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Leadership and Longform Journalism

My Personal Learning Goals

For Marking Period 1

After looking at my teaching and journalism work from last year, I’ve set two goals for myself for the first marking period.

Goal 1: Leadership

Leaders come in all shapes, sizes, colors…

I want to learn how to better foster leadership among my students.  I know what it means to be a leader in the “abstract,” and perhaps on a more personal level.  I was a co-captain for two sports in high school, so I’ve been a kind of leader among my peers.  Additionally I’ve been an assistant coach for the cross country team.

But how do I teach someone to be a leader?  What does that look like?

Goal 2: Longform Journalism

After exploring and learning more about editorials and short feature articles(under 800 or 1000 words), I want to learn more about longform article writing.  I know the length is “longer than a traditional article, but shorter than a novel.”  However, what else is involved?

What are the parts of a longform article?  How is it structured?  What problems do reporters encounter with researching and writing longform articles?

How I’ll accomplish my goals

  • Be a sponge.

My first task is to research and read.  I need to spend some time doing some google searches and find out more about how people–both those in education as well as those in business and other industries(like the military)–teach others to be leaders.

What do they do that I could use in my classroom?  What do journalists have to say about creating longform articles?  Do they offer any advice?

  • Try it

After gathering lots of information, there’s a chance of “information paralysis” to set in.  I might have too much information to make a decision.  So my next step is to just start trying out what I’ve learned.

  • Reflect

Ok, so I’ve tried out some of the things I’ve learned.  But how did it go?

Were they roaring successes?  Great, keep doing that.  But reflect and find out what made that work.  Replicate that.

Abject failure?  Ok, time to pause and reflect.  Why?  Was it me or something else that was at fault?  Now decide to try again or go on to the next step.

  • More research

What out there looks like/acts like the things that worked?  Find more.

Is there any guidance out there about how to do what didn’t work better?  Dig deep for this one!

  • Last step: report

My last step is to report on what I learned.  It doesn’t do any good for me to learn this stuff and just walk around with it in my head…

I’ll do that reporting both here in this blog, but also with my colleagues and my students.


About Rob Sterner

English teacher, Film buff, Filmmaker, Writer, Musician, Photographer, Runner, Taoist, Thinker, List maker...


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