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Writing for the Education Market
by Jennifer Brown Banks

Contrary to popular opinion, you don't have to be a teacher, or a designated scholar to pen pieces for publications in the education market. Though many may require clips, experience in the classroom is not a prerequisite.

And consider this: If you're a parent, you have teaching experience. Long before your little ones entered the classroom arena, you provided how-to instruction and a learning environment from which to build upon.

Other venues count too.
Have you provided corporate training to co-workers or inexperienced supervisors regarding department procedures? Or how about Sunday school teaching at your church or place of worship? We don't often recognize that we've all been teachers in one capacity or another.

Your know-how can increase your net-worth.
Education markets are abundant. They are classified as magazines and websites devoted to various aspects of teaching, classroom management and educational policies.

As a part-time public high school teacher myself, I can attest that educators are always looking for innovative ways to make lesson plans more interesting and time in the classroom less stressful.

Here are some potential topics for teachers:

  1. Arts and crafts projects (Scrapbooks, collages, poetry chapbooks and magazine assignments.)

  2. Bulletin board decorating tips (Themes, shopping tips for materials.)

  3. Fun field trips (Check your local area's calendar of events for listings. Popular choices include trips to the movies, theme parks and museum exhibits, and poetry open-mike events.)

  4. Puzzles and word games (Unscramble the word worksheets, word search puzzles, fill in the blank vocabulary exercises.)

  5. Creative writing exercises and prompts (Positive rap songs, limericks, essays.)

  6. Perspectives on educational policies (“No child left behind” mandate, year-round schools, paying students for good grades.)

  7. Recommended reading for teens (What are your kids reading?)

  8. Time management and organizational tips (How to successfully juggle and multi-task.)

  9. Dealing with shy students and kids with learning disorders (Suggestions for activities for group projects are a good option; this will allow these challenged students to feel like part of a group, despite their social and academic deficiencies. For instance, they can be the group's recorder/note taker.)

  10.  Discipline dos and don’ts (Creative strategies to keep order in the classroom. This can include colorful posters displaying class rules or conduct contracts for students.)

Keep in mind that these publications are typically divided into two categories—K-8 grades and high school; so be sure that your submission is age appropriate for the group you are targeting.

Pay for these publications varies depending upon the size, frequency, type of publication, and the experience of the writer. You can expect to earn anywhere from $25.00-$250.00.

Note that writer's guidelines are not necessarily reflected under the heading “writers guidelines.” You may have to search under “contact us” or “about us” sections of the publication for detailed submission requirements and department editors.

Here are some markets where you can successfully submit your work:

  • www.education.com — This is an online site devoted to teachers, parents and administrators. They seek editorial pieces, arts and crafts projects, and classroom management tips.

  • www.edweek.org — Accepts opinion essays of less than 1200 words. Rates vary.

  • www.catholicteacher.com — Pays $100.00-$250.00 for articles of interest to Catholic educators, including religious perspectives.

By penning pieces for this often overlooked market, you can not only make a living, but make a difference in the lives of future generations.

© Copyright 2009, Jennifer Brown Banks

Jennifer Brown Banks is the former senior editor of Mahogany Magazine. She holds a B.A. in Business Management and blogs at Penandprosper.blogspot.com

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