Social advising, mentoring, cheering

I am so glad I advise in the time of technology and social media. I only got into this gig seven years ago, so it’s really all I’ve known, but I can’t imagine losing contact with students after they graduate.

Though we’ve been warned by the district’s attorney to be careful, that it’s not wise to friend or follow students, I believe we need to be setting an example, being role models for proper online behavior. But that topic aside, I just like knowing what’s going on in the lives of my students, particularly after they move on to bigger and better things.

Sometimes, of course, those bigger and better things include a few hardships along the way. I try to avoid butting in, but I’ve been able to offer encouragement or advice a time or two.

I am particularly happy when I get to celebrate their successes along with them. Just today I celebrated a former editor who had been sidetracked from her schooling by issues largely out of her control. She has just been  admitted to her new school to begin classes in January. And she’s majoring in English education. She’ll be great. She was a great teacher as an editor and a fantastic, creative motivator.

I was tagged in a post later today. Last year’s yearbook sports editor had her first sports photos published in her university newspaper. She gave me a shoutout, thanking me for sending her to sporting events in blizzards and storms. It truly was a bad year for weather during football and soccer for us. This is no small paper either – it’s the OU Daily. I’m so proud of her.

Another couple of former newsies recently posted that their band is studying abroad in England next semester. I’m thrilled for them. What an adventure.

Several who graduated two and three years ago are planning a reunion in the newsroom this winter break. That just wouldn’t happen, I don’t think, without the magic of social media.

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About teachjournalism
I am a high school teacher of journalism, technology and reading. I advise the school's newspaper and yearbook, both student-led publications. Documenting and sharing my experiences is a way of reflecting to improve my own work and and inviting commentary so that we might all benefit. I believe, as I tell my students each year, that we all learn from each other.

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