The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

What advisers do for students goes beyond the classroom

Sweat runs down your face. You are shaking and can’t stop tapping your nails on the desk where the letter from your top journalism college choice sits.

Taking a deep breath, you open it.

You have been accepted.

You sigh and say, “Thank you, adviser.”

Advisers aren’t just teachers in a classroom that stand and give lectures; they possess many characteristics that help students grow as journalists and people, shaping them for their future endeavors.

Kelly Furnas, executive director of the Journalism Education Association, said, “Advisers have a passion for educating and inspiring. It’s a feeling of selflessness: they get a better reward in seeing other people succeed than succeeding themselves. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing your own student go out and do wonderful things… I think that that gratification is what gets them up in the morning and makes them work so hard.”

According to Pamela D. Tucker and James H. Stronge , authors of “Linking Teacher Evaluation and Student Learning,” some of the key qualities an effective teacher should possess include formal training, hold a certification, are caring, fair, and respectful, and demonstrate effectiveness with the full range of student abilities in their classrooms, regardless of the academic diversity of the students.

These qualities also apply to student media advisers, plus other qualities too, according to Debra Wycoff, the Aviara Oaks Middle School journalism adviser.

She said, “Advisers should possess a lot of organization to get things flowing; the ability to allow kids to have their own individual direction and give support in what it is that they want to do.”

Students, such as senior Evan Malone from Rocky Mountain High School, believe that advisers should have prior experience in order to facilitate student media programs.

“Our adviser used to work on the local newspaper and used to be a reporter, with experience in a bunch of other places as well. These skills are the ones they can transfer over to their students since they have real world experience,” Malone said.

To Katie Hardman, who also goes to Rocky Mountain High School, her adviser could have better skills in order to be more effective.

“There are people in the class just for the credits to graduate,” Hardman said, “But some people are in it because they are all about journalism. Our adviser is teaching us how to do it but there is no different creativity [from previous years]. Making it more creative and applicable to everyone will be a better thing for my adviser to do: just teach how to be a creative writer.”

In addition, the motivation student media advisers have in order to do what they do is an important aspect.

David Bailey, former Lincoln High School journalism adviser, said, “[Being an adviser] is fun. You get quick feedback and get to serve the community in a different capacity. I can look at a lot of my graduates who have gone to get a journalism profession and that gives me satisfaction.”

Nicole Funes, sophomore at South East High School, appreciates the motivation an adviser possesses.

She said, “[Advisers] love to see how how a kid could prosper and maybe we’ll come back in a couple of years [after leaving for college], and say, ‘thank you for everything.’”

Dorina Aguilar Rasmusser, Director of Student Life at Northwestern University, believes that an important aspect in what it takes to be a school media adviser is also their drive and dedication towards their students.

She said, “I think it is fulfilling for them as a journalist because they get to play a part in developing and working with the next big stars in the journalism world: the people who are going to be the voices and carry on with this tradition of truth seeking and storytelling. That is a big deal and that legacy lives on through their students.”

In the end, what it takes to be a student media adviser goes beyond their background and teaching styles: it is the ability to inspire and help students in order to prepare them for the future.

Morgan Kinney, undergraduate student at Northwestern University, understands this is a quality an adviser should have.

He said, “People see things like ESPN and New York Times and say, ‘I want to do that.’ But there is a huge gap between how you get there and where you are now. I think advisers are what fill that gap.”

Estella Lippi - Advisor interview
Estella Lippi - Student interview
About the Contributors
Adriana Ramirez
Adriana Ramirez, Staff Writer
Adriana Ramirez is a 16-year-old senior who takes interest in writing and biology. She enjoys spending her free time dancing, listening to music, or reading. Adriana is bilingual and moved to America three years ago from Puerto Rico. Twitter: @Adriana9Ramirez
Estella Lippi
Estella Lippi, Scotcenter Editor-in-Chief
Estella Lippi is senior who found her home in room J2. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Scotcenter news. Estella is always with her camera to make her Scotcenter videos and is frequently taking pictures for the newspaper. Also if you like the journalism sweatshirts you can thank her for designing them. @estellala1

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
What advisers do for students goes beyond the classroom