GCSD superintendent believes in power of the pen

‘I think we know that better writers perform at higher levels in many different academic areas’

Rhett Breedlove
Posted 2/16/24

An emphasis on writing has become a topic of interesting discussion so far this semester within each and every school in the Goshen County School District.

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GCSD superintendent believes in power of the pen

‘I think we know that better writers perform at higher levels in many different academic areas’


GOSHEN COUNTY – An emphasis on writing has become a topic of interesting discussion so far this semester within each and every school in the Goshen County School District. 

Over the years, internet, social media, smart phones and various technologies have become something entirely normal and extremely beneficial to the education system in the district. Students, parents and teachers alike have the modern-day privilege of utilizing that technology in order to further education and growth in the classroom, and from home. As much of the Nation learned in recent years, digital or online learning has proven full-handedly to be a very beneficial tool when it comes to a child’s education.

Such technological learning platforms of course have the capacity to break down extremely difficult topics or problems, and make them far easier perhaps for a struggling student to comprehend.

Indeed, certain technological advances have definitely made it far easier for modern day students and schools to have the tools they need for college, jobs, or careers headed into the future.

And although district superintendent, Ryan Kramer, has steadfastly supported various technological advances in the Goshen County schools, one topic he still agrees requires some personal attention and feedback is the powerful tool of writing.

“To me, it’s absolutely integral in everything from math, science, and literacy,” Kramer said. “It is a piece of our literacy program is really what it has to be. What we have talked about so much over the last year is that writing is such an important component to our education, but is focused with standardized assessments like WYTOP and ACT pieces. These are such focuses for us that we tend to not really have components on writing for it be analyzed. That has shifted, now ACT and WYTOP now have writing components.

“I think there needs to be an opportunity for our kids to receive feedback regularly from the teachers,” Kramer continued. “I think feedback in such a way that you have an open dialogue in regard to what is being written, and what they are learning. Through that dialogue and feedback, we can create guardrails that we are not just in a wide-open space that can cause some challenges for kids. I do think things like Chat GPT, and other AI writing programs out there can be utilized to help our kids become better writers. I think as we continue to use Chat GPT and other programs similar to that, there’s an opportunity to really increase writing in all curricular areas. I think right now we are at a point where we are so scared, we don’t really have the guardrails to help kids in a way put their own voice in their own writing which is extremely important.”

Although Kramer noted, of course writing remains a prioritized topic during the sessional hours of each school day, the fact remains that the subject offers far more beneficiary room for intellectual growth. This as well as a sense of personal enjoyment and satisfaction being too great to be kept in just the confines of one single classroom.

According to Kramer, the time to reintroduce writing to students as an extra-curricular would be a well-deserved and welcomed endeavor headed into the future.

Kramer sincerely recalled past experiences as both a student and educator on how the matter remains such a vital tool when it comes to the academic growth of children.

“I would love to see us move across curricular opportunities for writing,” Kramer continued. “What we have done is in my K-12 experience, writing was done in in Language Arts or English. We didn’t have an opportunity to write outside of those classes. I went to college, and every class had an expectation that there was to be a paper or writing component to that course. You developed strategies to try and support yourself in those. Back then it was having a peer review and all of those things, whereas now there are different pieces of technology that can really help with getting kids to write better. In email and social media, all of those things incorporate writing and it really isn’t about the length. It’s about how to you get your point across with a very short amount of time. It even goes back to Twitter. When you have this many characters, how are you going to get your point across to people in a very short number of words?”

Kramer further noted in depth the modern connection between writing and social media. Although as previously mentioned it can certainly have its benefits depending on the platform, but the ability to articulate an urgent message without the overuse of emotion could be a challenge all students will have to face whether it be in college or at a job.

“I think social media has hindered and really brought to light the overall struggle for a lot of people to write in a way where they can communicate efficiently and with facts,” Kramer explained. “It’s brought about an opportunity to just who is really a strong writer, and has a good background. My wife had fantastic teachers that taught her the skills that she needed. My foundation wasn’t as strong, and it made other things difficult throughout my education career. Because writing is so important in everything I do on a daily basis, and with so many other jobs is having to articulate with emails. You cannot spend half a day writing one email. It has to be quick and to the point, while not conveying an emotion that can offend someone. When I’m writing an email or response, I have to be so careful in my word choice to not make it perceived that I’m angry or upset, but in a way that is professional and can communicates the tone that I want it to sound as.”

While only further emphasizing the point just prior to the conclusion of the conversation with the Telegram, Kramer noted specifically one principal that sparked the interest of the immense significance that writing has on a person’s academic future and mind.

“I think we know that better writers perform at higher levels in many different academic areas. As Torrington Middle School Principal Mr. Catlin mentioned, writing is thinking and writing is processing about the topic. If you can write about the topic that conveys the information you have learned, it’s the second step in maintaining that knowledge.”