilled enough to ‘test out’ of composition when they were undergrads, so most of the composition teachers I know NEVER TOOK composition…”