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Share what it’s like to be a public school teacher

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The National Education Association is engaged in an ambitious project to produce an important new book on the past, present, and future of the American teaching profession and currently seeks contributions from classroom teachers across the nation.

Surveys and statistical reports are often used to tell stories about America's public school teachers, and the forthcoming book will make extensive use of these sources. But even the best surveys can shed light on only certain aspects of teachers' experiences. The full breadth and depth of teachers' lives--especially the demands, challenges, and expectations they encounter daily--is best represented through the voices of teachers themselves.

To capture the range of teacher voices across the country, NEA is seeking active and retired teachers to write short (no more than 1,000 words) vignettes illustrating the key challenges they face(d) daily as part of educating their students. The book's editors are looking for teachers to draw on their personal experiences to craft anecdotes about their lives as teachers--involving their successes and setbacks, inside and outside of the classroom, and including both instructional and extra-curricular activities.

We invite you to submit your vignette by March 19, 2010.

Amy Stockwell Mercer is a freelance writer living in Charleston, SC with her husband and three sons. An MFA graduate in Creative Writing from Queens University, she writes about art and artist profiles for Charleston Magazine, The City Paper, Charleston Art Mag, and Art Papers. Amy also writes about living with chronic illness, and is finishing a book about women with diabetes for Demos Health. When she needs to get out of her own head, she teaches college students how to write the 5 paragraph essay. You can read more of her writing at her website.

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