The essay prompt was "Write an essay explaining why hard work is important to be successful." Sure, he's lacking a clearly defined thesis statement and developed introduction/conclusion, but this was the most touching essays I've ever graded.
"Mr. Bradley is young and he is a teacher. Those two things usually don't mix together, but he made it work by being fun, funny, and cool. He is also pretty nice when he is not mad, but he doesn't want to get mad at us but we push him to. Given all of his qualities and skills I would say that Mr. Bradley is a successful human being. He always tells us that we have to try harder on focusing and doing our work and I agree. I am going to try to work harder so that my grades will improve, but also because more than 50% of our class failed the test we were given a couple of days ago. So that's another reason I have to work harder, so that I can improve that percentage to a better one, then Mr. Bradley can be proud of us. I am incredibly impressed by Mr. Bradley. Our class and some of his other classes are super misbehaving and not doing their work, but he keeps trying because I guess he has faith in us - that we can work harder and do better and then get better grades. He is the youngest teacher that I have had but possibly the strongest mentally. He never gives up and is somehow still not insane. I bet it's because he worked hard and in the end he was successful."
This is just what I needed to hear at the end of my semester when you're wanting to pull your hair out and feel that no one knows how much work you're putting in. Apparently, kids notice things that you think go unnoticed. Every little thing you do is some how transcribed into their head for later use. I absolutely love teaching junior high school, especially English. It's always great to read a positive essay that's about you. I'll still be doing a reflection post later. :)