Journo Adviser

Exploring the worlds where teaching, advising, and coding coincide.

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Teaching

Why music teachers matter

April 2, 2014

An elementary school orchestra makes a terrible sound, and any parent who tells you otherwise is a liar. But as my daughter’s orchestra conductor led his beginners through a simple song in their first ever concert last year, he smiled broadly, kept the beat with emphatic arms, and seemed to hear only beautiful sounds.

What parents don’t want to hear at parent-teacher conferences

March 30, 2014

When my wife and I sat down at our daughter’s 5th grade parent-teacher conference last week, we hoped to get a sense that the teacher understood our daughter and her strengths and weaknesses.  But we didn’t.  Instead, the teacher provided us with a litany of numbers and test results the school and the education-testing industry Read More

Developing an authentic and effective grading system in a journalism class

April 8, 2013

Every year I struggle with how to grade my journalism students –– they all have different responsibilities and assignments, and there just isn’t an easy formula for grading all the things they do.  Some students write, some take pictures, some design pages, some copyedit, and some lead and coordinate –– none of it translates easily Read More

Toward more effective revision: teaching editors and writers self-sufficiency

February 23, 2013

With every student I’ve taught, the writing process varies––some students can write beautiful first drafts and some require dozens of drafts to get there.  Critiquing a story, like writing one, is an art, and the writing teacher’s and editor’s job is to sense the needs of each writer and help him or her build a Read More

Becoming an online-first publication

February 12, 2013

My journalism students have been publishing an online edition for five years now, and it’s only in the last two years that they’ve really figured out how to do it right.  When we first launched our website, it was a novelty, an afterthought, a place where we deposited our stories after they were printed, hoping Read More

Creating a legacy of student leadership

February 6, 2013

We teachers sometimes mistake our own hard work and busyness for good teaching.  Years ago, I used to be proud of myself for spending hours critiquing drafts of journalism stories on the nights before deadlines.  We had a shared Google Doc with a list that students added their names to when they were ready for Read More

Gather ‘Round the Campfire

January 23, 2013

I love my editors this year, and they’re one of the most talented groups I’ve taught, but man, are they bad at paying attention to me.  What was that over there? A shiny bauble?  What was I saying again… They come to class, and the first thing most of them do is migrate to the Read More

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