Register
The Inspired Writer Blog

How Do We Develop a Writing Identity?

Jun 28

Written by: Suzanne Klein
6/28/2016 9:25 AM 


A special thank you goes to Dana Murphy for allowing us to share her blog post, “How Do We Develop a Writing Identity?” I support what Dana says on how we can help students develop identities as writers.  To make writing meaningful, we need to make it a social experience. When students have a real audience, they start to look forward to writing and see themselves as writers. Keep reading to learn more about Dana’s thoughts on this topic.


I am a writer.                                 

There was a time in my not-so-distant past when I would never have uttered those words. I didn’t believe them.  After all, I had no published work.  I was not getting paid to write. How could I call myself a writer?

Those two things are still true – I have no published work, and I don’t get paid to write. Yet, I 
do consider myself a writer today.  Why?

I have been grappling with this question for some time now.  Not so much as it applies to me, but rather how it might apply to our students.  I see so many kids who “do” writing workshop.  They are engaged and attentive during instruction. They write every day in accordance with whatever writing unit they are currently studying.  They share during reflection time.  However, they don’t really consider themselves writers the same way they might consider themselves soccer players or ballerinas or video game players.  They don’t talk about themselves as writers.  They have no writing identity.

This is the crux of the matter: how might we help kids build a writing identity?  Where does identity come from anyway?


When I consider my own writing journey, I realize it was when I finally gave myself t
ime and space to write what was in my heart that I began to consider myself a writer.  Specifically, it was when I started blogging and writing stories about my family and my daughters. Once I embraced my own agency as a writer, other factors began to develop as well.  I started to make time for writing.  I found a real audience for my writing.  I started to develop my own writing process.  I started to love writing.  Eventually, writing became a part of who I am.


Reflecting on my own journey makes me wonder how we could help our students develop writing identities as well.  I want our students to leave our classrooms not just with a portfolio of completed writing projects but with the steadfast belief that they are writers with a process, an audience, and a certain agency all their own.  
All students, not just those with a fondness or a capacity for writing.

It is a tall order, I know, but I think maybe it all starts with having choice and the space to write what is in our hearts.


~Dana Murphy

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

We would love to hear your thoughts on how you help your students develop writing identities.  Please share in the comments below.

 

Save

Subscribe to this Blog
Search Blog
Quick Find
elementary writing (8)
professional development (8)
writing (6)
6 Traits (5)
Common Core (5)
technology (5)
CCSS (4)
Common Cores (4)
elementary writing program (4)
PARCC (4)
WriteSteps (4)
common core writing (3)
conferencing (3)
formative assessment (3)
Lucy Calkins (3)
Smarter Balanced (3)
ADD (2)
common conferencing challenges (2)
Common Core Standards (2)
conferencing tips for teachers (2)
curriculum directors (2)
Edtech (2)
Education (2)
effective writing instruction (2)
elementary conferences (2)
elementary teachers (2)
elementary writing instruction (2)
handwriting (2)
inspiration (2)
journaling (2)
K-5 (2)
K-5 writing (2)
keyboarding (2)
learning disabilities (2)
mentor texts (2)
principals (2)
quick writing exercise (2)
summative assessment (2)
teaching (2)
technology tools (2)
texting (2)
writer's workshop (2)
writing apps (2)
writing challenges (2)
writing exercises (2)
Writing Prompts (2)
Writing Workshop (2)
10 Leadership Truths for Curriculum Leaders (1)
2012 schedule (1)
3-2-1 Summarizer (1)
6 Traits of Quality Writing (1)
6 Traits Rubric (1)
animated video (1)
Ashton Kutcher (1)
assessing writing (1)
assessments (1)
back-to-school activity (1)
becoming a better teacher (1)
beginning the year (1)
benefits of handwriting (1)
blended learning (1)
blendedlearning (1)
blogging (1)
Bloom's Taxonomy (1)
brain research (1)
captivationstation (1)
CCSS ELA Standards (1)
challenges of teaching writing (1)
Chauncey Davis Elementary (1)
choice (1)
classroom activities (1)
classroom management resources (1)
classroom poster (1)
Classroom Posters (1)
Clever (1)
coaching (1)
college and career readiness (1)
Common Core tests (1)
Common Core Writing plans (1)
Common Core writing program (1)
conferencing video (1)
creating writing curriculum (1)
Crunch the Numbers (1)
curriculum creators (1)
Curriculum Leaders (1)
curriculum leadership (1)
Depth of Knowledge (1)
Developing a writing identity (1)
difference between formative and summative assessment (1)
digital tools (1)
disruptive classroom (1)
Donald Graves (1)
education infographic (1)
Education Innovation Summit (1)
ELA Conventions (1)
elementary writing conferences (1)
elementary writing lessons (1)
encourage students to write (1)
encourage writing (1)
ePals (1)
eWriteSteps (1)
failing teachers (1)
first week of school (1)
Flat Classroom projects (1)
formative assessment activities (1)
formative assessment data collection handout (1)
formative assessment tips (1)
formative years (1)
Found Poetry (1)
funding (1)
future of education (1)
get to know your classmates (1)
grammar skills (1)
graphic organizers (1)
guest blog (1)
iMovie (1)
improved teacher education (1)
improvement (1)
incorporating figurative language (1)
Infographic (1)
informative writing (1)
Inspirational Posters (1)
inspiring (1)
interactive white boards (1)
iPad (1)
keys to teaching writing (1)
kidblog (1)
leaders (1)
Leadership Truths (1)
learning (1)
Little Bird Tales (1)
LitWorld (1)
low-stakes writing (1)
modeled lessons (1)
NAEP (1)
NAESP (1)
National Assessment of Educational Progress (1)
National Poetry Month (1)
National Writing Project (1)
Newtown (1)
On-demand writing (1)
Opposite Poetry (1)
penmanship (1)
planning periods (1)
pocket literacy coach (1)
Poetry Book (1)
posters (1)
process writing (1)
publishing (1)
publishing writing (1)
Questions Teachers Have About Teaching Writing (1)
Questions Teachers Have About Writing (1)
ready to print (1)
revising (1)
role models (1)
Sandy Hook (1)
Sandy Hook Elementary (1)
SAT (1)
school culture (1)
school year planning (1)
scoring student writing (1)
self reflection checklist (1)
Self-Assessment (1)
setting tone (1)
Shel Silverstein (1)
six traits rubrics (1)
Smarter Balance (1)
StoryBird (1)
student feedback on writing (1)
student journals (1)
student writing (1)
student writing samples (1)
summarize writing (1)
summer (1)
Superhero (1)
Swivel (1)
Teacher Appreciation (1)
Teacher Appreciation Week (1)
teacher evaluation (1)
teacher improvement (1)
teacher tips (1)
TeacherFeature (1)
teachers (1)
TeacherStar (1)
teaching struggles (1)
teaching writing (1)
Technology Readiness Tool (1)
text-messaging (1)
text-speak (1)
thankful (1)
Thanksgiving (1)
The Flipped Classroom (1)
time limitations (1)
timed writing (1)
tips for teachers (1)
types of formative assessments (1)
Valentine's Day (1)
Valentine's Day classroom writing activities (1)
Valentine's Day writing ideas (1)
Valentine's Mad Lib (1)
video (1)
videos (1)
writersworkshop (1)
writing best practices (1)
writing conferencing tips (1)
writing foundation (1)
writing obstacles (1)
Writing prompts to deal with tragedy (1)
writing quizzes (1)
writing resources (1)
writing skills (1)
writing technology (1)
writing tips (1)
writing tips for teachers (1)
writing to learn (1)
written questions (1)