SRL Connected Educator of the Month: May 2016

At Etiwanda High School, Bernadine Judson’s can-do attitude is contagious.

Not only does she make sure her students produce pieces for every SRL assignment, but she takes her students out on field trips to gather footage they’re proud of and encourages them to take advantage of opportunities to develop career-ready skills and show them off through the SRL badges program.

Learn why the influx of technology made her change her teaching approach.

How do you like to receive your news?
I am kind of a news junkie. For breaking news, I use the internet and the radio. If there is a breaking story that I am really interested in, I may stay up late and watch the local stations. My favorite way to feed my feature story habit is listening to NPR and watching shows like CBS News Sunday Morning. I love the profiles and the softer content.

What is your teaching philosophy when it comes to storytelling?
I have learned to emphasize to the students that a good story seldom resembles that first pitch. I have learned to be flexible and teach my students to be that way too.

Would you rather live a year without radio or television? Explain.
Because I teach filmmaking and broadcast journalism, I guess I would want to keep the television for right now. Even the home improvement shows provide inspiration for camerawork and editing.

How can student reports help promote a greater understanding of the world?
Student perspectives and voices are important to our country and to the world. By teaching my students to think and report, their reports can better the world in small and large ways by taking something old and making it new again. I think we can all benefit from looking at things from a new perspective.

How can we get youth more interested in the news?
When I teach my students storytelling, I teach them to tell the “so” and the “so what.” It is the “so what” that is important to youth — they want to know how things apply to them. They also get their news in a very different way: social media. We need to hit them where they live with themes that matter to them. I think sites like SRL’s “Out of the Box” are a great example of that.

How can we teach youth to be more inquisitive in the world around them?
The world is right there, on their phones. I have accepted that and love to use that in my classes. The internet is a tool that gives our youth the world around them. My job has changed so much in the last 15 years. I see it as not providing so much content but teaching the students to think, ask great questions and find the right sources for information.

What do you hope to accomplish with SRL?
My students have already accomplished so much, more than I have ever dreamed of. Honestly, I hope to maintain the direction we are headed. My students have produced quality work and have been inspired to dig deep and tell even better stories. Our first year as a reporting lab has been an awesome ride!