Number of years teaching
Name(s) of media you advise
MHS1, The Lion Yearbook, ManestreamNews.com
School Name & City
McKinney High School, McKinney
Most unusual item in/on your desk?
A green velvet winged pig
Favorite deadline snack?
Nicknames your students have given you?
Trout, Arm, Army, Boehr, B
Superpower you’d want as a teacher?
You snap your fingers and the yearbook index is done. Not sure Marvel would make a movie about that. I’d watch.
Personal catchphrase or motto?
Let’s get our learn on.
What is the reason you love teaching journalism?
I love teaching journalism because I’m passionate about storytelling, but I love sharing that passion with high school kids because they are just gaining an understanding of the world around them, but they aren’t yet cynical enough to believe they can’t make a difference. They can and do.
What is the most important lesson a student has ever taught you?
One time a group of students spent all evening at a deadline night writing personal notes on the wall for every staff member. Each note had a sincere compliment. They made one for me that said “Arm, You treat students like people. Not kids.” That was nice. But I also think of that gesture almost every time I interact with a student. We work together, but the product is all theirs. It’s a huge responsibility for them and they deserve the respect that goes along with that.
What is the most important element to a successful program?
Student-run. Student-centered. If the students aren’t running the show, they’re being deprived of an invaluable experience and your program is being deprived of that perspective too.
Describe your favorite lesson to teach.
I love to teach with Steve Hartman’s “Everybody Has a Story” because I personally enjoy the characters we get to know, but also those stories have concrete examples of video storytelling strategies that make an impact on students. He holds the viewer in suspense in a subtle and eloquent way. The kids love it and it removes the legitimacy of the whole “Nothing ever happens at our school” mentality.