The KSPA mentoring program matches trained veteran advisers with individuals new to teaching journalism and advising student media to offer support and guidance during their initial years in scholastic journalism education. Through personal relationships, mentors can share best practices and resources and serve as a valuable connection to a professional learning community.
The mentoring program focuses on giving new advisers a chance to ask questions and receive feedback while growing their programs. One goal of the mentoring program is to combat the national statistics showing that more than half of new teachers leave the profession within five years. Another goal is to develop journalism programs and improve the quality of the publications. Mentors also work with new advisers to cultivate them as teacher-leaders. It is an opportunity for new teachers to pick the brains of more experienced journalism teachers on topics ranging from page design to staff morale.
The KSPA mentoring program is connected with the mentoring program of the Journalism Education Association (JEA) centered at Kansas State University. That partnership means that teachers who sign up for mentoring receive perks from both KSPA and JEA.
The JEA program provides funding for occasional travel to national conventions and other membership benefits.
Laura Hayden spends her retirement mentoring children and advisers as well as painting. During her advising years, her staff achieved three All-Kansas and numerous Middle-Level JEA and KSPA Awards. Laura…...read more
Mary Patrick has been a mentor for JEA for three years. Prior to that she was a journalism educator for 29 of her 43 years in the classroom. She served…...read more
Sharon Martin was bit with the publications bug when she was editor of her high school yearbook in Dodge City, Kansas, so she combined her English secondary education degree with…...read more
What our mentees say
“I do not think I could have survived my first year as a journalism teacher without the help of my mentor.”
— Shelbi Markham Self, Maize South High School
“The mentoring program has been a lifesaver! The guidance I received from my mentor helped me tremendously in creating a successful first book. Every new adviser should have a mentor!”
— Kris Keeling, Clearwater High School
“The best advice I have received from my mentor has been to appreciate my accomplishments as an adviser. I am continually looking ahead to the areas to improve on in the next publication. During our visits, Mary Anne (McCloud) points out what my students have accomplished.”
— Nicole Smith, Rockhurst High School