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Tough Times Should Be ‘We’ Times

Diana Hadley

Several years ago in the middle of a lesson for my journalism class, a hand shot up from a student with an unusual question: “When you say we want you to plan carefully for an interview, who is we?” It was a good question since it appeared that I was the only teacher in the room.

I didn’t know exactly when I had started thinking in a plural context, but the question made me realize that we included the colleagues I had met through a variety of journalism events. I had bonded with them and their teaching methods to the point that they had become part of my instruction. It was comforting to know that we were in this lesson and many other issues together.

IHSPA would like to promote that we feeling for all advisers, and there may be no better time than when most of us are worried about the effects of budget cuts, curricular changes, technology challenges and a myriad of other concerns.

Consequently, we are promoting adviser social gatherings that emphasize getting to know each other. Shoptalk is allowed but not required.

I had my first chance to try out one of these events last night when five advisers from Indianapolis Public Schools met with me at an Indy restaurant for pizza.

Three hours later everyone knew each other much better. In addition to sharing information about backgrounds, interests and families, the group exchanged E-mails and made plans to meet regularly. They even suggested a name for their new “alliance.”

Even though schools provide plenty of colleagues, some of whom become close friends, it’s hard for people who aren’t publications advisers to identify with some of the challenges that publication programs include. When the phone in my office rings between 2:30 and 4:00 p.m., it is often an adviser who has made it to the end of another day and just wants to share with someone who has walked the same path.

Answering the phone and receiving a variety of E-mails from all of you is an enjoyable part of my job, but I hope some of you are interested in fostering a local group of advisers that creates a supportive we for all of you. Let me know if I can help.

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