Thursday, June 17, 2010

Excitement and passion

As Christopher Callahan (pictured at right), Dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications, addressed members of the ASNE Reynolds Institute about preparing high school students for journalism at the next level, he emphasized how important it is that students are being inspired and excited by the idea of journalism.

"Infuse that passion in them at a very early age," he said. "Be a great mentor to your students."

I was surprised by this statement, but in a good way. Instead of telling us to teach them how to be better writers, photographers, reporters and designers, the charge was to show them our excitement and passion for the journalism world.

What a great lesson to take away from his conversation with us. You can teach students to write a lead or compose a better picture, but you can't give them the passion for the world of journalism.

This made me think about my classroom environment and what I do to instill the passion for journalism in my students, and I realized, by being selected as a member of this institute and learning so much more, I am reigniting the passion I have for journalism and that can only trickle down to the students who are in my classroom this fall.

Laura Schwinn

Emporia High School

Emporia, Kan.


  1. I thought the dean brought a fresh perspective to me in terms of recruitment. I can't wait to go back to my school, or even email the social studies department this summer, to find out who the civic minded students are!

  2. I agree. I think that the social studies teachers are a great resource. They can tell when a student has passion for things going on in the world. I ejoyed his enthusiasm and I hope that I can bring that passion and excitement to my students. Maybe some of them might want to go to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications one day.

    Allison Denman
    Spring High School
    Spring, Texas

  3. Great photo!

    Nate Thompson
    Montezuma-Cortez High School
    Cortez, Colo.