As a rule, teachers spend most of their careers standing in front of a class of students, revealing the facts and details about their particular field of interest. For many that is enough, but for those who wish to communicate to their associates or the general public about the teaching process, writing is a viable option. A book contract may be a bit of a leap for a teacher who is about to enter the writing field, but a good place to start is with writing short non-fiction articles about the teaching profession.
Start writing. You need to do this to get the ideas out of your head and onto a sheet of paper or a computer. This can either be done with descriptive writing or a just by creating a simple outline. One helpful idea for beginning writers is to keep a journal and daily record of your teaching activities and insights. This can be a much-needed reference tool later, as well as a source of writing ideas.
Next, organize your ideas. Once you start writing, then you can better place your ideas and decide what you really want to say. However, not everybody works in the same way, so some writers may want to make an outline first and then begin expounding on the topic area of their choice. Do whatever works best for you, but at this point you will to need to have something substantial on paper.
Now, look through your notes and write a sample article. Be sure to pick the subject that you know best and take time to unfold your thoughts and observations in an organized method. Also be aware that any successful, written article is a compact statement about a given subject.
Proofread, then rewrite your article. Actually, rewriting is one of the big keys to almost any successful writing endeavor. This is true for fiction as well as non-fiction. As you progress you will probably find that one revision is not enough; for more than likely, several rewrites will be needed before you have an acceptable final draft.
Before you send your piece out you should let a professional associate read and comment on your article. Take the criticism to heart, but you do not have to respond to everything that is commented on, for the important part is getting feedback from others in the field. And furthermore, do not take criticism personally, but try and learn something from the process.
Then you can research available marketplaces for your article. You can publish online or off, but in either case your best sources of information about various publishers will probably be online. Also you can check out various publications that you have at work or home for submission guidelines. For most writers the magazine market pays the best and has the best readership. However, breaking into the magazine market can be difficult. Understanding the needs of each publication helps, but writing articles for online e-zines and blogs can help a writer build a base of published writing.
Send out the article to the appropriate editor and then start writing something new. Always check the writers’ guidelines for submission instructions before you send. Some magazine editors prefer paper via the U.S. Mail, while others like e-mail. If the editor shows no preference send a hard copy by snail mail. And don’t wait for acceptance of your first article, it takes 6 to 8 weeks. Go ahead and begin writing on another topic. Also be aware that some editors prefer a query letter first.
Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham: Education Periodicals [http://www.ed.uab.edu/educatorresources/educationperiodicals.htm]
Freelance Writing: Freelance Education Writer [http://freelance-writing.lovetoknow.com/Freelance_Education_Writer]