Thursday, December 18, 2008

So You Want to Teach?

Whether you've always wanted to teach or you've been laid off and need some revenue, many people consider teaching. Here are some tips to help you along the way.

So You Want to Teach?

1. Become a substitute teacher. You will be compensated for your service and build your resume in the process. Just go to the Board of Education in your community. Also, try private schools as well, they are always looking for substitutes as well.

2. Teach at a community college. Community colleges are becoming more and more desirable as the cost of a four year education increases. In addition, more students have to attend community colleges in order to be prepared to transfer into a four year institution. It's a great place to start and possibly to stay.

3. Teach for the University of Phoenix or for some other reputable online institution. Be forewarned there are many higher education scams to avoid. However, landing with a good online institution will give you the experience and exposure that you need.

4. Get your advanced degree. Whether it's a doctorate or a master's degree, secure your higher learning now. You will increase your competitive edge, three thousand fold. Further, be sure to ask about graduate assistantships. Some institutions will provide a stipend and cover your tuition as well. ASK questions, this is really relevant if you happen to be a journalist reading these tips.

5. Guest lecture in the classroom of colleagues. This is yet another excellent way to test the waters and to build your resume.

6. Become an adjunct professor. Some of you have enough mettle to just take the plunge and apply for teaching positions at your local universities. An adjunct is a part time professor. You probably will not receive any benefits but again, you are building your academic credentials.

7. If you can't lecture, just sit in on some college classes. Get used to the environment.

8. Search the web for course syllabi. Find out what the professors are teaching and design your own course to pitch to a potential employer. Who knows you may create a disruptive technology, ala Clayton Christensen.

9. Read, read, read and dare I say, read. If you haven't read The World is Flat, The Long Tail, The Tipping Point, The Age of Access and countless other books, now is the time to feed and expand your mind. The information will prove to be priceless in interviews as well as course design.

10. Learn multimedia skills. This will set you apart from most of your competition. Subscribe to or to the Knight Digital Media Center.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Well, they're my friend's husbands who dressed up as the 1980s rap group. Not bad huh?

Kiss the Thirties Goodbye!

Today, I am celebrating 40 years of life. In the broadcast world, this age is very dangerous for many women. If one looks her age, she is replaced by someone who doesn't. In the professional world, 40 is the age when lawyers say that age discrimination begins. She is replaced by less expensive employees. In the home, sometimes spouses will seek out two 20s to replace the seasoned woman. Too bad they don't realize that they may get two 20s and neither one my cook or clean. Some even say 40 is middle age and the over the hill mark. I say it's a wonderful, liberating, wisdom filled moment in time and I am so grateful just to still be here.

My attire represents the era when I came of age the 1980s. It was a really good time. We didn't worry about school shootings or being overdosed on ritalin. Our parents tried to or threatened to kill us and we believed them. Michael Jackson had only had one or two nose jobs. Cyndi Lauper was all about girls having fun and Right On! magazine was all the rage. I remember playing softball, volleyball, lemon twist, attempting to play double dutch (I was a double handed rope turner, so that meant you didn't get to jump), going to church because I wanted to, listening to Stacy Lattisaw find Love on a two way street and so much more.

With the economy tanking, I realize that we are Living in a Material World, but I'm grateful that I'm not a Material Girl. I am so grateful for my family, friends and loved ones and they are the best birthday present of all. Peace.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Future of Journalism

Indeed, like some of my comrades, I too have been following the future of journalism argument between Jeff Jarvis and Ron Rosenbaum. Well, let me be totally transparent. I'm aware of the argument and have scanned a few blog posts. However, I did read Amy Webb's assessment on her blog The argument and reading about it uses up time that I could dedicate to creating content, learning more new media tools and reading blogs like Amy's. Check out her previous posts. The information is beyond thought provoking.

Webb will be the keynote speaker here at Belmont University in February, 2009 for the Southeast Journalism Conference. After hearing her speak at the Online News Association convention in DC in September, I knew I wanted to learn as much as I could from her. The strategies she shares can be used by any business and/or individual. It all boils down to your mindset. Caution: reading Amy's blog may literally blow your mind.

My thoughts on the future of journalism are simple, right now the business is for sale and its worth will depend on innovation, managing disruption and change. That's bull, its worth is being determined by the shareholders and that's why the business model is in such a tailsping. Yes, declining number of viewers and readers are a key part as well. But the content is being sacrificed for superficial entertainment stories. And the reason for that is because the stakeholders want more money.

Given the strategies of the current leaders, the future looks bleak. However, there is always hope in the form of the next generation. As I've said before and I'll say again, mobile is the next frontier and more video is as well. Asian countries are already using video more consistently than those of us in the US. Think video cell phone calls and more.