Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Final Countdown

I don't know about you... But, I am in the midst of staring at a HUGE pile of papers and feeling completely overwhelmed by all of the grading I still have to do in the next week. Its a great time of year when my introduction to journalism students have written their first in-depth feature and their first sports story. My broadcast students just finished mini-documentaries, the last issue of the newsmagazine has been sold and about 1/2 of the yearbook pages have actually been sent and finalized at the printer (we are a fall book).

As I watched one of my six mini-documentaries from my broadcast students, I contemplated the vastness of the tasks I still have (how in the world I would finish the 200 pages of yearbook pages that must be finalized and sent to the printer by next Friday) and I questioned why did I changed careers to teach. If I wasn't a teacher then I could've jetted off to see "Sex in the City" last weekend with my friends. This morning I was reminded why I became a teacher when I went to my mailbox and found my list of the students who requested me to shake their hand at graduation. Some of the kids on my list I have had since they were my journalism cub reporters when they were just freshmen. Other students on my list were kids who breezed through my class for only a year or two. This is why I teach.

As for me and my background, here's the small gist. I grew up in the small-town of Lebanon, OH and worked as a journalist, graphic/web designer for 13 years prior to teaching. Sometimes when the pile of papers fills my dining room table, I wonder for a brief moment why I decided to switch to teaching. I thought it last night before I started to watch the documentaries. After watching the students' work, I remembered that I teach because I always loved the power of telling a story. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State and have worked in just about every facet of journalism from photography, video, web, print, copyediting, and PR prior to teaching. I miss meeting people and hearing their stories.

I am looking forward to this opportunity to meet new friends and to hear your stories, even if only for a few weeks. It is always refreshing to get jazzed up about writing, design and photography with fellow journalism mavericks. I hope as your school year winds up that you enjoy it and remember the reason we all teach.

I am looking forward to ways to manage all of the journalism preps (school newsmagazine, broadcast, yearbook, newspaper journalism, and Introduction to Journalism) that I have and somehow utilize media and technology to help me to manage the paperload, deadlines, and working with students to learn everything they need to learn (without losing sight of students' own exploration of life). I am now teaching in Powell, OH, which is an affluent suburb of Columbus, OH where the student population ranges from low- to upperclass income. Students are expected to go to college, even if they do not have the means or the resources to get there. I want to know how to grow strong writers, photographers, designers and individuals.

If anyone has any creative ideas for story ideas, I am looking forward to brainstorming some ideas soon. I am considering using soundslides, Twitter, WordPress, and more SchoolTube in the future and am exploring the best ways to utilize it between multiple classes.

Tracey Ward
Olentangy Liberty High School
Powell, OH

my 8-month old puppy, Darcy, who is staring at me and wanting me to play with her...


  1. I am so looking forward to meeting everyone and exchanging ideas. I can't wait-

    Jodie Schommer
    Lakeside Lutheran High School
    Lake Mills, WI