Feedback for Denis Hasancevic


UPDATE (w/my feedback):


I’m glad to see you getting some reads and feedback on this draft—it’s a really, really good draft, and I’m looking forward to seeing how you expand on it.  I also really hope that other students read it for inspiration because of how good I think it is.  There’s obviously a good deal of room for improvement and expansion, and thus I’ve posted here my feedback in hopes that other students can access this as well.  None of it is personal and there’s obviously no grade, so I assume this is ok–let me know if not, though, and I can take it down.

NOTE: to see my comments on the highlit sections of the PDF, you may have to download it and open it in a PDF reader on your device.  To download, click the down arrow in the bottom right corner of the embedded PDF frame.

To summarize a couple big points of feedback (in addition to my comments on the draft): I agree with Brittny that we don’t need the opening sentence of reflection and can just begin with sentence two.  I also totally agree with Shanice that there could be an expansion on the last line of reflection/”take-away”: what does learning to conform to someone else’s wishes have to do with learning content in school?  It occurs to me that while you tell us you ended up doing well in the class, you do not mention any of the content you learned in it.  Note that I am not suggesting that you should include content you learned in the class: my point is that maybe the fact that you haven’t mentioned much in the way of course content is a way of telling the reader that while you managed to get a good grade, Jeremy’s way of interacting with you didn’t necessarily help you absorb the content of the class.  What do you think?

My own big picture thought is that you could continue expanding on Jeremy’s manner of communicating (or not communicating) with you as it relates to your ability (or inability) to learn from him.  I think that this is the underlying theme/conflict in this draft that could be elaborated on–and have made a couple highlights/notes on the draft where this theme could be opened up.



11 thoughts on “Feedback for Denis Hasancevic”

  1. Hi Denis. Your essay was quite an interesting read. After being in school for some time, I’ve realized some teachers are seemingly difficult just because, and while Jeremy often cold-called on you during class, you still describe him as an excellent teacher. I can relate to having teachers similar to Jeremy in the past, having this inner conflict of liking them and disliking them at once. I had to ask myself, can you genuinely dislike a person for who they are but appreciate the good things they do bring into the world, as well? You made well-organized points from both angles to show what you admired most and disliked most about their teaching style. It might be worth asking if Jeremy was actively targeting you in the classroom or was he just eager to see your potential as a student in his History class and came across it in the wrong way? Personally, I would’ve been turned all the way off by him if he made me feel picked on in front of my peers, so it’s striking how he can leave such an impression on you still post-high school. I would like to see more of an expansion on the last line of the essay, which was an interesting lesson you took from Jeremy.

  2. Hi Denis,
    I hope all is well, I really enjoyed reading your essay. It’s written nicely and I enjoyed reading this essay. It was funny because growing up there is always that teacher who is out to get us for whatever reason. Did you ever speak to him about it after you graduated? I would like if you did not blatantly say the experience that stood out to you in the first paragraph. I believe your essay should flow where you do not necessarily have to state the experience. It should be up to us to figure it out. (Just a suggestion). Maybe try starting it off with the second paragraph “Jeremy was an excellent teacher.” I am really looking forward to reading your final essay and a title suggestion could be “Bad teacher”. Just a suggestion.

  3. Hey Denis,

    Solid first draft! I think that your ideas are organized well. You seem to have a good grasp of what you want to talk about and stay focused on it. There are some teachers that you completely understand, and others that you may never really figure out. For me it was my high school English teacher. Dude used to call my mom for the most minuscule things. He even gave me a negative 99% as a quiz grade for talking during class. He was WAAY out of pocket for that. It’s always a good feeling when someone else can relate to your personal experience.

    I agree with Brittny about your introduction. It would be better if you begin with your experience rather than introducing it. You wouldn’t even have to change much. I think that if you just remove the first line it would be better.
    I feel like the flow of the piece gets a bit choppy at the end. All the ideas in it are related, but towards the end I feel like most of them are not being fully developed before you move on to the next one. The gossiping, his dictating, and your decision to lay low in his class, do what you had to do and leave, are all mentioned then followed swiftly by the conclusion. They are mentioned, but not expounded on, and that may be your intention, but I think they may add a lot to the story if developed more.
    Also, I don’t think you should blatantly state the moral of the story at the end. Maybe just suggest it by talking about how you decided to react to his “cold-calling” and gossiping, and why you decided to react that way.

