Teach on paper: How to use your skills in feature writing

Teachers Write

Teachers are the best people to write feature articles, especially the how-to article, which provides instructions or advice on how to do something. Your topic can be arts and crafts, a recipe, tips for parents, solutions to common classroom problems, and many more.

You just need to translate your skill as a teacher to that of a writer. Before a lesson, you begin by outlining your objectives and providing some sort of introduction, right? Similarly, a how-to article begins with a brief introduction—what the problem or situation is and how your advice will help them create or do something better.

Then after introducing the day’s topic and its importance (and sometimes, even its background and history), you provide instructions to your students. It doesn’t matter if you’re teaching science, English, math, economics, physical education or Filipino. Almost always, you help your students learn by breaking down things into step by step procedures.

That’s how a how-to article also works: tell your readers how to do something, step by step. Write them down. Make sure that the instructions are arranged in chronological order so your readers will be able to follow. Write clearly. You don’t have to use academic or heavy words. The simpler the words are, the better. Remember that people who will read your how-to article will want simple, clear and easy-to-follow.

Write a how-to article and submit it to the local publications, such as parenting magazines, campus or learning sections of major dailies, and teacher websites. Not only will you be able to help others, but you’ll also earn some extra money too.

Here are some topic ideas:

Share your best practices.
Help your fellow teachers cope with the challenge of teaching your subject. If you found a great way to help your students learn, write it down and share it with other teachers. The more creative and fun it is, the better the students will learn.

Share your best practices – for the home.
Adapt your teaching strategies to the home environment. Share how parents can teach their own kids at home, using your fool-proof strategies. Simplify it so both parent and child will enjoy their study time together. Make it creative, interesting and fun. As a parent, imagine how you would want to approach the lessons.

Inspire future mentors.
Write an essay about why you got into teaching and your insights on the profession. Then as a sidebar, provide practical tips on how to become a better teacher (such as tools of the trade, characteristics of a good teacher, how to be an interesting teacher, and more). The profession is as diverse as the ideas you can turn into a how-to feature article.

Connect with other hobbyists.
Teachers are not just teachers.  Some are bakers, photographers, jewelry makers, online sellers, painters, and museum curators outside of their classrooms. Get to know other enthusiasts by sharing with them what you know. Meet them online or imagine them as readers of your how-to article when you submit to magazines and newspapers.

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Please visit designedbywords.wordpress.com to learn more about upcoming writing workshops and to read about tips and strategies in feature writing.

Jenny

Jenny Orillos is a freelance writer, editor, and writing coach. Her feature articles have been published in FOOD Magazine, Rogue, Experience Philippines, Homestyle, and other publications. She completed her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at the De La Salle University.

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