California Educator

November 2014

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Page 51 of 63

Learning E V E N O F U S waited pensively for the sold-out pro- gram to begin. Our meeting was supposed to take place after it ended, but then word arrived that we were wanted backstage. Several months of preparation and anticipation suddenly came to an end. Rachel Maddow, the nationally acclaimed television host and graduate of our own Castro Valley High School, wanted to see us early. By the time this memorable interview began, I'd been teaching high school journalism for a dozen years. In the beginning, I wasn't sure I wanted to take it on. Unlike some teachers thrust into the role, I had a bachelor's degree in journalism and several years of work experience. But I had a feeling that S teaching the subject to teenagers and overseeing a high school newspaper would require tremendous time and energy. Still, I agreed to give it a try. That first year was indeed a blur, as the students somewhat frantically produced the newspapers and I tried to figure out how to guide them. Each of those early issues felt like a herculean challenge that we just barely managed to overcome. It's still not easy, but over the years our program has grown and prospered. Rather than publish fluff and pictures illegally lifted from Goo- gle, our newspaper and website cover important subjects uncommonly addressed by student media like teen Teaching ideas ( C l o ck w i s e f r o m l e f t ) C a m i l o R i v e r o s i n t e r i v e w s 2 012 Wo r l d S e r i e s M V P P a b l o S a n d o v a l , A n n a B a l a s s o n e m e e t s h e r i n t e r v i e w e e , R a ch e l M a d d o w, a n d C a l l i e R o s s -S m i t h i n t e r v i e w s A t t o r n e y G e n e r a l K a m a l a H a r r i s . The value of journalism By Matt Johanson Castro Valley Teachers Association Besides the fun of meeting famous people, journalism provides practical, marketable skills 50

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