A Spark for Change: Magic in J.12

I’ve always loved walking into my classroom at LPHS. Each day brings something new and exciting, but this year has been one incredible day after another. A big reason for that is our new Mass Media/Public Relations class, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

Here is the basic premise: My kids are in teams and are matched up with two schools in the corporation. Each school has a staff member serving as a liaison who works closely with the team to publicize all the successes and events happening at each school. The students travel to the schools about once a week to check in and to collect and cover stories.

On the first day of class, many of my students looked at me with wide eyes when I explained exactly what was expected out of them. Even I didn’t realize how big the class was going to be when I first introduced the idea to them last year, but administration wanted this to be something that would impact our community. With that in mind, my kids and I accepted the challenge.

Within the first two full weeks of school, I have watched a group of 32 teenagers morph from students into professionals. They have contacted staff members and administration without coaxing by me. They have traveled to schools and impressed administrators and staff so much so that I have received e-mails applauding the kids. They have attended elementary school events on a Friday evening without me asking them to do so. They have made videos on a deadline that are going to be used by national foundations. I find myself in awe on a daily basis because what is happening has surpassed what I dreamed this class would be.

The students see their work out in the community being shared and liked, making them invest even more in the class. We discuss perceptions of the corporation and how we want to be seen. We brainstorm ideas of how to showcase what LPCSC really is, and it truly would blow away anyone who stopped by. These are teens, but their ideas and opinions are more like seasoned professionals.

More than this though, the kids have felt supported by the leaders of our corporation the entire way. My students walked into class on Thursday to find five brand new Mac computers awaiting them, and it was like Christmas day. After the initial, “These are so cool!” died down, the kids eagerly plugged in their devices and immediately started working on videos they had been planning out for days. To know that they have our administration behind them has changed their views of themselves and the class.

It’s been 12 days since our first day in class, and I can’t even imagine what these incredible students will accomplish in 12 more. I encourage everyone to join them in their mission to showcase what our schools really are. Listening to them say words like respected, leaders, competitive, respectful, and a family for how they want our corporation to be perceived has me more excited for the future of our community and world than just the class itself. These young adults are the vehicles for change, and I couldn’t be more proud to be a small part of their journey.

Any students interested in being a part of this incredible class can apply for next school year in October when the applications come out. See Miss Parker in room J.12 if interested. As for now, follow the class on @lpcscnews, on Facebook at La Porte Community School Corporation, and on YouTube under Slicer News.