The Teacher Advocate – Write for TA
The Teacher Advocate Author Guidelines
The Managing Editor and Advisory Panel for the The Teacher Advocate seek well-written manuscripts on topics of particular interest to or help for beginning educators. Manuscripts for one-page articles (500 words) or two-page articles (700-850 words) should be backed by research and offer practical suggestions and resources that student teachers and first- or second-year educators can readily apply in the classroom. When you write and edit, write succinctly so that each sentence is meaningful (like a tip in itself).
NOTE: The TA Submission process has changed. Here is the new process.
Before you write, read these tips!
- Know our audience. The TA audience is preservice teachers (these are freshmen through seniors in college), student teachers, and beginning (years 1-3) teachers. We now send the TA to 20,000 undergraduate KDP members and 30,000 undergraduate NEA members in a digital format and send paper copies only to those who pay a subscription.
- Review past issues. Note the style used and topics used: Summer 2020, Spring 2020, and Winter 2019.
- Count your words. The TA includes one-page articles (500 words) and two-page articles (700-850 words). All word counts include text and references. If you want to include a graphic, reduce the word count by 75-100 words for each small graphic or 150-250 words for larger graphics.
- Write your biography in 45 words or less. Include a short biography stating what and where you teach and what your passions or interests are in education. The following template can serve as a guide:
[Dr./Mr./Ms. Author Last Name is a Title at Institution. She/He teaches courses on x, y, and z. Any other relevant information of interest to the reader can go here.] Please limit your biography to 45 words.
- Include resource sidebars. Sidebars are not counted in the word count, but are usually include 3-6 website addresses directing readers to more detailed information.
- If you have to explain, you’ve said too much. When more than one or two sentences is needed to explain something, refer the reader to a website or to a KDP article in our Resources Catalog to explain your point (see “Include resource sidebars” above).
- Write in the active voice. Articles are typically 5-10 points or steps to do something and start with verbs (they sound like imperative, but it is active voice like you are talking directly to a new teacher saying, "do it this way.") New teachers don't want to read a term paper or read about philosophies, so it has to be written in an engaging style. How would you talk to the 22-year-old teacher who just started teaching in your building? Make it completely conversational in tone!
- Name your article. Give your article a snappy title like "6 Tips for Engaging Students in Science" or "PICTURE Perfect Writing."
- Engage your reader. Beginning with the first paragraph, write a scenario or something to make the reader think about or identify with the classroom or student you describe.
- Write an introduction. But, keep your introduction short (one longer or two short paragraphs) and relevant to the new teacher. Answer the question: Why should I care about this? Your introduction should give a brief background and reason for the article and may include citations.
- Include numbered and bulleted lists in the article body. Remember active voice (implied "you" and present tense active verb to start sentences whenever possible). Every one to two sentences of the article should stand alone as a tip a new teacher could implement immediately.
- Conclude your article. Summarize your points and end with a punch or an inspiration to implement the ideas!
- Send images. Include a high-resolution picture (300 dpi) of your classroom or your students showing the process you describe. Be sure to get written permissions of all students’ parents for students appearing in a photograph.
- Cite your references. If you cited it, it should be in the references. Don't include references you didn't cite in the article. Reference the most recent research, from 2014 to the present. Check references to make sure you have spelled the authors' names the same way both places (and it is correct) and that you have the correct page numbers and correct year. Use Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition (2010), pages 17 4-224 (Chapter 7 is all examples).
TA Topics of Interest
Classroom Management – includes behavior management and rewards, handling conflicts, averting bullying situations, and time management
Classroom Set-up – includes physical arrangement, bulletin boards, record-keeping, procedures, and routines
Communication – includes communications with students, parents, colleagues, administrators, and community members (including government such as city council, school board, or state or national legislators) – think about classroom newsletters, parent-teacher conferences of all types, what to say and how to say it
Differentiation – includes all types of differentiation with how-to’s – differentiating content, products, or processes – differentiating based on interests or abilities – tiering, cubing, RAFTing, etc.
English Language Learners – especially looking for low-prep strategies for helping them, ways to assimilate them into the classroom community, best teaching strategies
Family Involvement – how to get families and guardians more involved in the education of the student, how to get whole families involved in learning and participating at school – especially how to communicate with and involve parents and guardians of ELLs
Grieving Students – talking with students who have recently experienced the death of a close family member or friend, helping students adjust to loss, helping students support a classmate, minimizing academic challenges, addressing grief triggers and how to handle them in school, reaching out to families to offer assistance and support students, understanding the unique challenges of students grieving a death by suicide.
Holidays – with the myriad nationalities and ethnicities represented in today’s classroom, what holidays do you celebrate and how? What holidays do you teach about or have students research or share with classmates?
Implementing Common Core – need practical ideas for transitioning from the way you were teaching or the textbook you were using to the expectations of Common Core – must be very how-to oriented
Professionalism – includes the teacher’s behavior, attire, attitude, and speech – may also include teachers’ lounge behavior or behavior outside of school – may also include legal issues of interest to beginning teachers or how to become a teacher leader such as establishing a professional learning community
Student Involvement – includes teaching strategies, differentiated instruction methods, technology for learning, assessment (especially formative assessment), and anything you do with your students or you have them doing that engages them in their own learning – may include a wide variety of resources
Sustainability – any strategies for integrating Education for Sustainability into the classroom or the curriculum, specifically interdisciplinary activities, problem-based learning ideas, and system thinking approaches.
Teaching Strategies – almost any teaching strategy – tell us how you do it and give examples
Trauma-Informed Teaching – recognizing that trauma occurs across all socioeconomic categories, being sensitive to students' past and ongoing experiences, understanding why they may be acting out, providing safe spaces and stable routines, teaching methods of self-regulation and emotional coping skills, reducing the occurrence of difficult behaviors, creating meaningful relationships.
Your First Classroom – may be anything from various aspects of applying for a teaching position to interviewing to asking questions, includes what to do once you are hired and how to prepare for the first days of school, may also include special situations or unexpected situations such as preparing for co-teaching, working with a paraprofessional, meeting the needs of diverse populations of students, crossing cultures, keeping records, working with special students
Special Events – includes tips for testing time, help for maintaining a learning environment near the end of the school year
Articles should use good grammar and spelling, be succinct, be written with intended audience in mind, and cover topics applicable to today’s classrooms. Use active voice (“read”) rather than passive (“a teacher should be prepared to read”). Acceptance rate is about 40%. All manuscripts submitted undergo a review process by both a member of the TA Advisory Panel and the Managing Editor.
If your article is on a topic which we need articles, it will be scored on this Review Form using the Rubric for TA Review Form. The results of this review will be communicated with you. To see a sample of an article which needed major work, please see Example of TA Article Needing Major Revisions. To see a sample of an article which needed minor work, please see Example of TA Article Needing Minor Revisions.
Submit Manuscripts Online
Complete the online form to make your submission. The managing editor will receive your manuscript and read it within a few days. You will then receive a response with ideas and suggestions or to simply let you know if your manuscript is ready for review. In most cases, you will receive suggestions for improvement before your manuscript is sent for review. It is not uncommon that, after the review, a manuscript might need to be revised then resubmitted. About 75% are then accepted. Publication of your article will be 6-18 months later with a copy edit taking place three months before publication. At that time you will receive a copyright release to sign and will be asked to make a final review of the changes, then accept or revise final edits.