WARNING: This is partially true but some scenes have been dramatised.
I enjoy writing essays. I didn't while I was at High School but once I got to university...well my writing developed in leaps and bounds. It helped that I was able to spend more time focusing on the things and ideas that I actually liked. Now that I am back in school, but in a teaching position, I realise that teaching how to write an essay to a class of 25 kids who want to be anywhere else is difficult. In fact, it down right sucks.
Now, imagine if you will, that five of the students are actually listening to you. Six are drawing random pictures on their paper. Four don't actually have paper, of those four three don't have pens. Three really don't want to be there. Two are late and five are talking...constantly. Without yelling and making sure that everyone understands, you have to inform them that they have 40 minutes to write an essay on a book that they studied two teachers ago.
First, you repeat yourself. Eight times ought to do it but be prepared to repeat yourself to individuals who were too busy reapplying their chap stick or making sure that their hair is just right. While you are doing this be prepared to hear the wee duckings begin cheeping away:
"I'll be right with you."
"I am with another student. Please be patient."
"Miss you're not helping me. Why aren't you helping me..." (This part is usually said in a whine.)
Then you refer the students back to the handouts that you gave out two lessons ago only to find that five still have them the rest have either forgotten them, turned them into paper planes or started eating them.* After handing out the spares you copied before the lesson you also remind them of the PEEL structure that they have been taught all term. All term!
After they have started working in relative silence you walk around the classroom in an attempt to see how they are doing only to be stopped three times by students who have forgotten what they're supposed to be doing. Help those students while stopping the one kid who wants to go for a wander.
Move two students away from each other to stop them talking about Justin Freaking Bieber or dubstep. Remind another student that they are not allowed to eat in class. Ignore the snickering coming from those students who haven't been caught yet. Get more paper for the student who has suddenly decided that they want to work today.
All the while you are secretly praying (even if you don't believe in the flying spaghetti monster) that the HOD or Principal or any senior management person does not choose that time to walk past.
By the end of the lesson after forty more "Miss's" you will find two students who have done nothing. You may get five essays that are really good. Ten that have tried and are pretty decent and the rest...they will come to you in varying stages of doodles (normally of bad graffitti or rude images) or on something not related to anything you've taught them.
And this is why essay writing sucks**
*I am serious. I have one student who eats paper when they get bored.
**It doesn't really. Well, I don't think it does...my students may beg to differ.