Shannon Philpott-Sanders

Writing, Reflecting, Teaching, Parenting

In this Room …

Tonight, after a 13-hour day of teaching and advising, I stood in the doorway of our student newsroom and paused with my head and my heart heavy. It was late and my kids at home were missing me, but I didn’t want to leave.

It was the last production night of the semester and I don’t deal well with the “last” of anything, especially in this room.

An outsider might not see the appeal of the newsroom. It is littered with soda cans, pizza boxes and empty energy drink containers. Papers overflow every desk and cameras are piled unorganized on the corner table. The recycled, dilapidated couch from Goodwill sits in the middle of the room and the floor looks as if it hasn’t seen a mop in a few months, if not years.

However, this room is the most appealing place on campus to me. Continue reading

May 4, 2010 Posted by | Blog, Journalism, Teaching | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

On the Road Again as a College Media Adviser

The job of a college media adviser is sticky. Without any control over content or editorial decisions, a media adviser walks a fine line, trying to guide students to practice solid journalism without “taking over” or dominating decisions.

 I bite my nails on a regular basis, I hold my tongue as much as I can, and I try to keep my facial expressions at bay while pointing out the pros and cons of the decisions and proposals my students make. In the end, though, I trust them to go with their instincts and gut feelings. It is after all, their paper, not mine.

Continue reading

February 28, 2010 Posted by | Blog, Journalism, Teaching | , , , | Leave a comment

College Media Advising: Learning to Let Go

themontageAdvising a student newspaper is very much like teaching a child how to ride a bike. Cautious and slow at first, a parent is right there, guiding, supporting, and coaching. As the child gets the hang of it and gains confidence, you slowly push away and let him or her ride off on his own, watching his every move from a distance and hoping for the best.

 Sometimes the kid crashes, sometimes he stops himself, afraid to move on, and other times, he rides recklessly without any fear, throwing caution to the wind.

 As the faculty adviser to The Montage, a student newspaper at St. Louis Community College – Meramec, I’m just like that parent in the newsroom. Continue reading

September 1, 2009 Posted by | Blog, Journalism, Teaching | , , , , | Leave a comment