Broadcast Town Meeting: What’s something great you picked up at a conference/PD that really stuck

header_townhall_3You are a teacher, so that means you have endured, or enjoyed a number of professional development activities. It is the latter, the PD that actually makes a positive impact and a lasting impression, that we are interested in for this Broadcast Town Meeting post. Once again, we use the Q & A format and hear from teachers across the country.

Q: What is something you once heard at a conference or professional development activity that really stuck with you and actually helped you in the classroom?

A—“I love, love, love using the assignment from the ASB teachers workshop years ago, when we were given random phrases/themes for our 60-second silent videos. Things like, Help! I lost my contacts; Someone didn’t wear deodorant today; The bus is always late; Someone is singing off key.”
—Pam Dixon, Lake Charles-Boston Academy of Learning, Lake Charles LA

A—“Probably the phrase, ‘Say It, Prove it.’ Challenge students to always prove with a primary source what they say. Also, just the basic principle that STN was founded upon….’Tell the Story.; This is the principle that all students should strive for in their projects….to tell a story – beginning, middle and end.”
—Steve Vaughn, Royse City High School, Royse City TX

A—“ I get ideas from everywhere. If I see another teacher having success with something, I will adopt it. Recently, Don Goble turned me on to Livebinder. I’m not sure how I’d live without it now.”
—Jeb Brunt, Norwood High School, Norwood MA

A—“Say it! Prove it! It is so hard for kids to understand they cannot be biased when reporting. I challenge them on everything they say. When I watch the show, I ask the producers about their word choices.”
—Robyn Gramly, Prosper High School, Prosper TX

A—“ I will never forget going to JEA/NSPA in KC in the fall of 2000 and I watched HTV students talk and show the clip on ‘Huffing.’ ( I was forever changed. I knew high school TV could make a huge difference in lives. It put me on a path with my students I work to constantly stay on.”
—Michelle Turner, Washington High School, Washington MO

A—“The Intensive Journalistic Writing Institute’s Carol Lange and Alan Weintraut modeled contemporary journalistic models, making interesting connections between material. Being a student in their classroom gave me confidence to look at journalistic forms from a new perspective. During the ASB Teacher Workshop, I learned so much from Dave Davis, Brandon Goodwin and Steven Cortez. I was inspired by their innovative approach to presenting concepts. Being in their environment gave me a clearer view on how to simplify complex concepts for better understanding and how to attack the process of breaking down video storytelling into manageable bites.”
—Dee Harris, Bixby High School, Bixby OK

A—“Wes Legget’s 10 fingers of field production is by far the most useful mnemonic that I teach. Al Tompkins’ FAITH (fair, accurate, interesting, thorough, human) is also crucial in teaching storytelling. Bob Dotson’s “gold coins” also make a lot of sense to students.”
—Jon Reese, Decatur High School, Decatur GA

A—“You know there isn’t one set saying or activity so much as living the experience I know my kids go through. So, I would say actually going to the ASB workshops and actually doing the “work” has been most beneficial for me in the classroom. The kids feel my sincerity and have seen my work, so they most definitely want to be better than their teacher!”
—Elaine McDonald, Lee’s Summit High School, Lee’s Summit MO

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