Seeking Blog Submissions
Our blog is modeled on our poetry books, Teaching with Fire, Leading from Within, and Teaching with Heart. In our books, we asked teachers to speak about who they are, why they do what they do, and how they keep their heart and commitment alive in their work and life. We asked them to reflect on these questions because we believe that what inspires and impassions teachers is worth sharing. We created this website to create a virtual community where teachers can continue to share about teaching and the teacher’s life. We hope you’ll be moved by other’s reflections and inspired to send in your own blog submissions!
- Send us your thoughts on teaching and the teacher’s life.
- Share your reflections on a poem that is meaningful in your life and work.
- Tell us how you’ve used poetry in your classroom, with your colleagues, and beyond.
- Respond to the “Teachers Talk” lively, thoughtful and fun interview questions.
Here are a few sample blog posts: Sarah Wessling Browns’ My Poems Walk Through the Door Every Day, Mike Mangiaracina’s The Phenomenon of Poetry, Elise Brisse’s Resilience: On Working and Mothering, and Greg John’s “Chomp” from his book, Notes from the Playground. For more details, check out our Suggestions and Guidelines section below.
Join the Conversation
We invite all educators to participate: public and private K-12 teachers, college professors, after-school teachers, coaches, principals and superintendents. We welcome educators from all levels of experience – first-year teachers, mid-career veterans, and those who have retired.
We encourage submissions from those who work outside of traditional school settings, such as yoga instructors, dance teachers, theater directors and workshop facilitators.
We also welcome posts from leaders from other fields (such as those in Leading from Within), as well as from poets and other authors.
If you have questions or would like help with your post, please feel free to contact Megan Scribner at firstname.lastname@example.org. In creating our three poetry books, Megan helped hundreds of teachers write about their work and life. She’d be happy to work with you on your blog post.
The Submission Process
Please fill out the submission form to submit your blog post. Once you’ve submitted your blog post, we will notify you within the month if your piece has been accepted. Our editorial board will select submissions that represent a diverse range of perspectives and experiences. You may send in more than one submission and you will retain full rights to your submissions. We will work with you to edit your submission so that it is ready for posting. Submissions will be posted according to themes and openings in the blog schedule.
In exchange for editing, posting, and promoting your blog post via social media, we ask you to consider supporting our efforts and this website by making a contribution to the website (typical amounts range from $30-$50).
Or consider “Paying It Forward” by writing a thank you letter to a special teacher in your life and sending them an autographed copy of Teaching with Heart through our Thank You, Teachers Project. Each Gift Package costs $30.00. For more details, see our Thank You, Teachers page and FAQ.
Thank you for your support!
Suggestions and Guidelines
1. Reflect on Teaching and the Teacher’s Life
Share your reflections on your life and work as a educator, tell us what it’s like being a teacher, share something that’s on your heart and mind, or reflect on a teaching experience. Tell us what this experience was like and the impact it had on you and others. We’re looking for a wide variety of reflections and stories, but please keep the overall tenor of your piece positive. This site is about building up, not tearing down.
Mel Glenn’s Teaching Retired Teachers and Emily Brisse’ Resilience: On Working and Mothering are two good examples of blog posts. Questions? Feel free to contact us at email@example.com. When you’re ready, fill out the submission form and hit submit.
Our books, Teaching with Heart, Leading from Within and Teaching with Fire, are all based on the premise that reading poetry stirs up an inner conversation about questions, emotions, and things that matter. Because poetry slows us down and focuses our attention—it can yield poignant insights into what is most significant and enduring in our work as educators. We are seeking reflections modeled on the teachers’ commentaries in these books. Here’s a great example: Annette Breaux’s reflection on Emily Dickinson’s “If I can stop one Heart from breaking.”
