Reading is one of the most basic skills students need to pick up in school to become successful; and working in education to help students become better readers and improve their self-esteem can be very rewarding. Melissa Williams of Long Tale Publishing talks about her career as an expert in the education industry.What does your current job entail? 

“Throughout the school year I speak at schools giving hands-on insight into the writing and publishing process with my creative writing presentations. They focus on character development and the psychology behind getting into the character’s shoes and on the reader’s level.”

What is your favorite part of your daily duties?

“I truly believe in the power of early successes. When children at a young age feel successful, it shapes their confidence, self-esteem and even their personality. If I can help a child find something they are good at or love at an early age, I know I am doing my job right. I like to find something about all of my students that stands out and makes them and their work different.”

Do you feel your education prepared you for your current role? 

“Yes, during graduate school I learned different psychological skills, which I now implement when presenting to my young audiences. In addition, my time as a substitute teacher helped me learn from my students.”

Have you participated in any form of continuing education? 

“I have not done any continued education for credit, however I attend publishing and writing conferences.”

Do you have any advice for people wanting to pursue a similar career?

“Develop a teaching plan with all of the elements you think will help a child learn and grow. There are three pieces to what I do when teaching creative writing to children. They include encouragement, seed-planting and reward. Encouragement means so many things when teaching children and serves as their fuel, fire and developer of self-esteem. Planting ideas into a child’s head consists of me describing how I go about doing my work. After hearing them and seeing how they work,  kids are open and ready to try it for themselves. Lastly, rewarding children is a type of reinforcement that all parents and teachers know works for kids. Recognition, grades, publication, raises, allowance, promotions, honors and just telling someone you appreciate them goes a really long way in life.”

Gillian Kruse is a freelance writer living in Houston. She graduated from Rice University with a great love for all performing and visual arts. She enjoys writing about arts and cultural events, especially little-known ones, to help Houstonians learn about what’s going on in their city. Her work can be found at


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