I'm pretty sure it's not a secret that I love to write. What is a secret (kinda) is how long it took me to love writing. And part of my hatred comes from topics like this one. I don't know what the rationale is for assigning such a mindless essay; perhaps it's just a good way to get students back into the swing of things after their writing muscles have gotten rusty. Maybe (since the essays are usually read aloud afterwards) the idea is to spot which students are terrified of standing in front of the class.
To be fair, I never wrote one of these. Not once. Not that my primary-school teachers didn't have their own topics that made me cringe and never want to see a pencil again, but "Summer Vacation" essays were not common at Weston Elementary School.
I'm not a teacher, so I don't have a solution here, just a gripe. Helpful, I know.
I wish there were a better way to teach children to write than to assign a topic and force them to put ideas on paper. But so far, there isn't, which means my love of writing was almost bludgeoned to death by well-meaning teachers who had 20 other children who didn't love to write who they had to consider. I would have written for no one but myself (and did, actually; I had bunches of stuff that I'd never shown anyone to get rid of when I graduated), but instead, I had to write for an adult who was going to red-pencil my creation to death. Sharing my soul in that way was scary, and making my way back to writing took a long time.
But, here I am. And I'm so glad.