Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

In the last year I’ve really had to get out of my comfort zone.  It really started when I went to the ASNE Reynolds Journalism program last summer.  When I went to that program, I was stuck in my old ways of thinking.

I was the sage on the stage.  I also forgot what it was like to sit in my student’s seats.  And lastly, I wasn’t learning new things.

This year, I’ve tried to change all that.  Of course I haven’t succeeded at everything, but I’ve seen some successes.

First, it was great to be a student again.  I think we should all do it at least once every five years – go back to school.  Of course it is great if someone else will pay the bill, so I highly recommend every journalism teacher who is serious about teaching journalism – fill out the application for the Reynolds Program.  Time is running out – it is FREE.  They pay for it all, travel, room and board, classroom experience.  It is two weeks of the best training at great universities.

I enjoyed my time as a student.  I miss my fellow ASNE teachers and would go again if they would let us.  We keep in touch and it is great to hear from them, but it is not the same as spending 12-14 hours a day with them.

Second, I’ve tried to become more the “guide on the side,” and less the sage.  Sometimes my students don’t know what to make of it.  They often want me to TELL them what to do, but through gentle guidance and a little pushing, I’ve gotten them to slowly take more of an active role in their own publications.  Some have embraced it more than others.  I hope that next year they can take more control of it.

Third, has been to learn something new.  I’ve ditched iMovie and we’ve gone totally to Final Cut Express.  It was scary at first.  We’ve used iMovie for years.  It was familiar and comfortable.  FCE was harder to get at first, but now we are doing it.  I have also learned the basics of CSS.  HTML is still somewhat new and CSS feels even newer.  I hope to add JavaScript next.

We all need to get out of our comfort zones and try new things.

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