Following on from Paeony's post about why she teaches writing (just scroll down - it's well worth a read) I wanted to add why I teach.
I was a teacher before I was a writer; I became a writer because of my teaching. I was always writing hand-outs for the craft sessions I taught. Then one day I had a light bulb moment and realised I could make a little on-the-side if I used this skill to write for magazines. Once I had a few magazines features and craft books under my belt I branched out into writing picture books.
A number of years later I had another light bulb moment, yes they are few and far between. Having had 21 books published I realised I was now able to teach writing. I soon discovered that teaching was forcing me to read about my chosen craft and discover new techniques. A good example of this was when I was updating the notes for a distance learning course I start to teach next month (How To Write A Picture Book And Get Published). I was researching story construction and 'discovered' a way of constructing stories known as a 'cumulative' story or a 'chain story.' This is where the character repeats the same actions and or words but with each repeat a little extra information is added. Two well-known examples of this story type are The House That Jack Built and There was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly. Although I know both stories I didn't realise the format had an actual name.
I am now experimenting with this format and enjoying the process. So if I hadn't been teaching I might never had found then experimented with this story form. I now look forward to my next discovery and being able to share that as well with my students.