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Facebook Live: 2016-17 School Year

Enjoy the weekly video broadcasts using Facebook Live of the 2016-17 school year live from my desk.

Week 32: Prepping the Next Group of Leaders – I’m entering my final four weeks of school. Today’s talk was all about what I’ve been doing lately to prep next year’s editors. I didn’t talk about everything going on for the sake of keeping the video under two hours, but I did focus on some weekly meetings I’ve been having with next year’s editors to prep them for what’s ahead. I’ve used to help answer some of the early questions next year’s leaders have and give them some things to think about that they’ll encounter sooner or later. We can’t expect students to be great leaders without teaching them how to be great leaders. Most have never had training, yet we assume they should just “know.” Don’t assume. Take a little extra time to help them be as successful as you know they can be.

Week 31: One Thing – Today I talked a bit finding yourself in situations that you’re not totally all in for. Last week I signed me and a few kids up for a workshop that I was having second thoughts of attending in the 11th hour. However, I knew it was a good opportunity for my kids and I’m always talking to them about taking advantage of great opportunities. I went in hoping to pull one thing out of the time I had invested, and instead came out with three pages of notes and some great discussions with the kids. So, it was more than worth it. My advice, try to do that and encourage your students to do the same: Go into each opportunity trying to learn one new thing. If you do, you’ll be better off in the long run and string enough of those one things together and soon you have a bag full of goodies you’ve collected.

Week 30: Conversations – In one of my more tired Monday mornings of the year, I, having just returned from a trip to Seattle with 12 students, talked about some of the conversations I had there. Specifically, I talked about one I had with one of my students that will likely lead to a transformation of how things are done in my classroom next year. Essentially, I brainstormed with an 18-year-old for an hour plus and came out of it a better teacher. Don’t pass up the chance to listen and have a conversation that could bring you out better on the other end.

Week 29: Closing out the Year (Part 1) – The end is near(ish). We are closing in on the final weeks of school so it’s time to start planning how some of that is going to go down. This week’s installment talked about some of the awards/honors things I do with the staff to close the year out. We’ve got to be thinking about it now so that we can get names in to the appropriate places, plaques/medals printed and certificates set. I toss out a few ideas in the video and ask for any help you all can give me on closing out the year.

Week 28: Conferences and Workshops – I took last week off due to spring break but came back today recharged and ready for the homestretch. In today’s video I showed off some of what the school collected for the international school, I spoke about the alumni scholarship for seniors and debuted the middle school publication shirt that kids will (finally) be getting today. For the bulk of the video I talked about summer conferences and workshops. I talked about the 3-day workshop we’ve hosted here at FHN since I arrived. I said I’d share a rough schedule of what one of the years looked like (which is typical of all years). You can find that schedule here. I also talked about why I have always pushed summer camps to students. I even talked today about how Media Now came to be and shared a little info on this summer’s workshops which will be held at the University of Missouri and Drake University. You can find more information about the camps at https://medianow.press/.

Week 27: 4 Books – Today I talked about four books that I keep close and pull from daily in my classroom. The shortlist: The First Days of School, The One-Minute Manager, Coaching Writers and The Energy Bus. The post actually came about because of a conversation with a friend where he recommended I read “Four-Hour Work Week.” I’m sure there are a million others that would help me, I ask people to share in the video’s Facebook comments other books I should take a look at. Thanks for sharing!

Week 26: Alumni Funded Scholarships – This week I talk about the FHN Journalism Alumni Funded Scholarships that have been around for 7 years and have distributed more than $11,000 to seniors in the program. You can find more out about the scholarships and see how things are setup at: http://fhn026.com/. We will be continuing the drive for the next couple of weeks. Feel free to reach out and ask me any questions you might have about how to start one of these at your own school.

Week 25: Worknights – In today’s video I talk about how my philosophy on worknights have changed over the years and by giving students less time at worknights, they’ve actually gotten more done. As an added bonus, I’ve had more time to do things outside of school and so have they. Worknights are once a month from 2:30-7 p.m. Happy to answer any questions if you have them after you watch the video. Just reach out and let me know.

Week 24: Nahed Chapman New American Academy, Scholastic Journalism Week and the enemy of the American people – I cover a lot in 7:43 this week. It was a busy last 7 days. In this video I talked about a school that’s part of the St. Louis Public School System I visited last week that helps immigrant and refugee students get the language skills they need. It’s an amazing school. This week is scholastic journalism week so my students are busy promoting scholastic journalism and have been busy planning educating their peers on why press rights are important at the high school level and why a new bill running through the Missouri legislature is important. Along those same lines, I talk a little about how I, as a journalism teacher, am planning to talk about the President and his comments about the media he gave over the weekend. Links are all in a comment on the FB video.

