Every student sits and writes. They share their thoughts based on the prompt from the teacher. Each child will complete a pre-writing graphic organizer, then complete a first draft, have a classmate proofread and edit, then write their final draft to hand in for a grade.
This is what the writing process was like for many of my students when I started teaching almost twenty years ago. Unfortunately, many students are still receiving writing assignments that look the same. How do we help our students become better writers?
We need to start by de-standardizing the writing process. No two writers have the same process for writing. So why do we force students to follow a standard writing process that may or may not work for them? Because it’s easier for the teacher if everyone is writing about the same thing at the same time. It makes it easier to provide feedback. It requires less work from the teacher.
Teaching a standard writing process simplifies teacher workload. Great writers, however, don’t respond to standardized writing instruction. Some write really well in the morning. Some script out an outline before they begin writing. Some write with the end in mind. Some just write to write. There is no one right way. Only multiple paths to developing successful writers.
So, I’ll ask the question again. Why do we teach a standardized writing process that may or may not work for students?