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View Full Version : Teachers telling children its "easy" to be published?



Southern_girl29
12-08-2006, 10:24 AM
My husband and I are attending Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. We're hoping to get out of debt, so that maybe in the future I can quit my job as a Lifestyles Editor and write fiction full-time. A woman who took my place as editor-in-chief of a newspaper where I work is also taking the class. We were talking about taking a second job, and the woman suggested I do freelance.

A girl, probably around 16, who is attending the class with her dad, piped up and said her teacher told the class to write children's stories to make money for college. That it was easy to $5,000 that way. We didn't really have time for me to go into why that's so not true, but I just said, "There's a lot more to it than that." The woman who took my place nodded her head.

Why are teachers telling their students this? I wonder if this was just an isolated event. It seems to me if teachers are telling their students they can make $5000 for one children's book, it just feeds the myth that writers can get rich easily. Has anyone ever experienced this before?

J.S Greer
12-08-2006, 10:52 AM
Why are teachers telling their students this?

Because just like people who think writing is easy, and easy to sell, they are clueless.

Teachers like that should be smacked in the face for messing with childrens minds like that.

mooncars
12-08-2006, 01:20 PM
I taught school for one year. The incompetence and ignorance I encountered from the top down made me walk out with both hands in the air. I must say the janitors knew their stuff.

Those who can't, teach,
Rick

Scarlett_156
12-08-2006, 01:42 PM
I don't see anything wrong with encouraging people to write. Even if you lie to them. It's not like they're gonna sue you or something. (Or will they...?)

Unique
12-08-2006, 05:53 PM
.....her teacher told the class to write children's stories to make money for college. That it was easy to $5,000 that way. ....



That doesn't sound like encouraging - it sounds like blowing smoke.

I'm all for encouraging people to learn how to write well. Everyone should know how to write coherently. But telling someone it's easy to make $5,000 writing - that just sounds like a lie. Possible? Sure, it's possible. Easy? I don't think so.

kbax
12-08-2006, 06:51 PM
My ninth grade English teacher read my first novel (written at 12 years old, and so horrid that I blush just thinking about it) and said--in front of the entire class--that I would be published before I graduated.

I didn't know the first thing about getting published. In fact, when I finished the book, I started looking in my small town's yellow pages for publishers. Hey, I was 12...and the internet hadn't yet become the vast source of information (and mis-information) that it is today.

My first brush with possible "publication" came via Poetry.com. Luckily, I didn't have the $50 to send to them. But I was desperate to be published, especially since being told that it would happen before I was 18. I was very lucky that I didn't fall face-first into some other scam.

The bottom line--that was irresponsible of my teacher. And it made me feel like I was letting her down when it never happened. But many people will always feel free to talk about things they don't know about, so...there's not much to do about it.

Celia Cyanide
12-12-2006, 04:24 AM
That doesn't sound like encouraging - it sounds like blowing smoke.

Word. And how bad are these kids going to feel when they get their first rejection? "It's easy to get published, but I can't do it!"

Not only is she saying it's easy to get published, but she's saying that it's easy to make enough money to pay for college. Messed up.

engmajor2005
12-12-2006, 04:40 AM
Hmmm....seems to me like it's easy to be a teacher as well. ;)

ORION
12-12-2006, 05:31 AM
ohhhh mooncars...thems fightin' words!

I taught high school for years and did not find any more incompetence than in any other field - teachers are held up to a higher standard for considerably lower pay.
There are many many good teachers.
Re the comment about making money writing children's books. That is a commonly held myth but...give the teacher a break - the student may have misunderstood - my students probably misconstrued 80% of what I taught them :)
JMHO

piscesgirl80
12-12-2006, 06:21 PM
I taught high school for years and did not find any more incompetence than in any other field - teachers are held up to a higher standard for considerably lower pay.


"Lower pay" is relative. :) I was chit-chatting with a friend of mine (same age) who teaches high school in the rural south, when she asked me out of curiousity how much I made as a reporter. I told her, and after a long silence she asked me if I needed a loan from her, as her salary was substantially larger than mine. (I, of course, declined, I'm a frugal person, and was in absolutely no financial hardship. For what it's worth, we have similar educational backgrounds/levels of experience in our fields.)

MHanlon
12-12-2006, 06:44 PM
That reminds me of the doctor who said, "Once I retire, I'm going to write a novel."
The author replied," Once I retire I'm going to perform brain surgery."

PeeDee
12-12-2006, 07:53 PM
It should be a hanging offense, honestly. Encourage your students to write. Don't encourage them to ignore advice and make millions with Just One Book!!!

It's one of the reasons I dont' mention I'm a writer to any of the teachers I know. I get stupid answers. It's like the moms who brag that their kids are such good poets, they've gotten published.

(through poetry.com)

*sigh*

This is why writers are creepy drunken crabby recluses.

PeeDee
12-12-2006, 07:55 PM
ohhhh mooncars...thems fightin' words!

I taught high school for years and did not find any more incompetence than in any other field - teachers are held up to a higher standard for considerably lower pay.

Hm. Hmm-hnnn. I wonder about this higher standard sometimes. So many teachers I've met have been on the verge of stark raving lunacy...and it's not child induced, which is the sort of lunacy you'd expect from teachers.

Particularly english teachers, or those responsible for making sure kids can read. Cripes. One woman told her students never to waste their time reading any book which didn't have a clearly stated "Message" and to make sure that it was optimistic and good.

I realize it's just the person's opinions...but my opinion is the above lunacy comment.

Cat Scratch
12-13-2006, 03:26 AM
This reminds me of a friend who got the brilliant idea to earn extra money by winning writing contests, which she had to enter at $10+ a pop. And she'd never written anything a day in her life before that.

Little Red Barn
12-13-2006, 03:34 AM
Our schools around here hold an annual Young Authors Award...published by the newspaper.

Honestly after intense editing from their fellow students and teachers, these books are just plain wonderful...

Kids are so sophisticated this days...just my 2..

badducky
12-13-2006, 03:39 AM
Let me assure all of you, it isn't easy.

And, if someone thinks it's easy, the best thing to do is smile, nod, and let them learn for themselves.

The crushing reality of the gig will filter out the posers and wannabes and leave only the dedicated writers, regardless of what any teacher says.

Serenity
12-13-2006, 03:58 AM
First, let me ask that you don't lump all teachers into the same category. Should the teacher have said that? No, absolutely not, because I've personally watched one person's attempts to get published and saw first hand that it isn't easy, and I've read about others here. Perhaps the teacher said this, we don't know. Perhaps the child misunderstood, we don't know that either.

Hopefully with your words that it isn't as easy as that, she'll look into it more thoroughly, maybe she'll even find her way here to this site. I know its helped me tremendously.

Oh? And for the record: I can, and I STILL teach.

dclary
12-13-2006, 03:59 AM
I would have to say that pretty much anyone could make SOME money self-publishing, if they have enough friends, charisma, and can write worth a hill of beans, however, it's much more likely to be around $1-2000. And it's the exceptionally rare self-published book that ever makes more than 5000.

LeslieB
12-13-2006, 04:15 AM
First, let me ask that you don't lump all teachers into the same category.

That's true. Teachers are like every other profession in the world, they are going to be varied. I had teachers who were brilliant people who did the world a service by going into teaching, and I had others who were dumb as a bag of hammers. (My personal favorite was my 10th grade history teacher who told us that Tories and Patriots were the same thing, and that Hamilton shot and killed Burr. And refused to back down until shown the exact lines in the text book.)

But this teacher isn't the only one who thinks getting a book published is easy or the way to quick riches. The fact that she has a captive audience for her incorrect information is a bit scary, though.