"It's that time of year
When Fall course schedules appear,
And some teachers scramble to see
If newspaper sponsors they will be."
|by Keith Naquin|
Whether you have chosen to take on the responsibility of teaching journalism and sponsoring the school newspaper, or whether you have been asked to do so, between now and the opening of a new school year, your emotions will run the gamut from , "I can't wait!" to "What did I do?".
Saying, "Yes," to shouldering any new course, no matter the subject area can subdue the staunchest classroom leader, but taking on the obligation of a publishing class can be downright daunting. Teachers who are veterans of their own high school or college newspapers find that when sitting on the other side of the desk, questions blossom quicker than spring pollen.
Where do I even start planning?
The school has only outdated texts and won't buy new ones.
What do I teach? In what order of importance?
Where do I find lessons?
How often should the class publish a newspaper- once a quarter, once a month?
Let me start with that last question first. When I became the school's journalism teacher and newspaper sponsor, my predecessor's student staff had been putting out one paper a quarter. The incredibly motivated staff that I inherited desperately wanted to aim for once a month, so that's what we did.
Needless to say, that first month I felt like a hamster on a wheel that kept spinning faster and faster as Deadline Day loomed, because I had to create lessons for the separate Journalism 1 class and teach them while I inspired the Journalism 2,3,4 students through their planning and researching articles and designing the layouts. But we made deadline, sending the layouts to the printer with an hour to spare.
Oh, did I mention handling old and new advertisers, dealing with the printer's contract and learning the school's policy regarding financing and administrative review? Since these three topics differ from school district to school district, you will need to find answers to these very important questions. Let me suggest that you clarify these matters before this school year ends. You will be busy enough in the fall settling into your teaching and publishing routine to deal with these vital issues.
Now, for some relief from all of your concerns about creating lessons, browse through my Journalism Grades 6-12 category in my Teachers pay Teachers store
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Connie/Category/Journalism-grades-6-12. You will find 15 products that you may purchase separately - ranging from my Journalism Whole Course Year Overview and Lesson Ideas https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Journalism-Whole-Course-Year-Overview-and-Lesson-Ideas-45173
to Journalism: Reporting Practice Worksheets
to Journalism Article & Layout Rubric & Guidelines https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Journalism-Article-Layout-Rubric-Guidelines-83579.
Or...or... you can purchase all 15 in my 94-page Journalism Activities Bundle
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Journalism-Activities-Bundle-1775930, and save yourself $10.00. All of these lessons and activities are direct results of my decade as the Journalism 1-4 teacher and newspaper sponsor. I tested, revised and retaught them many times over the years.
When you add any or all of these lessons to your repertoire, send me some Feedback if you would like my email address. I will be glad to talk with you about any teaching or publishing concerns you have or that might crop up during your first year teaching this course. If you would like to see a lesson on any journalism topic, let me know and I will create onet. Right now I am working on one about headlines.
On a very important note, be sure to check with the current journalism teacher for any lessons and activities. If this person will still be at your school in the fall, also discuss whether he/she will mentor you for the first few weeks or so until the journalism gene settles into your system.
Most of all, enjoy this exciting, energizing and yes, even the deadline stress. I hope that you will fand it as rewarding as I did.
"Good Night, and Good Luck,"
Enjoy a Teach It Now Day - Every Day