3
   

Starting a High School Newspaper

 
 
Eva
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Oct, 2006 10:20 pm
Uh, yeah. Confused

Sixteen year olds doing P.R.? I don't think so.



(That was supposed to read <shaking head>)
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NickFun
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Oct, 2006 10:31 pm
In the last story I wrote for my high school newspaper I wrote about one of our teachers and referred to him as a "fudge packer". The faculty member reviewing the article did not know what a fudge packer was. Keep in mind, this was shortly after that teacher attempted to molest one of the boys in our class. And I was 17. The teacher I wrote about offered his resignation the following semester when everyone in school started calling him "Fudge".
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Oct, 2006 10:42 pm
Good job! I'd say you performed a community service there, NickFun.

(But I am very glad I wasn't your teacher!)
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NickFun
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Nov, 2006 01:11 am
I agree Eva. At the time the school faculty had no idea Mr X was a pedophile. But all the students knew!
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Nov, 2006 07:14 am
Eva wrote:
(That was supposed to read <shaking head>)

I had a funny feeling that religious ecstasy about the authorities may not have been the reason you were shaking.
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Nov, 2006 04:38 pm
Okay, we published our second issue last week, and there was no drama. (Whew!)

Well, not involving censorship anyway.

They have officially added me to the faculty now, but they're only paying me a token amount. This class was added after school started (due to student request) and after the budget had been approved for the semester, so there are no funds for it. And, of course, they've already had to purchase software & materials they hadn't counted on. They said they couldn't compensate me for my out-of-class time, so I told them that lesson-planning would be severely curtailed. They will just have to settle for completing the rest of the semester at the student's current skill level instead of teaching them anything more.

I was disappointed that they didn't object.

Apparently, in an effort to be responsive to student interests, the Head of School jumped into this without finding out how much time and expenses would be involved. I have come to the unsettling conclusion that he knows nothing about putting out a regular publication. And he is not happy that it is taking up so much of HIS time. (It's not, he just doesn't like dealing with it.)

So...I will finish the semester. I will try to reassure him that this is all normal and worth the effort, and I will keep the kids and myself out of his office unless it is unavoidable.
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Nov, 2006 04:43 pm
bookmark

(no time right this minute to read all the replies. Best of luck, Eva. Break a pencil! Smile)
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Nov, 2006 09:56 am
So, I need to know...is this normal?

The Head of School actually praised the new Drama instructor because he hasn't had to spend five minutes of time with her. I wonder if he even knows what she's doing.

He doesn't care if we make deadlines or even publish regularly. All he wants is a newspaper that's a good p.r. vehicle so it doesn't cause him any problems and takes up as little of his time as possible. He would prefer the students do it on their own without supervision so he wouldn't have to pay me. But he knows this group contains no self-starters, so he is reluctantly going along with it for now. He hopes that next semester will be different. (Depends on who signs up.) It wouldn't bother him to shut the whole thing down if the students need "too much handholding."

Remember, I have never taught before. Is his viewpoint typical of administrators, or is he hopeless?
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Nov, 2006 04:15 pm
Hopeless.

Also a damn fool to be Cheese Paring Transparent to a parent and faculty member.
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plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Nov, 2006 04:18 pm
i could tell some special ed stories that would raise your hackles.
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Nov, 2006 08:56 pm
I bet you could! One of my dearest friends has taught special ed on the middle school level for almost 30 years, including some time in Houston's inner city. She still has PTSS from those years.



Yeah, Noddy. Confused
Actually, I'm not sure they'd be paying me now if I hadn't played my trump card. I told them I trusted them to "do the right thing." After all, I wouldn't have my son in their school if I didn't, now would I?
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Nov, 2006 01:25 pm
Eva--

Cynically speaking,talented but underpaid faculty can be popular with tuition-paying parents.

Life is full of checks and balances and moral dilemmas.
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Nov, 2006 06:14 pm
Noddy, I am one of those parents. :wink: But honestly, with the amount I pay for tuition, I expect them to be compensating their faculty fairly.

This isn't about the money. I have plenty of other income. It's about being valued, and not taken advantage of.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Nov, 2006 09:16 pm
Eva--

I know you expect value for money and will pay money with value.

Your headmaster seems to want to cut corners and pinch pennies.

We agree that this is a mistake.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Nov, 2006 09:28 pm
Eva, You're a gem! Helping the students is what more schools need! If you have the approval of the school principal, I don't see any legal problems, but it might be a good idea to get information from another school that publishes a school paper just to see if you're on safe ground.

Good luck with all of it!
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Jan, 2007 09:47 am
Thought I'd update you guys...

Remember, this is a small private school. Last semester, several students talked the administration into creating the newspaper class as an elective. Three signed up for the class, and we recruited several others per issue as contributing writers.

This semester, ten students signed up! (Including the original three...they all chose to continue.)

I've had to reorganize everything. Just the kind of problem we all want!

Some really good news:
One of the original three from last semester has severe learning disabilities. He's 16, but reads on a 6th grade level. Naturally, his writing is very primitive. He was scared to death last semester when he found out we expected him to write for publication. He didn't think he could do it. (I helped him a lot and rewrote things for him.) At the first of this semester, I asked the students to rank themselves on skills and character traits. This student ranked himself "average" on writing skills. That is a HUGE leap in self-confidence! I am very proud of him.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Jan, 2007 03:57 pm
Eva--

Not all presents come gift-wrapped. You should be proud.
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Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Jan, 2007 04:16 pm
Quote:
This semester, ten students signed up! (Including the original three...they all chose to continue.)


That says a lot about how inspiring the teacher is. Hope the administration continues to give you improving support.


Have they created a website for their newspaper? I'd love to see it if they have. If not, that might be a good project for the young man you mentioned. He could easily use a web host like SiteKreator which supplies the page templates and tools. The good news is that it is a free site, so that would make the admin happy. If the admin wants to be able to have control of the site, they could even pay for a subscription and expanded tools and space.
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plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Jan, 2007 04:20 pm
Yeah!!!!
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Jan, 2007 06:48 pm
Noddy, I am proud but mostly gratified. Seeing that kind of change in a student convinces me that my time & effort has been worthwhile.

Butrflynet, the administration has the ability to post the publication on the school's website as a "pdf." It would be very easy to do that. However, after our initial confrontations over content, they have so far been reluctant to do so. They see it as a risky move. This school contains several divisions...preschool through highschool...so that means all ages would then have access to the newspaper. Some of the subject matter might not sit well with younger students' parents, and others might object that their kids' classes were left out. Most would realize that it's a highschool publication, and it's not meant for all ages. But some would see it simply as "the school newspaper." So far this has been easily controlled through physical distribution.

But I want it online, and so do the kids in my class. The administration is beginning to consider it. I'm winning them over. :wink:
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