PRINCETON, N.J. — Eleven high school media teachers won free subscriptions to The Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition as winners of a contest offered by the Dow Jones News Fund and the publishers of the newspaper.
For the second year, DJNF, a nonprofit foundation, offered teachers the subscriptions based upon essays they wrote about how they will use the paper to teach journalism. The Classroom Edition, a co-sponsor of the National High School Journalism Teacher Awards program, will also provide subscriptions to the 2010 Teacher of the Year and eight other honored teachers.
Each essay winner will receive 30 copies of The Classroom Edition, a downloadable Teacher Guide, unlimited use of WSJclassroom.com and full subscription access to The Wall Street Journal Online.
The winners and excerpts from their essays:
Brooke Brown, Washington High School, Tacoma: “After we finish reading and discussing the entire issue, each month we will pass the papers on to my colleague who teaches AP Literature and Composition. She had this to say, “Students in my class do not have access to a daily newspaper, so putting one in their hands would be a great experience. In our AP English Language and Composition class, students are expected to read a wide variety of editorials, opinion columns, and articles about current events in our country and around the world. Using (The Wall Street Journal Classroom) Edition in class would not only give students greater access to a variety of these types of published materials, but also help build students’ vocabulary and awareness of current events. In the classroom, students would select editorials, opinion columns, or articles and analyze them for the author’s use of ethos, pathos, and logos as well as the author’s style, purpose and use of rhetoric and argumentation strategies to convey his or her message.”
Elizabeth Filippelli, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Technical High School: “Because I work with 135 Journalism students per day (not including my after school journalism clubs), if I had free editions of The Wall Street Journal (Classroom Edition) I would use them on a daily basis. One issue…would be used by at least four different students for numerous activities. My course begins everyday with students reading through the local paper. We then have an activity that is related to that day’s news. In class, I often use newspapers in news groups where students read about and lead discussions on current events. Students would also study The Wall Street Journal (Classroom Edition) to look at models of excellent writing to inspire their own writing for our school paper. I would use the newspaper to teach how to write headlines, leads, features, hard news, obituaries, opinions, sports, and reviews. Students would also take the stories covered by the newspaper and decide how these stories could be made local for our school publication.”
Lynn Fox, DuVal High School, Lanham, Md.: “Our DuVal High School students are, by almost any measure, in the lowest quarter of high school students nationwide in terms of reading ability. I am the Journalism teacher at DuVal High School and my defining mission is to change that ranking. As it happens, I just asked my students to write about their ‘Twenty-four (24) Media Diet.’ How much time do student spend in the following activities: texting, Internet, cell phone use, and reading either a newspaper or book? Their answers in terms of reading — zero to one hour reading in twenty-four hours— discouraging for anyone who believes that literacy is one of the keys to a successful life. Worse, out of the 66 students who responded, not one student read a newspaper.”
Jongwook Kim, Theodore Roosevelt Senior High School, Washington, D.C.: “Because we are an under-resourced school and because my students come from challenging backgrounds, I do not currently have consistent and ready access to newspapers that my students can read. Instead, I take multiple copies of the free newspapers that one finds at metro stations or scavenge my roommates’ old New York Times. My students would cherish editions of an exemplary newspaper that they could have ready access to. This semester, our Big Goal—which was created collectively—is simple: ‘We will publish 1 issue of the Rider Times that is great and that we can be really proud of.’ We can use The Wall Street Journal as an example of a ‘great’ newspaper. Thus, a subscription to The Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition would take us miles on our journey towards our Big Goal.”
Mark Newton, Mountain Vista High School, Highlands Ranch, Colo.: “As the adviser of the Eagle Eye news magazine/news website and the Aerie yearbook as the beginning journalism teacher, I would relish a free subscription to The Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition. Having such an incredible learning tool in my classroom would allow me to share outstanding journalism with all of my journalism students. Publication staff members would benefit from reading outstanding reporting and writing and seeing professional graphics and design. Professional media models are exactly what students need. They must see what’s possible — and strive to replicate with their own style, all the time pushing their skills higher. Additionally, these student-journalists would be exposed to a plethora of story ideas. With a Classroom Edition, my students would not only be able to localize important stories, but, hopefully, connect issues to their world.”
Madelyn Rosech, It Takes a Village Academy, Brooklyn: “Perhaps the question should be what couldn’t I do with a Classroom Edition of The Wall Street Journal! My students would gain exposure to good writing…And that, quite honestly, is the most important element. They would also begin to appreciate layout. And they would begin to think about subjects above and beyond the day-to-day of an urban high school in New York City.”
Danielle Ryan, Carlsbad (Calif.) High School: “As everyone is well aware, education is severely under-funded and becoming more so every day, especially in California. My school has very little money to spend on textbooks and never approves disposables like newspapers. I would use the subscription in my classroom to supplement the new journalism based curriculum I am piloting this year. It would be a greatly appreciated and well-utilized asset to support my new curriculum.”
David Skillings, Washington High School, Fremont, Calif.: “My students will be vigilant for news stories ideas that they can localize to our paper. Because my students publish both in print and online, they will compare the Wall Street Journal’s print and online versions. They will examine infographics and figure out how to produce similar ones applicable to our stories. They will compare stories in the WSJ with similar stories in other papers to see how each covers the topic. They will deconstruct stories to learn reporting methods, such as what the reporter’s sources were. Did the reporter use public records? What kind of diversity is there in coverage? What new vocabulary did you encounter? How does the Wall Street Journal’s focus on the world of business look? What did you learn that you can connect to your Economics class? Other classes?”
Michael T. Smith, Ballard High School, Seattle: “I teach two journalism classes: a beginning journalism writing class and advise our school’s newspaper—which publishes a newspaper 7-8 issues a year. First, I would love to have copies of newspapers in our room so students can read about national and world news. This allows the class to discuss articles together and for us to analyze specific writing techniques from professional reporters. Second, it would give our classes a closer look at the business side of how society functions in America and around the world. I think it is critical for students today to understand how the world works as they enter college.”
Sarah Walker, Booker T. Washington High School, Tulsa: “My current teaching resources are limited because this is a fairly new program at our school, and because I am a new teacher. I would like to use articles from The Wall Street Journal as examples of structure and voice for my students. I believe critiquing and workshopping other writers’ work. . . .will help them not only develop their writing and journalism skills, but also help them discover the kind of writers and journalists they would like to be.”
Mitzi Wilson Gitlin, Elyria (Ohio) High School: “We currently subscribe to an online version of our local newspaper, but the students don’t remember to read this via the Internet at home. We don’t have regular access to computers, so it presents a problem to try to teach journalism without access to a newspaper.”