CHOOSE COMPELLING WORDS – IT CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE. Think carefully about your audience when you write letters to the editor, to parents, to legislators, and others. Explaining how your teaching benefits kids will win many more friends than angry diatribes about an education policy that has already been decided.
Check out the helpful guidelines for writing op-ed articles, from the National Writing Project.
Research by the FrameWorks Institute identifies two metaphors that best communicate the workings and improvement of education to the broader public — the school as orchestra and improvement as remodeling a house. Read this fascinating study.
Some great examples of effective writing about our teaching:
Christopher de Vinck, “In Praise of Teachers,” Chicago Tribune, Aug. 24, 2012. An outspoken New Jersey high school English teacher (and award-winning author) recalls a favorite teacher who changed his life — and speaks up for our profession.
Riana Good (Spanish teacher & Teach Plus Fellow), Post in the Hechinger Report on thoughtful alternatives to “added value” test scores, for teacher evaluation.
Alyson Gorden (Rhode Island HS math teacher), and Michele Livsey (New Teacher Center mentor), Story on successful teaching as a result of support from a mentor teacher.
NY Times Letters to the Editor on punishments vs professional culture for improving teachers. To get published, such letters must be brief and to the point, as these are.
Vibha Sanghvi (2nd grade teacher & Teach Plus Fellow), Post on the Impatient Optimists website, on teaching children how to ask for help. The website is sponsored by Gates, who is not beloved by all teachers, but the post shows what wise teaching can do.
Adam Heenan (Chicago high school history teacher) writes about the difference between following standards and real teaching and learning — Design Lessons for Students Not Standards
The Western Massachusetts Writing Project partners with a local newspaper, the Hampshire Gazette, to publish feature stories by local teachers, about their classroom efforts. Our thanks to Kevin Hodgson with the WMWP for this.