Last week Friday was a day of highs and lows. Let's start with the highs first. Our very own Taylor Nishimoto took 2nd place in the school's spelling bee which means she moves on to the district spelling be later in the year. Congratulations Taylor! We also learned the results on Friday of our STN Challenge competitions and found out that both teams placed! Our spot feature team took 3rd and our PSA team won 1st place! Whoo hoo! Hard work really does pay off! Those were the bright spots on Friday. We definitely have some talented students in our class and they all deserved the recognition they received.
Now for the lows. I have to be honest when I say that I was totally and completely disappointed in our 7th and 8th graders last week. The spelling bee needed to be filmed so that the whole school could watch it live from the comfort of their own classrooms. We're the advanced media class and we're the only group that can pull that off in the school. That's a live production which can be compared to the morning broadcasts. We do that every day and last Friday shouldn't have been difficult to do. In the past, I've always given first priority to my 8th graders because sometimes the spelling bee was held during non media classtime hours. Most students love to get out of class and so getting volunteers to sign up has never been a problem.....until this year. When I announced it to the class and my 8th graders that morning, there were some initial volunteers that did not hesitate. But when they learned that it was during our own classtime, they then changed their mind and decided not to help. They chose themselves over the class. They chose to work on their own projects over the class. Now we did have Brent, Kaycee, and Nicole who stepped up and helped us out. For those three, I thank you for not thinking of just yourself and your work. Yes, you did miss out on a period of our classtime which I know is valuable, but you also got a chance to work on a live production that goes beyond our morning announcements. That's something we don't get to do too often and I appreciate that. Carter also volunteered when I opened it up to the 7th graders, but he had radios to do so I told him that that should be the priority. Now I do realize that I assign a lot of work in this class. I get that and so I understand why our classtime is so important, especially as we come to the ending of the quarter. Your projects are due soon and I'm thrilled that classtime is valued as much as it appears to be. However when opportunities like this arise, we need to remember why we took this class to begin with. It's not about the trips, it's not about the cool gear, or the laptops you get to use. It's because you value the media related opportunities that are provided to you. It's because you enjoy doing media projects and have a desire to learn more to maybe even prepare you for a career in media down the road. It's to provide you with opportunities that you would never get in another class.
This isn't the first time that I've had to almost beg students to work on something like this. I should be turning away students instead of begging. This makes me wonder why I struggle with finding volunteers for these media projects. This is a media class and you all had to apply to get in. I didn't force you to take the class. You chose to go through that process to get in to a MEDIA class. If you don't like doing media related things, then this is probably not the class for you.
For this week's blog topic, I'd like you to tell me why you signed up for this class in the first place. Why did you apply for media? What did you hope to get out of it? Are those reasons still the same reasons you are here today? Is this class where you really want to be? Registration for next year is just around the corner and you're going to have to decide again on whether or not to return. In the past it was a rare occurrence to have students drop out of media after a year. In the past year we've had three decide to leave, we lost a new student after my parent meeting and another new student lasted just one week. It seems like no one wants to do the extra work anymore. If you're returning to CKMS next year, are you planning on coming back to media? If so, I hope that I won't have to beg you to work on an extra media project. Write about why you signed up for this class, providing me with three reasons why you chose to be here. Then write an extra paragraph on what your plans are for next year. Don't get the wrong idea now.....I would like you all to return but if I'm going to invest a lot of my time and effort into this program and you, I want to know that you're willing to do the same. I'm positive we can continue to do provide wonderful opportunities for you
For 8th graders that are not returning next year, you're going to write that extra paragraph on what your plans are for media in high school. Are you going to continue media in high school? Why or why not?
I currently teach Advanced Media Production, Beginning Media Production, the Yearbook Class, two Intro to Computing - iPad Classes, and I am also the school's technology coordinator. You can say I wear many hats here at CKMS!