When You Know Enough

In 2000 we hosted our first "Camp STN" in Springfield, and have done so ever since, even though we re-branded it as the "ASB Workshop" a few years ago.  Same approach, different name.

The workshop/camp provides me with a yearly opportunity to share what I can with the teachers who attend.  What I have also enjoyed through they years is just giving teachers around the country any assistance I can when they ask.  Some of them call, some of them e-mail, but I always try to answer. 

Camp STN began in 2000, and it is now the "ASB Workshop."  Teachers helping teachers.

Camp STN began in 2000, and it is now the "ASB Workshop."  Teachers helping teachers.

That is my message today to those of you who have been teaching this challenging subject for a while:  Pass your knowledge on.  Help a colleague when you can.

Some of you may think you do not have the experience to be an "expert."  Hey, I'm no expert.  I am just a guy who made lots of mistakes, took lots of missteps back in the day, and now tries to help others avoid those.  Back in 1989, when I started HTV, it would have been so great to have the ear of an experienced broadcast teacher.

I am not a great resource for gear or software or any techie stuff.  I can help a beginning program to a point.  I can also point you in the right direction for more advanced assistance.

I am not an authority on classroom management.  What I do probably will not work for you.  But you might get a couple of useful ideas from my controlled chaos.

I am not a person who cares much about grades, so my approach to evaluating students is extremely objective and arbitrary.  I do not use rubrics, or provide written critique forms.  We talk, we discuss, and I demand more, not less, most of the time.  And the kids respond.

I do enjoy talking about journalism, and discussing approaches to the coverage of challenging topics.  I can talk about the J word all day.

Chances are, those of you who have built a program, or have taken over a program and watched it grow and thrive, have a lot to share.  Please--DO IT.  Give back.  Be a resource.  Respond to a colleague in need.  Even if you are just four or five years in, other teachers will relate to your experiences, and grow from them.

It will help them a lot, I promise, and it will make you feel better as well.  Just pay it forward and see what happens.