Hi all…since I am still working on the website, and cannot open comments because of SPAM issues, please feel free to offer comments on Larry’s piece to me…and I can post. Or contact Larry directly.
Teacher Reviewer (note that this is a voluntary position, but there is also a statement in the announcement about pay potential…I am thinking it could also lead to other work down the line)
Science Editor Cambridge Editors is a small business that provides editing services through an extensive team of freelance editors. We are looking for two science editors; one who is versatile in editing engineering documents, the other an expert in biochemistry with a focus in the medical and pharmaceutical field. Applicants must possess a Ph.D. in a relevant field and 5-10 of professional editing experience.
Part-time curriculum writer
Seeking a part-time curriculum writer for a food-based, children’s non-profit in NYC, but you can work remotely. Pay is approximately $45/hour for 4 hours per quarterly newsletter. You’ll only be writing one curriculum per newsletter. Teachers with at least 5 years curriculum writing experience and teaching in K-12 life sciences, nutrition or allied field encouraged to apply by 10/18 to jbtouro (at) gmail (dot) com . No one outside of the proper fields will be considered. This is a side gig only and will not become a full-time job. More info: You won’t be writing the entire newsletter, just the lesson/curriculum portion of it, which is going to be food-based. It could be about a fruit/vegetable, identify origins/historical/social/political impact, effect on economy, benefits/health preventions, what to do with it, a recipe or 2, etc.
Contact Jocelyn at NYEdTechfirstname.lastname@example.org;
Big shout out to WEM member Larry Bernstein for responding right away to my thoughts about a blog. He’s been patient about me having this great piece go live. I’d love to keep this up…so send your entries. If we can gather momentum, we will keep this going.
Teaching and Writing in the Education Market: That Issue of Pay
by Larry Bernstein
“He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.”
We’ve all heard this famous line from Bernard Shaw’s play, Man and Superman. We may even have thought it to be true when frustrated with our teachers during our school days.
But this adage is quite insulting to those who have made a career in education. The insinuation is that teachers join the profession because they cannot actually do anything else. In other words, teachers are those who have few skills, so they reside in the undemanding world of education. And, sadly, that view is substantiated by lower salaries in the field overall.
It seems that this mindset carries over into the world of education writing. Because, in general, the pay scale for us education writer folks is pretty low. Is it now true that he or she who no longer teaches for skimpy wages can only write to earn skimpy pay? Looks like that might be the case.
Teaching Demands vs. Salary
Anyone who has spent more than an hour in a classroom, or simply considered the many responsibilities a teacher has, knows that life in the education world is more than demanding. Educators are tasked with something huge: contributing to the development of capable, intelligent future generations. That’s a pretty heavy responsibility, especially with growing the expectations of what teachers must accomplish in the classroom.
Yet, while many people claim to know and agree that teaching is hard, it is is still not a particularly well-respected profession. One telling sign is the average teacher salary. The 2016 Economic Policy Institute study “The Teacher Pay Gap is Wider than Ever” underscored how teacher pay lags farther behind that of comparable workers—17% lower, in fact.
There are those critics who contend that public school teachers get great benefits and therefore, the pay differential some cite is not an accurate. However, the study clearly proves this to be false.
While pay rate is not the only way to judge respect given, it is a significant factor. If society valued teachers for the impact they have on our children (and the level of skill and knowledge that a quality teacher must have), then the rate would be higher.
The Connection to Writing in the Education Market
The lack of respect in the form of salary for teachers carries over to the wages of those who write in the education market. While there are certainly good gigs available and rates vary, education writers typically do not make a whole lot of money. And, generally even less than writers receive in other industries. That’s been my experience (and probably yours, too).
Recently, I considered an interesting gig announced by a reputable company, with, according to LinkedIn, about 100 employees. I figured that was a decent enough sized business that an hourly rate would be at least competitive, especially if a quality writer was top of mind.
But, I was wrong. In fact, here was the salary narrative: “We do have a baseline of $22.50 per hour that we do our best to maintain, although almost 99% of the work we do is per deliverable versus per hour.”
I did some quick calculating: based on a 40-hour workweek, and 52 weeks per year, this rate was equivalent to a salary of $46,800. Many of us who are education writers are former teachers, with at least a Master’s degree (required in the field). And those ready to bring their expertise into the writing market are pretty experienced. You get the point: that salary does not match the years and years of professional practice, knowledge, and ranking. Now, that’s insulting!
Confession: I took the gig for a short period of time. It was a slow period, and I needed the money. (Come on, we’ve all been there. No judgment.) And that’s what makes it tough. Sometimes, when we need the work, we settle for less. Maybe it could build our craft and portfolios. Or at least we convince ourselves of that because…well…hey…you know what I mean.
But, I contend that as educational writers, we can help raise the rates the industry pays. There are over a 1000 of us registered on WEM. Yes, we are in different positions in our careers, have different backgrounds, and come from different financial circumstances. I get it. Yet, I believe something can be done. We are a significant block. It is up to us to make our voices heard and let employers know we have minimums we will accept for payment.
Again, there are good gigs out there that pay a wage more in line with what an experienced professional can rightfully expect to earn. While some employers – including the ones quoted above–are middlemen who decide rates based on what a client pays, there is money in education.
Wouldn’t it be nice if more of that money went to us? Imagine doing a meaningful job you enjoy and getting a rate that is apropos to your skill set.
Copyright © 2017 Larry Bernstein. All rights reserved.
Writing chapters of a high school history book We need two writers for chapters of an Advanced Placement review book covering European history since 1500. Writers need a strong background in modern European history and the ability to write clearly. Work will begin around October 23, 2017, and should be done by February 1, 2018.
Edit Articles for Forbes.com and Other Publications/Blogs on an As Needed Basis Looking for a freelance editor with both good story sense and an attention to continuity as well as grammatical detail. Columns run around 1,500 to 2,000 words. Please Google “Barnet Sherman Forbes” and read some of the work before responding. Rate: $40-50 per Project; Contact: Barnet Sherman The Tenbar Group
Company: Curriculum Concepts International
Job Title: Writers for Public Health college-level digital program
Description: Public Health degree preferred with writing experience including creation of media storyboards and assessment items.
How to Apply: Please send resume and writing samples to Helen Breen, Senior Vice President: email@example.com. Writing assignments available immediately if qualified.
Company: Six Red Marbles
Job Title: Nonfiction Study Guide Writers Needed
The content developer Six Red Marbles needs study guide writers for an ongoing program with writing going from November 2017 into February 2018. We are looking in particular for writers with experience in writing about nonfiction texts for students from Grade 10 through sophomore year in college. The topics range from philosophy and economics to primary political documents, psychology, and memoir.
How to Apply:
Please send a resume showing demonstrated experience in writing about nonfiction literature for high school and college-level students to firstname.lastname@example.org. If your background suits our needs we will contact you to request a short writing sample.
Writer, part time, Teach for All (more of a communications writer, but still education)
Senior Copy Editor, Freelance (DEADLINE FOR RESUME SUBMISSION IS 9/27!!!)
This one is an amazing opportunity…not a job…but maybe someone out there is qualified: Education Week Gregory M. Chronister Journalism Fellowship