Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Case of Prejudice...

I am a writer.  I do freelance writing, I blog, I write fiction.  I have taught writing classes to homeschooler's for close to ten years.  I have had parents and students tell me how I have helped them to write better.  I was in the top 5 of an international writing contest.  I think it's safe to say that I don't suck as a writer.  I mean, I may not have a writing contract, but I have proven that I know what I am doing.

Last week a former student of mine forwarded me some information on a writing contest that was open to high school writing teachers.  I have taught creative writing, literary essay writing, research paper writing as well as more specialized writing classes to high schoolers for years.  So I went to the website and started my application.

And didn't finish it.

Why?  Well, they wanted to know what school I taught at.  So, being that I teach in the homeschool community I had to stop the application and I contacted them and asked how I should proceed.  I got a response fairly quickly and they want my writing credentials.  Honestly, I did not go to school for this.  I went to school for art and business.  I started teaching to homeschoolers in a co-op setting and it took off from there.  

I love writing.  I love to teach writing.  I am comfortable with it and I think I am pretty good at it.  Heck, I have been doing it for quite some time.  I don't use any one specific curriculum, I made up my own that works.  The on-line classes that I am teaching right now are of my own making from the things that I have learned over the years.  But because I do not (once again!) have  a piece of paper that says that I sat in a classroom, I am not eligible for the contest.

I'm a little peeved at that.

I understand their reasoning, I really do, but I don't LIKE it.  I work just as hard as a public school or private school teacher but they have the benefit of someone choosing the curriculum and having it all laid out for them and then teaching it again and again year after year.  I never found any one curriculum that I liked so I made my own.  I adjust it with each class because I have to get to know the students and find out what works for them.  

I'm bummed...I probably wouldn't have won the contest but it would have been nice to have been allowed to enter.

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