For your poetry reflection, identify a poem that matters to you. We appreciate that you may have written poetry of your own, but this website focuses on poems written by others that are meaningful to you.Write a brief commentary (up to 250 words) that describes your personal relationship and connection to the poem. Your commentary should not be an explication, but a personal narrative that describes how this poem touched you and how it helps you make sense of your life and work as an educator. Here are some prompts you might consider:
- How did you discover the poem?
- What is the story behind your connection with this poem?
- How does this poem inform your work or your life?
- What do you sense this poem is trying to tell you?
3. Share Your Ideas for Using Poetry
While reading poetry is often a quiet, solitary act, poems can also be shared and read together in groups. Doing so can create opportunities for new understandings of the poem, each other and the life or work we have together. Please send us your story of how you have used poetry to teach, inspire, open up conversations, work with others, create community or create a special space of your own. Here a few questions to guide your writing:
- How have you used poetry in your classroom, with your students, on behalf of fellow teachers?
- How have you used poetry to lift people’s spirits, to create a deeper understanding of some lesson, to create community?
- Where do you post poems? For yourself? For others?
For ideas on how to use poetry in the classroom and beyond, see the Using Poetry for Reflection and Conversation chapter from Teaching with Heart. Questions? Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. When you’re ready, fill out the submission form and hit submit.
Teachers Talk Interviews: What are 5 things you can’t teach without? What’s the best teaching advice you ever got? Answer these and other engaging questions in the Teachers Talk Interview Form. Encourage your fellow teachers to send in their responses and check out the interviews in the Teachers Talk gallery.
Every day in classrooms across the country, dedicated professionals put in long hours educating students, preparing lessons, grading homework, engaging with families, collaborating with colleagues, and overcoming obstacles. Their work is vital to children, parents, communities, and our future, yet rarely do teachers receive the thanks they deserve. The Thank You, Teachers Project wants to change that by sending a wave of gratitude to teachers across the country.
We invite you to write a thank you letter to a special teacher in your life. Thank a teacher who made a difference in your life – in the classroom, on the field, in the art studio, on stage, in the library, in the principal’s office, and beyond. Parents are encouraged to help their children participate. For more information, please check out the Thank You, Teachers Project, our FAQ, and then use our easy form to post your letter.
We also offer a special Gift Package: In addition to posting your letter online, we will send a printed copy of your thank you letter and an autographed copy of Teaching with Heart: Poetry that Speaks to the Courage to Teach to your teacher. Teaching with Heart is a collection of ninety treasured poems, each accompanied by a teacher’s personal reflection that speaks to the questions, challenges and triumphs that lie at the heart of the profession. This uplifting collection salutes the tenacious and relentless optimism of teachers and their belief that, despite the many challenges and obstacles of the teaching life, much is possible.
Teacher and Staff Appreciation and End-of-School-Year gifts: Looking for the ideal gift for your teachers? Arrange for autographed copies of Teaching with Heart to be sent to your school and to post your thank you letters online. You can arrange for individual letters for each teacher or one big “Shout Out!” to all the teachers at your school. The cost for this gift package is $30.00.
To ensure on-time delivery, place orders for National Teacher’s Day and Staff Appreciation Week by April 20, 2018. Place orders for End-of-the-Year gifts by May 21, 2018. To place an order or for more information, contact us at email@example.com.
Shape, Expand and Support the Conversation
Shape the Conversation: We want this website to work for you. Please share your ideas about how to expand and deepen the conversation. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Expand the Conversation: Share the Teaching with Heart, Fire and Poetry website and blog with colleagues. and the call for submissions with your colleagues and throughout your networks. The more the merrier!
Support the Conversation: Creating and editing the blog posts and sharing them with the world takes a great deal of time. This is all done on a volunteer basis — so any and all support would be greatly appreciated! Please consider “Paying It Forward” by writing a thank you letter and sending a gift book to a special teacher through our Thank You, Teachers Project.
Please also let us know if you have questions, ideas of how to make this site work for you, or other ways you’d like to contribute. We’ll do our best to take on as many ideas as possible. Contact us at email@example.com.
We look forward to hearing from you!