What makes good writing? This is something each teacher has to define for him-or herself. For the teacher in the anecdote, writing is good mechanics.
The teacher shoved a student paper under my nose. “Tell me what I am supposed to do with something like this!” she requested. I took the paper and looked over a confusion of red pen, crossed-out words, and scribbled comments. A big red “F” adorned the top. “Why did this student receive an F?” I asked. She pointed to all the red cross-outs on the paper. “The spelling! It’s atrocious! She can’t write at all.” I read the story. It was a magnificent narrative-engaging introduction, developed plot, interesting characters. I looked up at the teacher, confused. “This is a really good story. What was used to grade this?” She responded, “We look at the important things: spelling, grammar, handwriting, and legibility.”