Adviser Update Summer 2016 - Page 33

33 careful, we can bleed all the passion out of students who come to our classes fired up to get out there and take photos, write captions, write profiles, cover school events, write about the kid down the street who has his own bread-baking company. I only mention the last example because I have started advising an after-school fifth-grade newspaper (full disclosure: a granddaughter is on the staff ), and young Keaton wants to do this story for the next issue. We can work on some interview tips, on how to structure the reporting, how to get more effective images to add to the coverage and even talk about any ethical issues that might come up, but let’s do it all within the larger context of reporting on something Keaton is excited to get into. Imagine we were coaching sixthgrade basketball. Would we spend the first two months doing drills and practicing free throws and running ladders, or would we very soon play another team, and have some inexpert fun and then make adjustments and add new plays and drills? I worry when I hear of advisers who spend a semester just getting kids ready to go out and start practicing journalism. My fifth-graders just published eight pages today, and we had two hour-long meetings to get that done. Of course, my co-adviser, my wife, did the desktop publishing, but those kids did not sign up to use InDesign. They want to write, take photos, draw, interview, and have fun. Some shared through Google Drive. Some emailed. All took photos, even if just on their phones. The quality was all over the place, but everyone jumped in and did what they could, right now. It turns out my main job was to give them a bit of structure, a bit of support and, most importantly, permission to share their enthusiasms. Jack Kennedy on the premise that they will end up doing things different as they improve. I think this is closer to real life. I bet Wayne has something to say on this :) He had more classes than most of us combined. Steve O’Donoghue 1990 DJNF TOY 1993 DJNF TOY Every new advis er needs to realize that every time they enroll a new class, they may need to re-think how they will teach journalism. Every group will be unique and process what you do slightly different and adapt to you and your ways differently than their predecessors. There is a lot of investment in American education for teachers to develop a system and stick to it, but the top foreign education systems, like Finland, stress teachers developing new methods constantly, Mine? Smile and laugh with your kids every day. Teenagers are incredible. They are funny, talented, smart and up for just about anything as long as food is involved. They have the most generous hearts and want desperately to be loved and validated. They are quirky, and messy, and have the best sense of humor. Instill in them the belief that they are not limited, and that they can do anything if they’re willing to work hard enough for it. Mitch Eden 2015 DJNF TOY