Week 23: The Week Ahead – Today I just talk about a few things going on in the class this week. I show off some of the Valentine bags the students have made for their party on Valentines Day. I also spoke about a field trip I’m taking students on to check out the Nahed Chapman New American Academy in St. Louis tomorrow as part of their coverage for an in-depth on immigration in the March newspaper. Finally, I show off the cobbled approach I’m taking to t-shirts for my middle school group club photo day. I’m not proud of putting off getting t-shirts for the kids so I tried to come up with a plan that can get us through one photo…and then I’ll order shirts next week. Stay tuned…

Week 22: Note taking in the Flipped(ish) Classroom – Today I’m working with  my introductory Journalism 2 broadcast storytelling class on note taking. If you’ve followed these videos, you know I did some flipping of my intro classroom last semester. While it was one of the more successful things I’ve tried out, I realized there were some things I needed to do differently this semester. One of those things was to prep the students better to get more out of the videos they watched prior to coming into class. Today I’m working with them on why the videos are good for them and how to get the most out of them. I talk about it in this video. In the video I referenced a program I use to question them during the videos and track whether they watch them or not. It’s called Playposit and you can check it out here.

Week 21: Planning for Next Year – While recruiting is still going on for a couple weeks, now is the time we start having some conversations with students who will be on staff next year. We talk to students who have been selected as editors for next year to get them thinking about the role they will be taking over soon and we talk with all staffers about opportunities in the summer for them to grow.

Week 20: Recruiting – We are knee deep in registration for this school year so I thought I’d talk a little about recruiting and show off a couple exterior items around the school we are using this year. The ideas are just two of many that I use in a given year to keep numbers strong in the program and get great students a part of things. In the video, I talk about a page on this site where I’ve archived much of what I do and others have shared their recruiting tips as well. If you’re looking for some good or new ideas, give this page a look.

Week 19: Second Semester – In my final video of first semester, I just talk a little bit about closing down things from the first half of the school year. While I’m looking forward to a little time to recharge the batteries, my focus currently is on what lies ahead. I’m brainstorming with staffs on goals already for next semester and I’m thinking about what personal goals I want to set and work to achieve. It’s always good to have a vision and something you’re shooting for.

Week 18: Alumni Groups – For this week’s installment, I talked about the work I’ve done to keep alumni engaged and part of the program. While I have encouraged staffers to come back and visit for years and even be class speakers, I got a little more organized in the last six years and mobilized the efforts on a bit of a larger scale. The results have been nothing short of amazing as graduates have given more than $11,000 to current students for scholarships to college and summer workshops. Their generosity year in and year out has left me pretty speechless and they have made some incredible impacts on the students they’ve helped. You can checkout the alumni site I setup here: http://fhn026.com/ Feel free to reach out and ask me if you have any questions about setting up your own.

Week 17: Update on the Middle School J-Club – This week I just gave a quick update on the middle school journalism program that I’ve been advising this year. I showed off the two newspapers that they’ve published and talked a little bit about how the philosophy has changed since we began things at the beginning of this school year. It’s been a fun adventure and I’m looking forward to their third issue due out next week.

Week 16: Light Wars – Just a quick room tour today of one of the team building activities I’ve done with my classes for years. I’m not sure how it actually began or when, maybe someone reading this can help, but it’s gone on as long as I can remember. Students decorate the room the Tuesday before Thanksgiving to make things a little more festive and give them a Happy Place to go to in what can tend to be a stressful month for many of them. Enjoy the light show.

Week 15: Saying Thank You – Today’s talk was in preparation of the Thanksgiving feasts I’m currently training for. While this is my longest Monday chat I’ve done, I decided that was ok as I was taking a little time to thank some influential people who helped me survive 19 years of this gig. Special thanks in the chat to my mom, Gary Lindsay, Mark Burnett, Mary Baker and Jack Kennedy. Your call to action: Go thank someone for helping get you where you are today.

Week 14: Cake Days – Pretty simple message, no matter how busy you get, take time to celebrate accomplishments. There are accomplishments every day in things we do, you don’t have to just celebrate when your team earns a big award. Too often we get blinded by success only showing up in the form of a trophy or piece of paper, in fact, there are dozens of successes each day in everything we do. Don’t get me wrong, celebrate the big things when they come, but make sure to celebrate all the little things that are great that happen on a daily basis as well.

Week 13: Winning and Losing – Just a little Post World Series talk here where I gabbed about winning and losing and being a good sport. When you’re in a leadership position you should think twice about alienating members of your group over things like sports, or by pointing out the failures of others (football team loss, note sung out of tune by choir, band off on formation, etc.). Lift others up. Be happy for them. Make them feel good when they are happy instead of tearing them down.

