Thursday, July 25, 2013

Occasionally, I lie to myself.  I tell myself the grading will get done if I take it home over the weekend. Lie. I tell myself it doesn’t bother me when kids blow off my classwork or class in general. Lie. I tell myself cookies are calorie free. Lie.

When I applied for the ASNE Reynolds Journalism Institute this past winter, I told myself I didn’t care if I was accepted. Another lie. I wanted to be accepted for so many reasons.

I’m entering my ninth year of teaching this year, and have advised publications for all but one of them. And as much as I truly love, love, love going to work every day, I was starting to feel burnt out. Journalism classes can be a strange beast, often one that evokes a love/hate relationship within me. I was craving more – something new, something innovative, hell, even just someone who truly understood my plight.

The ASNE Reynolds Journalism Institute has given me everything I had hoped for and more. I’ve been involved in seminars with the best and brightest professionals in our field. I’ve gotten hands-on real world experience with the brand new technology I’ve learned. I’ve made friends with people from all over the country who are intelligent and articulate and are willing to give fellow participants anything that will possibly help them. As another conference goer said, I have literally learned something from each and every session we’ve attended and each and every person I’ve spoken with. This experience is priceless.

On day one, I started a Word document of all of the things I wanted to change in my classroom this year. Some of them were very concrete ideas – things like getting our student newspaper online in a daily or weekly format or specific interviewing activities I want my students to do. Others were a bit more abstract like apps to check out or websites that need further exploration. But I’m walking away from this with over four pages in my Word document, countless ideas in my head, even more ideas on a steno pad of paper, and a literal boatload of resources to make me a better teacher for my students. Because of this workshop, I will be a better teacher, my students will be better equipped as journalists, and our newspaper will flourish as a product. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

I will miss each and every person at this workshop. And I truly mean it when I say that this workshop has been life-changing.

No lie. 


  1. This conference must have been magical because I didn't think it was possible to make you a better teacher than you already were. Color me extra excited for your class this year!

  2. Thank you, dear Alexa! It was totally magical, and this year is going to be the best year yet! :D Can't wait to see you and hear about your trip!


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