In 2000 we hosted our first "Camp STN" in Springfield, and have done so ever since, even though we re-branded it as the "ASB Workshop" a few years ago. Same approach, different name.
The workshop/camp provides me with a yearly opportunity to share what I can with the teachers who attend. What I have also enjoyed through they years is just giving teachers around the country any assistance I can when they ask. Some of them call, some of them e-mail, but I always try to answer.
That is my message today to those of you who have been teaching this challenging subject for a while: Pass your knowledge on. Help a colleague when you can.
Some of you may think you do not have the experience to be an "expert." Hey, I'm no expert. I am just a guy who made lots of mistakes, took lots of missteps back in the day, and now tries to help others avoid those. Back in 1989, when I started HTV, it would have been so great to have the ear of an experienced broadcast teacher.
I am not a great resource for gear or software or any techie stuff. I can help a beginning program to a point. I can also point you in the right direction for more advanced assistance.
I am not an authority on classroom management. What I do probably will not work for you. But you might get a couple of useful ideas from my controlled chaos.
I am not a person who cares much about grades, so my approach to evaluating students is extremely objective and arbitrary. I do not use rubrics, or provide written critique forms. We talk, we discuss, and I demand more, not less, most of the time. And the kids respond.
I do enjoy talking about journalism, and discussing approaches to the coverage of challenging topics. I can talk about the J word all day.
Chances are, those of you who have built a program, or have taken over a program and watched it grow and thrive, have a lot to share. Please--DO IT. Give back. Be a resource. Respond to a colleague in need. Even if you are just four or five years in, other teachers will relate to your experiences, and grow from them.
It will help them a lot, I promise, and it will make you feel better as well. Just pay it forward and see what happens.