Teachers everywhere are used to wearing many hats: educator, social worker, mediator, advocate, and entertainer, just to name a few. But did you know that the skills that make a great teacher are also the characteristics of a great children's book author?
Here are the top 5 reasons why:
Reason #5 - Teachers know what kids like
When you’re in the classroom, you see it all. The student’s strengths, struggles, interests, and everything in between. You’re immersed in the fart jokes and giggles but you also start to see the gaps in literature.
I still remember a project on musical composers. One of my students asked me: “Why aren’t there more stories about female composers?” as she searched the library with no problem finding male composers. I reminded her that books are a business - they publish stories that they think there’s demand for. So if the world wants more books on female composers, we have to shout it from the rooftops.
As teachers, we see and experience what kids love or wish for in stories so we can be part of the solution and help close the gaps.
Reason #4 - Teachers are patient
Teachers help students learn things they didn’t know previously and for some children, it can be a long road to mastery. It's a reality we realize before going into the industry so educators are accustomed to patience and persistence as a daily practice.
Publishing, regardless of whether you choose traditional or self-publishing, takes time to do well. A draft of a story undergoes countless revisions and rewrites before it’s ready for professional editing. And then there’s securing an agent who then pitches to publishers (traditional publishing) or professional illustrations and marketing (self-publishing), all of which can take months or even years.
But good things come to those who wait.
Reason #3 - Teachers are creative thinkers
Teachers are some of the most creative people out there. I still remember in 2nd grade, my teacher taught us a song and dance about the water cycle so that we’d never forget it. To this day, I get that tune stuck in my head.
On a daily basis, educators are always looking for games, songs, and visuals to make learning fun. They design worksheets, plan scavenger hunts, read stories, and even ask for ideas for other professionals when they need more ideas. In education, the ideas are always flowing - and that's exactly what it takes to be a great children's book author.
Reason #2 - Teachers are no stranger to revisions
How many times have you planned a lesson that you thought would enthrall only to find the students disengaged…so you throw away the plan and improvise to get the students actively involved? It happened all the time to me. Sometimes what works in your head or on paper doesn’t work in real life applications.
As a teacher, you have to constantly adapt because students come late, leave early, get sick, or class gets interrupted by behaviors, illness, safety drills, observations, and so much more. Educators know that lesson plans are just a map to the destination but there are many different routes to get there. Similarly, when you’re writing a book, sometimes what you plan to write turns out differently by the time you’re done.
Revisions and editing are where the real magic happens for children's books so to be an author, you can't shy away from it. Teachers are not only accustomed to constructive criticism...we thrive on it!
Reason #1 - Teachers are dedicated
Teachers put in a tremendous amount of time and effort to ensure that students have the best educational experience possible. We constantly research new ways to improve their teaching, attend professional development workshops, and engage in meaningful interactions with their students.
People in education are go-getters. When we see a problem, we think of a solution. When we set a goal, we do our best to meet it. Where there’s a will, there’s a way - and teachers have a lot of will in them.
This is the #1 reason why teachers make the best children's book authors! Writing requires creativity, research, and dedication - qualities that educators have in abundance.
There you have it! While this post only covered the top five reasons why teachers make great children's book authors, there are many, many more. So if you're a teacher and you've always wanted to write a children's book but haven't done it yet, my next question to you is...
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