Submission Guidelines

Why I Teach is a project of Learning Matters, where we showcase personal essays by classroom teachers. We welcome submissions to Why I Teach from any and all teachers. There is no deadline – entries are accepted on an ongoing basis.

What To Write About
Here are some questions that may help you compose your essay. Obviously, you donʼt have to answer all of these questions – but thinking about them may lead you in a certain direction.

1. How long have you been teaching?
2. How were you trained? Ed school or another method?
3. Why did you initially want to be a teacher?
4. Did you have a particular teacher in your life that inspired you?
5. What was your first day ever in front of a classroom like?
6. How has your approach changed over time?
7. What do you expect from your students?
8. What do you expect from your administration?
9. Have you ever considered doing something else career-wise, and if so, what?
10. What makes an effective teacher?
11. What makes a great teacher?
12. What advice would you give to a brand-new teacher?

Word Count
Please make the entries between 300 and 500 words.

Brief Bio
Please include a 2-3 line bio with your name, name of the school you teach at, how long youʼve been teaching, and any other relevant information youʼd like to showcase.

Photo Of Yourself Teaching
If you can provide a photo of yourself working with students, that would be preferable. You can provide a simple headshot if easier. If you have videos or any other media youʼd like to include, feel free.

Final Checklist
1. The essay (300-500 words)
2. 2-3 line bio
3. Photo of yourself

Entries may be edited for length, content, and clarity – you will have the chance to review and approve the final copy.

Submissions and questions can be sent to  

A  downloadable .pdf version of these guidelines can be found here.

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