TAJE

Rachel Kidder

Name
Rachel Kidder

Number of years teaching
5

Name(s) of media you advise
The Roar (online and print newspaper) & The Rosette (yearbook)

School Name & City
Midlothian Heritage High School (Midlothian)

TAJE region
Region 3 – ESC 10 & 11

Most unusual item in/on your desk?
Benjamin Franklin bobblehead

Favorite deadline snack?
Pizza Hut breadsticks

Superpower you’d want as a teacher?
To know why some students seem to not be able to meet a single deadline.

Personal catchphrase or motto?
“Be kinder than necessary.” I know it’s cheesy, but it’s applicable a lot during deadlines for both my staffers and myself.

What is the reason you love teaching journalism?
I love watching grow an idea all the way from the first creative stages to placing the physical product into their audience’s hands. The joy, pride and fear that they feel every time is just amplified by 32 for me.

What is the most important lesson a student has ever taught you?
Take chances. Again, it’s cheesy, but it’s so applicable. Taking chances on them, taking chances on their crazy ideas, taking chances on our audience. I am not a risk-taker by nature, so this lesson is still ongoing. But it seems that every time I do take a chance on my kids, it pays off exponentially.

What is the most important element to a successful program?
Trust your kids! I don’t think there’s another program, group, organization, team, etc. in any school environment who puts as much trust in our kids as a journalism program. Sometimes I have to remind myself that it’s THEIR program, not MINE. But they know a lot more than most adults give them credit for. And what they don’t know, they have the room, motivation, and energy to learn and grow.

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