When I think about what I first want my students to know, what matters most to me as a teacher of writing, more than capital letters or topic sentences or punctuation, I want them to believe they have ideas worth sharing and stories worth telling. I want them to know their voice matters and their words can make a difference. I want them to believe they are writers, right now, whatever their reading proficiency, whatever their language background, whatever their home circumstances. WE ARE WRITERS HERE. We all matter, we all belong, we all can and should write.