I’m adviser Pamela Thomas, and this is my newsroom…

What is your name?
Pamela Thomas

What school do you teach at?
Molalla River Middle School

What city and state is your school located in?
Molalla, Oregon

What different media are produced at the school?
Yearbook and a bi-monthly newspaper

How many students are involved at the media program at your school?

Describe your space for us.
Our Wolverine Publications room is a cozy workspace for my 7th/8th graders to come together to plan our newspaper. This is our first year having a class like this, and I gave the provided room a complete make-over before school started in September. The walls are gray and all the furniture is white. There is a counter where the chrome books are located and the white tables are clustered in the middle of the room. A comfy couch, coffee tables and a coffee/tea/snack station provide a real-feel experience for my middle school students.

What do you think are some of the benefits of the workspace you all have?
The layout of the room allows for whole group collaboration. We meet at the beginning of each period together in the room to go over the agenda and deadlines. Then the kids move throughout the school with their press passes to do most of their work.

What do your students like most about the workspace you have?
The students feel that our Publications Room is a real work space – not just a classroom. They have set up a coffee/tea and snack station, bring their lunches, and feel as though they are at a real job.

What computer programs and/or apps is your staff using on a regular basis for their work?
This is our first year having a Publications class. We use Pictavo for yearbook and Google Slides for the newspaper.

What tech equipment are your students using on a daily basis?
We have five Chromebooks and access to one of the schools computer labs. Our main camera is a Nikon D5600. We also use an old Canon SLR and five Canon Powershots.

Aside from the computers and the programs, what are one or two pieces of equipment that you have that you think other programs should have.
The only equipment we have is computers and cameras.

How is your workspace funded?
I paid for all furniture/decor in our workspace out of my own pocket. IKEA is my friend. The school paid for the cameras and Chromebooks.

Do you have anything on your wishlist for your space? If so, what do you have and why?
After I worked for three weeks creating our Publications room and using my own money to furnish and decorate it my school district said they would put in new carpeting over Christmas vacation (it is a very small space). When the time came to do it I was told there was no money. New carpet would be at the top of our wish list. We also need more Chromebooks because the computer lab is not always available for us to use.

(This is one of a series of posts where high school newsrooms are showcased. We’d love to showcase your newsroom on the site. To find out how, check out the information here and submit yours today.)

Aaron Manfull

Aaron is in his 26th year of advising student media. He is currently the Director of Student Media at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, Missouri. He is the Journalism Education Association Digital Media Chair and co-Director of Media Now. He is the 2023 JEA Teacher Inspiration Award Winner and is a former Dow Jones News Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year. He is one of the authors of the textbook "Student Journalism and Media Literacy." You can find him on X and Instagram @manfull. He's a proud father. A transplanted Iowan. And an avid Hawkeye Fan.

Aaron Manfull has 868 posts and counting. See all posts by Aaron Manfull

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