What happens once our students write for real audiences outside of their classrooms? What happens when they see the power of authentic and personal writing?
In her post questioning the merits of the SAT, student Nicole plaintively writes,
I just feel that the “writing” test isn’t a test to see if we are capable of writing a good essay, but a test to see who can write a 5-paragraph essay with perfect grammar with an example involving either Helen Keller or Thomas Edison in 25 minutes.
As she continues, it is very clear that she has had authentic writing experiences, and cannot “go back” to accepting anything less:
“The writing is definitely rushed, the ideas are constipated, and I don’t even believe in what I’m writing. Then, in what way would my reader, or grader, connect to me and believe in me if I don’t even believe what I say?(italics mine)”
Nicole cares what her readers think, and there’s no going back to not caring, or to drab, schooly writing. Now what? What happens when our students start expecting more? Are we ready to meet them?