Tag Archives: staff

Moving Day

I’m moving rooms. I almost said no. New is tough. It’s hard to let go of a place you’ve been in for over a decade! It’s especially tough since DD spent four years in the old newsroom. But the new space is bigger and better and I can’t believe I almost said no because of nostalgia. I won’t be at Rider forever. Even if I spend the next 13 years as the newspaper and yearbook adviser, someone else will follow. I can’t let my memories and the names written on the wall keep me from moving forward.

Things I’ll miss about the old room:

It’s hard to find if you don’t know where to look.

The courtyard window.

Easy access to the studio.

The names on the wall including DD’s, including my former editors who got engaged this year after dating for years. The started dating when they were sophomores in newspaper together. Their brother and sister are on staff now. When they got engaged, the sister painted a heart between the names. (So sweet!) The random places people signed the walls all over the room. The fact that there’s no room on the walls because they’re covered in design ideas, old posters and quotes kids say throughout the year, the fact that you have to be able to pay attention in complete chaos because the newsroom is tiny and there are usually four classes going on at once, the way I can be at my desk and look out across the room and tell if kids are working at every computer except one, the memories of staffs for years stopping work for random deadline dance parties, the ability to turn off the light and disappear from the school because without lights most people don’t know where we are, the Newsroom Lane hallway with first amendment posters, the phone IN the room so kids answer and make us laugh if I can’t get to it fast enough, the cabinet that used to hold curriculum but now serves as a binder holder for binders that never get used (An AP Stats study guide from five years ago was found there this year! Seriously, never gets used!)

The move is a good thing. The only bad thing is photo camp starts tomorrow. It runs from 9-noon. They turn the air off in our building at noon. It’s going to be 111 the rest of the week. I’m thinking the move might have to wait until all day air next week. Even though that means someone’s going to be moving in while I’m moving out.

Don’t forget Don’t forget Prodigal is on sale now. Click the link to buy or preview. Coupon Code: ZH29T good this week! Use it and the book’s only $0.99! Sisters with secrets.
Eighteen years ago, Cass Deason Myers ran away from home and heartbreak. Now she’s running away again, this time to the home she left behind. A preacher’s wife, Cass finds herself questioning her faith and her marriage. Her sister’s phone call asking for help with their mother provides the perfect opportunity to escape.
Anna Deason-Fite-Turner doesn’t want or need help for herself or her three daughters. But her mother is another story all together. Calling Cass is a last resort. But when Anna finds the bottle of pills in Momma’s dresser drawer, she knows she has to call her sister. Unfortunately, Anna knows when Cass comes home the whispers will start, and once again, everyone in town will compare perfect Cass to her failure of a sister, even though she’s the one who stayed behind.
Prodigal: a story about family, faith and the redemptive power of love.



Grades go in this week.
I hate grades. They’re a necessary evil, but I’m not sure how much they show about my students and what they know or don’t know.
My staffs know what my expectations are. If they’re not making As, I wonder what they’re doing in the program. Yearbook and newspaper are fun. They’re time consuming. They’re not required. If I have a kid on staff not making As I tell them to go take Home Ec. They’ll learn a lot about life and deadlines won’t reach out and smack them around. Usually that’s the only reason a staff kid doesn’t make the grade. They got in a fight with deadline and deadline won.
But my beginning classes are completely different. I have a mix of kids who wonder what in the world they’re doing stuck in some class called journalism. Or they’re excited and want to be on staff one day. Or they could care less about school. Regardless of which student they are, journalism is usually a new form of communication. Facts. Quotes. Transitions. Themes. They can’t believe it when I tell them they have to tell me what the story’s about and they have 30 words to do it and those 30 words have to fit in one sentence.
They’re just not used to hearing less is more when it comes to the written word.
I’m fully aware of this. So I’ve developed this crazy grading plan that works great for my students but nearly kills me. I let the kids revise their papers as often as they’d like to get them to As. I figure if they revise a paper three or four times but get it right and then get all papers right from then on, they’ve learned and that’s what matters.
The kids can’t believe it when I tell them as long as they meet deadline they have the opportunity to revise and revise until they get the A.
And at first, they think it’s the best thing ever. Until I give them revise papers three and four times. By the fifth or sixth time they’re writing a story, they pretty much hate it.
And I have about a thousand and ten of those papers they hate but keep revising to grade between now and Wednesday.
And if it goes as it usually does, those papers will finally be As. And once again my class will look like the easiest class in the building because even the kids who hate school are making As.
I can only hope. 🙂