Teacher educators strive for student engagement in their pre-service curricula. Recent studies of university-level engagement have focused on the need for active learning pedagogies. Grounded in anti-deficit approaches that are relevant, responsive, and sustaining for diverse cultures and literacies, this article discusses the use of autobiographical writing as a strategy for active student engagement in college Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and English Language Arts (ELA) settings. By creating these opportunities, teacher educators can encourage their students to cultivate community and a sense of belonging while they explore teacher identity. When college classrooms are transformed into spaces to expand the imagination, the implementation of such writing exercises has the potential to enhance teaching and learning now and in the future.