    ~ Good Job

  4. Hi, Dennis. This was a great essay. it really gave light to the idea that sometimes teachers are hard on us because deep down inside they like us and they want us to continue to great. I like how you expressed the conflict between the two of you but the essay could use more of that. Were there any more situations were the teacher was acting negatively toward you? If so I think you should include those situations in there also. It was nice reading, and I hope you are staying healthy!

  5. Hey Denis,

    Your take in this essay was really interesting. I can also relate to how one can have that particular favorite teacher in high school due to the way in which they may have had that spell connection with me in the way that they had taught the class. I liked how even though you may have had bad experiences with Jeremy due to him “cold-calling” you out in class, you were not biased in praising him for being your favorite teacher throughout high school. On the other hand, I would suggest you to think of any instances where Jeremy might have said or have done something that showed he wanted to motivate you as a teacher in order for you to be better as a student. Second, instead of just telling us, as the readers, the moral of the story full on, is there any way you can alter it to make the reader guess where you are trying to go with your story? I feel as if that would make your next draft particularly stronger; it could possibly help you go further into figuring out why Jeremy is the way he is.

  6. Hello Denis,
    Thanks for sharing with us, I thought it was refreshing to read something new, and I thought it was really interesting to get to know a little about your teacher Jeremy as a character. It seems alot of us in the comment section has once related to a teacher that we all liked at one point but also disliked some traits of them. But that’s just how life works and the way you handled it is probably the same way I would’ve.
    I thought your storytelling was good overall but you might want to work on adding conflict a little more to spice things up a bit (maybe like a parent-teacher meeting or something like that).

  7. Hi Denis

    It took me some time to find your essay because you did not put your name or any title for your essay, eventually after reading people’s feedback then I found your essay. Since you don’t have a title I was thinking what about “That Peculiar Teacher”. When I read that your teacher allowed the students to call him Jeremy instead of calling him Mr. Matuk and which made the class feel closer to him. It made me happy and reminded one of my favorite history teacher who did not cared if we called Terrel but he was not a strict teacher at all he would collect assignments that are due three months ago and gave full credit. It staunted me the way he behaved with you because how could he be so nice but then be mean.
    I was wondering why he taught like this is because he probably watched a youtube tutorial video about how to be a great teacher 101 but maybe did not finished watching.
    I just wanna say it was really nice reading your story and in life not everyone is perfect and we could just take a lesson from it.Thanks for sharing your experience.

    1. Redoanul,
      Thanks for your comment. I’m just chiming in here to take credit for the way the files are named and organized; it is I who so titled them (not poor Denis).
      I name essays in the folder by the last name of the writer because it’s easier for me to keep track of feedback/grades that way.
      Hopefully this makes more sense to you now and is easier going forward.

  8. Hey Dennis,
    After reading your essay it reminded me a little of a similar situation O had with a teacher. When you started describing your history teacher Jeremy he seemed cool and very laid back. However, I realized later on after reading further into your essay that Jeremy seemed uptight and that he was very set in his ways. Your essay just made me realize that your either gonna get a good teacher or a bad teacher. Sometimes there’s teachers that’s good but can be very tough but, in my opinion, I believe that sometimes teachers take advantage of their power. In your case, your teacher seems to just be very uptight but at least you still passed the class. Overall I think that your essay is pretty good and the only thing left for you to improve is minor mistakes and also maybe you should try to come up with a title for your final draft.

  9. Hey Denis,

    I enjoyed the story very much. I’m glad you had a mostly positive relationship with a teacher of yours. I definitely think this is a good start. I think you’re a good storyteller since I was very engaged. Maybe you can identify similar situations you’ve had, and put them in this essay. It could be with friends, parents, or even other teachers.

  10. I was wondering why you called a teacher Jeremy but you explained it. The only way I think the essay could be improve is word choice. There was some area where I would’ve of pick a different word but that’s just knick-picking. you could had more positive experience that you had with mr Jeremy to even out the negativity.

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