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Rhetorical Analysis

1215 words - 5 pages

The average American student beginning their education in Kindergarten and ending with a high school diploma spends 1, 170 hours in school, this calculates to over 15 thousand hours over the span of their education. Considering this information, it is highly plausible that teachers are some of the most significant people in a person’s life, shaping how they see and relate to the world. Yet, many teachers do not receive the recognition one would expect from such a crucial system. Feelings of being overworked and underappreciated are common. In an October 11, 2008 Newsweek article, Heather Robinson makes a comparable argument. Though she began her career in youth services, she quickly found ...view middle of the document...

Robinson sets the tone for the editorial by establishing a mild ethos, through communicating her field experience. She briefly mentions her time spent assisting at risk youth and establishes some credibility when communicating her purpose for transitioning careers. Robinson conveys her intentions, declaring “I realized I could be more influential working with young people before they became a statistic”. This statement allows the reader to understand the desire that Robinson has to impact the lives of children and transforms her from a person who inadvertently found herself in a classroom, to an individual who makes a conscience decision to daily give a substantial effort to affect change in young people.
Although Robinson’s description gives her some credibility, the article may be more convincing if we knew how long she has been teaching. The impression given is that she has a minimum of three years experience (Robinson, par 3). While three years in education is commendable, she might still be considered a rookie and without the credibility and expertise of someone who has dedicated the last 10 or 20 years to creating change in the educational system. Her lack of ethos brings into question whether she has enough experience to make such bold claims and blanket statements.
Though her ethos is somewhat lacking, her convincing and straightforward pathos allows the reader to emotionally connect with her. She begins by conveying the strong influence of educators on our society paired with the lack of respect demonstrated to them:
It is said that teaching is the profession that creates all other professions. That’s a beautiful compliment for a job that often does not receive the respect one would predict given all the platitudes bestowed upon teachers. “God bless you!” “What a noble profession” and I couldn’t do it, but thank goodness there are people like you (Robinson, par 1).
These statements incite a realization that without an education one would not only lack their current career but, most likely not even be reading the article.
Robinson also details the ambiguous remarks by friends and family regarding her career change, questioning how long she would remain a “lowly teacher”, presuming that she had administrative ambitions (Robinson, par 3). Robinson coveys that others do not comprehend the desire one would have simply to teach, not to climb a corporate ladder, or to work their way through promotions, but simply to make a difference in education by being in a classroom every day. Robinson describes perfectly her feelings and attitude when saying:
After all the long hours, grueling days, mountains of paperwork, emotional exhaustion and...

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