Many teachers and administrators, feeling the pressure to produce high standardized test scores and meet state standards, have narrowed the variety of genres taught and resorted to prescriptive writing formulas, effectively stunting the writing and thinking development of students and future teachers, and foreclosing the opportunity for writing to do important personal and interpersonal work in a time of racial reckoning, alienation, and violence. In this context, the study’s author and a pre-service teacher participating in the author’s research study on writing teacher identity development grapple with just what the audience and purpose of students’—and teachers’—writing should and could be.

A note on form: To further explore the nature of writing teachers’ identity development, the author has breached the canonical state of academic writing. Resisting a simplifying through-line, she lingers in and responds to the many identity narratives she and her research participant carry. In doing so, she both practices narrative inquiry and models resistance to prescriptive writing forms.