I recently attended The Dallas Morning News' 23rd Annual High School Journalism Day & Competition. I along with my buddy, retired publications adviser extraordinare Mary Pulliam had been working with the folks over at The Dallas Morning News with their event and we even facilitated a session for advisers.
It was a win-win for everyone involved, but most importantly the kiddos who attended were the real winners. They got to meet staffers at The Dallas Morning News, participate in a contest that exposed their talents to professional journalists, and, of course, there was a pretty nifty catered lunch thrown in as well.
But as successful as the day was, it wasn't without a certain level of disappointment. Absent from the day's events was the school I formerly taught at along with a number of other schools who used to attend but opted out. Schools like my former school that used to win awards every year.
I don't know why these schools decided not to come. I'm sure they were busy. For many teachers, it was the end of the six weeks, so perhaps they were behind on grading. Perhaps their advisers were still struggling with finalizing their spring yearbooks or a looming newspaper deadline. Perhaps their principals wouldn't let them come.
But perhaps they should have juggled their schedules and made the time to come. Or at least, had their kiddos send in their contest entries.
Because in the end, what they really opted out of was what was best for their kiddos. And I don't think that is what teaching is all about.