Poynter India faculty member, Sue Bullard, shares her impressions about teaching a room with professionals and students:
As a teacher, I’ve learned that the students in the room make a huge difference in how effective a class is. Teach the same lesson to two different classes and its success depends on who is in the room. The same holds true for professional workshops. In Chennai, five students from M.O.P. Vaishnav College for Women joined nearly a hundred professional editors, freelance journalists and educators for the first of our Poynter India 2014 Collaborative Journalism workshops.
The young women, who were there as volunteer helpers, became a key part of the workshop’s success. They were incredibly curious — as journalists should be. They asked insightful questions of presenters, often raising issues we hadn’t considered. They were smart. When we asked questions, they typically were the first to raise their hands. What was the problem with that story, we asked? No context, they wisely answered. They were passionate.
When one of the editors suggested that, perhaps, future workshops should be held separately for professionals and educators, a student quickly but respectfully challenged the notion. We learn best from being with you, she said. And frankly, what was left unsaid, is that we all learned more because these bright young women were in the room. If they are journalism’s future, we have nothing to worry about.
Sue bring that same passion and wisdom to her classes at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln