Teaching writing and revision can be a good way to supplement your freelance income, but teaching presents a whole new set of challenges for the busy professional.
Teaching as a Career Builder
Even if your ultimate goal is to write a bestselling novel or see your name on an article in your favorite national magazine, teaching can be a great way to build your career as a writer. Teaching provides a steady source of income and the opportunity to network with other professionals. Being able to list teaching experience on your resume may also give you an added boost when you're out searching for freelance writing assignments.
Additionally, the satisfaction that comes with helping others to build confidence in their writing and revision skills is priceless. Even if your students don't decide to become professional writers, you can be proud that your efforts have helped to turn them into more effective communicators.
Finding Teaching Jobs
There are many ways a freelancer can begin teaching writing and revision. For example:
- Offering a "summer camp" workshop for elementary or middle school students who want to consider careers in creative writing or journalism
- Teaching writing classes at your local community college
- Conducting an online educational seminar
- Helping a high school student polish his/her writing skills in preparation for college entrance exams
- Editing a college student's research paper
- Providing individualized coaching for a writer just beginning his/her career
To find jobs teaching writing and revision, networking is often the best approach. Don't be afraid to let people know you're interested in expanding your professional services to include teaching, tutoring, or personalized coaching sessions. If you'd prefer to work with students on a one-on-one basis, you may want to try making flyers to post in libraries, coffee shops, and other areas people interested in writing are likely to frequent. Teaching jobs may also be advertised on the following Web sites:
Keep in mind that teaching jobs on the collegiate level generally require a graduate degree and several years of related professional writing experience. For other positions, however, talent and enthusiasm are often the greatest assets. To stand out from the crowd, prepare a resume detailing your accomplishments as a writer and spend some time explaining your basic philosophy for teaching writing and revision in your cover letter.
If you're having trouble describing your teaching philosophy, think back to your own writing role models. What did they do that sparked your passion for writing? Did they offer specific suggestions for improvement as opposed to general ideas about an entire piece? Did they encourage you to read a certain author in order to develop your own sense of style?
Techniques for Teaching Writing and Revision
To learn more about techniques for teaching writing and revision, LoveToKnow Freelance Writing suggests visiting the following helpful Web sites:
- The National Council of Teachers of English - Beliefs about the Teaching of Writing
- 30 Ideas for Teaching Writing
- Inspiring Young Writers
- Colorado State University Guide to Teaching Writing
- Designing Assignments to Discourage Plagiarism
Teaching English as a Second Language
Although it's more challenging than teaching writing and revision to native English speakers, working in an English as a second language classroom may be an option to consider as well. In the United States, there is a great need for ESL instructors in areas with high immigrant populations. Travel opportunities are also available, since ESL instructors are needed in Pakistan, Indonesia, China, and other areas with a growing interest in international business.To learn more about a career in teaching English as a second language, check out the following helpful articles from the yourDictionary Web site: