Abigail Paysse

Abigail Paysse

Abigail Paysse

Number of years teaching

Name(s) of media you advise
The Crimson Connection (print & online), The Crimson (Yearbook)

School Name & City
Cypress Woods High School, Cypress

Most unusual item in/on your desk?
A Chinese new year banner

Favorite deadline snack?
Gummy bears

Nicknames your students have given you?
P-sizzle, Spicy Paysse, Mamma P

What is the reason you love teaching journalism?
I like the sense of pride and accomplishment kids emit when their publications arrive from the printer. I like seeing self-proclaimed “shy” kids come out of their shells and grow as they take on journalistic duties that require them to talk to strangers. I love having my students for more than just one year. I like giving them a place to belong and feel useful. And I love seeing my students find joy and success in journalism, especially when they chose to continue their pursuit in college and beyond.

What is the most important element to a successful program?
Building solid student-adviser relationships based on trust and respect that allow the adviser to advise and the publications to be truly student-lead, student-driven.

Describe your favorite lesson to teach.
My end of the year magazine production lesson: students create a 24-page magazine cover to cover. They plan all the content and work on small chunks each week until all 24 pages are complete. They print it out in color and assemble it in a binder with page protectors so it looks like a real magazine. When I give the assignment kids immediately see it as daunting and impossible, but by the end, they are so proud of what they were able to accomplish. Most kids save their magazines and look back on them their senior year and are blow away by how much they’ve improved over the years.