"Who Are You (..as a writer)? is a great writing experience for the beginning of the school year. It acts as a hard reset so that I can introduce to students that in my classroom, we do writing differently. We won't be filling in faux-writing templates; we will be thinking. It will be fun. It will be messy. It will be hard. It will be rewarding. I want to help my students change their attitudes towards writing because I want them to have fun again, especially before heading off to middle and high school. Students deserve at least one year of enjoying the experience of being a real writer.

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That's good to hear. I stumbled on it totally by accident when I was required to give a diagnostic essay by the department I was teaching for and I did not care for their suggested prompts which looked like they'd been borrowed from the admissions office. I think at the time I was asking myself that question, so I figured, why not ask my students?

The answers have changed over the years I've been giving it. Over time, students were much much more likely to write about how they'd performed on school assignments and cite the grades on writing as the dispositive information I should know about who they were as writers.

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