Teacher Feature May 2023: Elaine Edwards

Each month, we spotlight and celebrate a teacher in our community.

Elaine Edwards has been a teacher for 20+ years in various grades and roles, but this is her first year as a Digital Media/Journalism teacher at Etiwanda High School in Etiwanda, California. She loves teaching young people and helping to facilitate students in their academic journey. In her free time, Elaine enjoys writing, art, and photography, as well as spending time with her family and pets.

Learn about Elaine’s favorite StoryMaker lesson, pro tips, and recommendations for wrapping up the school year in our Q&A below. 

How long have you been using StoryMaker or SRL resources in your classroom?

This is my first year!

What’s your favorite StoryMaker lesson?

Food, Family, Culture, & Community. Many students thought it was a “boring” prompt at first, then turned into a very meaningful one as they dug deeper into the nuances of how food connects with their culture and their relationships with others. They had fun sharing about their own customs, dishes, and celebrations involving specific foods. 

What’s a media-making tool you can’t live without?

Canon DSLRs and lenses. 

Links to your students’ work: 

Check out Etiwanda’s work for Student Reporting Labs here.

What’s a dream story you’d like to report on?

I’d love to see a story on “grit” and work ethic in young people. Or what influences young people when making their own decisions. Or distractions, habits, etc. that are destructive to teens’ mental health, or even practices that help strengthen and improve mental health, particularly in teens.

Piece of advice for teachers and educators just getting started on StoryMaker:

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The SRL team is very helpful and always willing to answer questions or get you in touch with the right resources.

What are you currently listening to?

Music wise: Instrumental Covers 2023 by Filtr. Podcast wise: Your Own Backyard

As many teachers are wrapping up projects with their students, what are your tips on getting through to the end of the school year?

I suggest letting students have a little fun and create any short film, commercial, music video, gif, etc. Something entertaining that we can enjoy watching, makes us laugh or be creative. 

Fun facts about you?

I won a California State Gymnastics competition for my age and division (when I was 10). I got to have a small background role as a mother with my daughter in a horror movie. I like to surf!

You can reach out to Elaine directly to learn more about how she’s adapted StoryMaker into her classroom. Email her at: Elaine.Edwards@cjuhsd.net.