Journalist. Educator. Researcher.
It all started with the interns.
My lifelong dream was to be a sports broadcaster, and, after achieving that goal, I discovered that an important part of that job was working with the interns. What I thought would be a hassle became the part of the job I looked forward to the most. I liked teaching the interns how to edit, how to write a proper script, and the tricks of creating a successful rundown. I always enjoyed the look of both excitement and terror on their faces the first time they put the camera on their shoulder and filmed a high school game. The more I worked with the interns, the more I knew that a career in education was where my future was headed.
As I’ve transitioned from a career in the television studio to a career in the classroom, I’ve taken with me many of the same principles I used with those interns and used them with my students. Whether it is a class of hundreds or a one-on-one session, these techniques have served me well.
Do it, don’t watch it: I teach how to do it, demonstrate once or twice, and then I want my students to do it themselves. They can watch me film a game, but they are really going to learn once that camera is on their shoulder. After giving them proper coaching, I want them to make their own mistakes, learn to do it correctly, and then we can celebrate their successes together.
Teach them everything: There is no reason to skimp on the knowledge. I believe in pushing my students to learn as much as possible within the boundaries of the class. I want them to be challenged and strive for excellence.
Become critical thinkers: Students cannot survive in a newsroom environment by only knowing the technical aspects of the job. They need to learn what is news, what makes for good content, and how sources can impact stories. I want them to embrace these decisions head-on so they are able to make proper choices when confronted with them in a professional newsroom.
Work together: When we had multiple interns, I wanted them to work together. They would work on gathering information as a team because working together is an important part of any business situation. I believe in teaching life skills in addition to job skills. In the classroom, group projects and joint partnerships are important in developing well-rounded students.
Technology is key: It is important for students to learn the technology being used in the workplace, but they have to learn how to use it correctly. At the television station, students were able to use professional-level technology to experience what life would be like in a newsroom. I want students to be able to walk into their first job with confidence that they can succeed. For me, technology includes everything from cameras and editing equipment to Internet communication, such as Twitter.
Keep in touch: I believe teaching is a lifelong relationship. I want my students to feel comfortable contacting me even after they have graduated. My interns would send me examples of their work after getting jobs throughout the country, and I’ve attempted to continue to give them suggestions. This is important for my future students also. I want to know what the latest developments in the workplace are, so that I can make sure I am teaching these skills to my classes. I need to stay educated myself, and by knowing what to learn, I can best serve the needs of all students.
I want my students to walk out of my classroom with the same passion for journalism and sports broadcasting that I have. I want them to have the same goals of having lifelong broadcasting careers that I had.
Although maybe they won’t get sidetracked by the interns along the way.