Week 12: Giving Students Choice – I’ve found through the years my job is a lot easier when I can give students some choice in what they are doing, namely when it comes to big projects they are working on. They tend to work harder, they enjoy more of what they are doing and holding them accountable is not as big of an issue. Will share in the coming weeks what the middle school squad is creates but here’s the choice sheet I use for my high school staffers.

Week 11: The Lowercase i – We all have our battles in class from classroom management to student work submissions, each of us have to figure out what’s acceptable and what’s not. I talk about that a bit this week along with one thing that I decided could not be accepted any longer in my class: using the lowercase i where it doesn’t belong. My goal here is a simple one, help students get things corrected in a safe place (my classroom) so they don’t look silly later in life in college or the work force.

Week 10: Pacing – This week I talked a little about pacing. You can’t go 100 miles an hour everyday and not burn people out, you also can’t just trudge along with no purpose. Someone in the room has to lead the way and control the pace, giving people a break and when possible and also cranking things up when there needs to be some urgency. In retrospect, I probably could have been a bit more eloquent with this one, I blame it on fall break and not enough coffee this morning. haha. If you have any questions about what I was blabbing about, feel free to contact me.

Week 9: Google it – Last week I fixed a computer in the middle of a class by Googling a question and finding the appropriate Youtube video. Teaching kids how to problem solve issues and learn for themselves is important if we want them to be able to problem solve and trouble shoot outside of the classroom, in everyday life. Our job shouldn’t be to give them answers, but give them tools to help find their own answers.

Week 8: Making Connections – When it comes to recruiting for your program, there are lots of tips I can share and will in the coming weeks, today’s topic though deals finding ways every day to just make connections and realizing that every situation you’re in is a chance to make a connection and potentially gain another great student to your program. No links this week, just go meet someone new.

Week 7: Teaching Writing – Teaching students to write better was one thing I struggled with early on in teaching. While there’s plenty of room for improvement still, I’ve come a long way. This week’s talk focused a bit on some mistakes I made early on and some things I did to fix my problems. I did reference a book in this week’s talk. It’s called Coaching Writers and can be found there at that link. Great read. It will be well worth

Week 6: Flipped Classrooms – Today I shared something that I’ve been working on for the last few weeks and finally decided to share. I hit a great professional development session with Matthew Riffee where he talked about Flipped Classrooms and it really spoke to me. It’s not a new concept, but it was finally new to me. Riffee recommended the Flipped Learning Worldwide podcast by Jon Bergmann. I’ve listened to all of them and they were a huge help. I’ve also purchased two books by Bergmann and read one of them already on the topic. I’ve worked to transform my intro broadcast class this year to try this model out and will be infusing it into my publication classes as well.

Week 5: Recognizing Students – Keeping students motivated throughout the year is a job in an of itself and teachers need a variety of ways to motivate students who are motivated by different things. One way I’ve used to keep students motivated is to make sure students are recognized, either by me or their peers, throughout the school year. I’ve done everything from make bulletin boards pass around a garden gnome from the dollar store. I’ve even turned the recognition duties over to the staffers themselves. Would love to hear in the comments on this video what you do. As you know, I’m always looking for a good idea to mooch…

Week 4: Middle School J-Club – One of the new hats I’m wearing this year is Middle School Journalism Adviser. I’m volunteering over at the middle school once a week (with a handful of my great staffers) to run the school’s newspaper/online media program. Our goals: Teach the students some communication/technology skills, have some fun, get some of their work published. I’ll keep a rough outline of what we are doing here on this google doc. Please feel free to hit me up with any questions you have.

Week 3: Conventions and Conferences – This week I talked about taking kids to conventions and conferences. Overnight trips with students was something I never planned to be doing, but after 12 years, the benefits for everyone have been immeasurable. Here’s a guideline/rules sheet I share with students prior to our trip. It’s one from a JEA/NSPA convention in San Diego a couple years ago. Download the file here. Here’s info on this fall’s convention in Indianapolis.

Week 2: Editor Tips – This week I talked about something I’ve used for years, a series of editor tips I send out to my leaders to help prepare them for the year ahead. I have referenced the tips on this site and also have a page here of tips for editors from other student editors.

Week 1: Classroom Planning – Here, I talked about the importance of calendars and how I teach students to plan. In the video I referenced a couple calendars. Here are the first two weeks I’ve planned this year for my staffs and  here is a sample calendar editors created one year. It’s a yearbook calendar geared toward a weekly coverage section.