The Editorial Panel of Mathematics Teacher urges all readers, especially classroom teachers, to consider writing for the journal.
Are you thinking, “Who me? But I have nothing to write about.” Think again! The pages of Mathematics Teacher have many examples of teacher-written articles that highlight useful aspects of their practices. Often, we may think that the things we do in our classrooms are “old hat” because we do them routinely, when in fact they may be quite innovative. If you are a classroom teacher with some ideas to share but are a little uncertain about how to proceed, the following suggestions may be helpful.
Starting the Process
Writing is a process, not an event. It will take time to develop your ideas into a coherent article. Begin by keeping a notebook and jotting down your ideas, successes, and concerns. The reflection on these notes can become the basis for a manuscript. Try to keep samples of students’ work to include in your article; readers value such examples as being useful tools that help the classroom aspect of your work come alive. Read past articles in the journal to help you get a sense of what makes a good manuscript.
It may be that your ideas fall neatly into one of the many departments featured in Mathematics Teacher. Follow the links to more information on the department and submission guidelines .
Most of these departments have an editor. If you have an idea you want to send in, check the submission instructions that accompany each department in the journal. If the manuscript is accepted, the editor can help you develop your ideas. Submitting copy for a department is an excellent way to begin your writing career.
Picking a Topic
When you decide to write, take a look at recent journals to see what topics have been discussed. Some topics are popular, ongoing themes, such as algebraic thinking, professional development, and problem solving. Whether it is an old topic with a fresh slant or a relatively new topic, pick one central idea and stay with it.
You may want to choose a topic from the following list of items that the Editorial Panel would like to see addressed. Surveys tell us that these topics are important to readers but are rarely discussed in submitted manuscripts.
- Teaching Beginning Courses
- Teacher Education
- Teaching with Technology
Remember that writing will take time and thought. However, it can be a tremendously fulfilling experience to see your name on an article that is full of good ideas that other teachers can adopt and adapt. To test audience reaction, give a rough draft to colleagues for their comments. Be prepared to rewrite the manuscript before and after it is submitted. Revision is fundamental to writing; even experienced authors revise and rewrite their work.
Obtain general guidelines for journal writers. Send submissions here.
You have spent much time and effort encouraging your students to write about their thinking; now, make this the year you do the same. We, and your colleagues, look forward to hearing from you soon.