JEA Mentoring Program Helps New Advisers

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JEA Mentoring Program Helps New Advisers

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At the spring all-member NHSPA meeting in Norfolk, the membership voted to implement a mentoring program sponsored by the Journalism Education Association aimed at assisting first-year journalism advisers learn the
ropes of an often daunting task.    The NHSPA board elected Bob Bair of Blair, Nebraska.   Bair is a two-time recipient of the Distinguished Adviser of the Year and recently retired from teaching.   Bair attended training meetings put on by the JEA where he learned several methods to best support incoming advisers.

Mentors give a two-year commitment to the program and  sponsor two advisers the first year, picking up a third during the second year.  Nebraska had an onslaught of new advisers this year — over twenty!   The mentees chosen were Samantha Kohl, David Stevens, and Dayle Trout-Wisnieski.  Kohl runs the newspaper at David City High School, while Stevens and Trout-Wisnieski advise the newspaper and yearbook respectively at Scribner-Snyder High School.

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Samantha Kohl. David City High School

Bair met with his mentees over seven times during the first semester and had over 40 contacts via e-mail or phone.   Bair shared resources with the mentees about membership in professional organizations such as the NHSPA and JEA, as well as online resource materials from the listserv and the JEA website.   Mentees were given information about fall convention and encouraged to attend those as well as the JEA/NHSPA national conventions.  Bair encouraged them to submit student work at the JEA winter contest as well as the NSAA state competition.

The mentees see the program as an asset to their development as an advisor.

“As it is my first year as a journalism adviser, I decided it would be beneficial to join the mentoring program through JEA.

The program has provided me with not only online resources to use in my classroom, but also many contacts who have been willing to help me throughout the year.”

— Samantha Kohl

 The program has provided me with not only online resources to use in my classroom, but also many contacts who have been willing to help me throughout the year.  Since our newspaper publication is solely online now, we are able to produce more stories, thus giving my students and myself more experience in both writing, photography, and editing,” Samantha Kohl said.

Mentoring is such an essential way to keep new advisers from burning out.   It doesn’t have to be through a structured mentoring program.   It could be as easy as reaching out to another teacher in your conference and offering help or just to act as a sounding board.    The NHSPA has a facebook group (Click here to join) where veteran teachers and the NHSPA board are all members and can answer any questions.

A heartfelt thank you to Bob Bair for taking on this role.

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