Scale back for those who struggle

Instead of lowering your standards for students with learning difficulties, give them longer to achieve writing competence.

You may also need to break work into smaller segments to allow struggling writers to complete it.

Even the best teaching practices for writing often must be supplemented by instruction in time management, self-assessment techniques, and positive self-talk. Struggling writers almost always need help in one or more of these self-monitoring tasks.

Ordinary students can usually benefit from beefing up their skills in these areas, too.

Be fair.

Give explicit directions  so students can tell whether they did or did not meet your standard. Vague directions and hints are both unfair and counterproductive.

If material is essential for students to know, present it at least once from each primary learning mode. It’s not  fair to expect all students to learn well the way you do.

Don’t grade student writing on factors you don’t teach. For example, don’t evaluate work for creativity unless you teach all students to be creative.

Evaluate for a grade only writing in your chosen instructional genre.

Best practices in teaching writing

The best practices in teaching writing not only produce competent writers, but allow the teacher to live to tell the tale.

Here in no particular order are practices I’ve found work in teaching teens and adults to write expository nonfiction competently:

Teach one lesson multiple times in multiple ways. If the lesson’s not important enough to teach, it isn’t worth presenting in the first place.

Give explicit directions so you don’t have to keep re-explaining.

Make every writing assignment do double or triple duty. Don’t give writing prompts that do nothing other than force students to write.

Develop good writing prompts that you can reuse.

Enlist other students and outsiders to provide students with an audience.

Teach students to make checklists and use exemplars to monitor their writing behavior.

When you grade papers, focus on a strictly limited number of serious issues.

Hold students responsible for correcting their own work.