Adviser Update Summer 2016 - Page 21

21 While I love seeing my journalism friends and family at the conventions, I can no longer take a free flight and stay in a free hotel room when none of my students can do so. A mom chaperone on a recent trip casually said that she had cashed in the company stock options in her retirement fund so she and her daughter could go. If I require my editors to stay after school and work each day on the publications, then only the students of means will be editors. If I require students to stay after to take photos, then most of them will be walking home after the game. I do not want them worrying about losing the camera and equipment they are carrying, so I make sure they can give it to an adult who is there. Transportation is a huge issue for us, and one that never goes away. The students either catch the bus home,or they walk, or wait for a ride from someone driving THE car to pick them up. One of my students takes a bus two hours a day to his after-school job, works until midnight, then rides the bus two hours home. Saturdays and Sundays are literally out of the question. Unless we are able to get a journalism bus or car to pick everyone up, getting everyone here and everyone home is pretty impossible. Again, the three or four with cars and means will show up, but others won’t be able to. We shall accomplish what we can in journalism in one class period a day. That is it. This decisions means that our publications will achieve a certain level, and that is that. We simply do not have the time it takes to stay after school for hours. Time after school for many of the kids in my program are hours for things far more important than journalism. Yes, more important than even journalism! Some years, I have journalism students who want to, and can, stay after to work on the publications. Other years, there aren’t any who can. I am perfectly fine with that. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with my kids. My students are exercising their constitutional right to free speech, one of the most valuable possessions they have. Our expression just might not be as fluid, lengthy or poetic as others. Our expressions will not garner the hardware and sparkle like others do. There is incredible value in teaching them that their voics are important and should be heard. There is incredible value in recognizing that our efforts are just as good as others. In order to be a fierce advocate for my students, I have to be completely honest that the issue lies with me. I am the one who wants to high-five and glory in the success of our program. My need to stand tall and walk around the convention with a long trail of ribbons under my nametag should not get in the way of what they are able to do. I have to continue to change. Each fall, the entire journalism staff takes a bus ride to the University of Washington campus for Journalism Day, or J Day, sponsored by the Washington Journalism Education Association. Auburn High School students from the Trojan Journalism 2015 staff sit in the auditorium for the keynote address. Photo by Thomas Kaup