Results tagged ““back to school””

The Hook: Cherie Kabba Knows How To Connect With Youth

Guest post by Cherie Kabba

Now that my daughters are in college, heading back to school means something very different for me. New clothes, shoes or notebooks is no longer “cool” for these college chicas. New friends, new classes or professors also did not rank high on the list of highlights for the upcoming school year. Seems college students, now adults, have a sense of seniority when it comes to school and the new “cool” is actually trendsetting and becoming an expert in a hobby. My daughters are poets. From wearing old clothes with new accessories to embracing much of the retro gear, leggings with prints, shoes much like clogs and boots worn in the summer, boots with short skirts and boots with just about anything, as long as they can express themselves verbally, they’re happy.

My eyes had been opened. It was then I realized that there are no rules when it comes to stylin’ and profilin’. And … one of the most contributing factors of being an individual that is “cool” is being comfortable in the clothes you wear, the hats you rock or the jumpers you’re sportin’, as long as there can be some verbal expression.

So … mathematically 1 + 1 = 2, right? Well, I started to do the math. As an Adobe Youth Voices Lead Educator, one of the unwritten rules is to be able to connect with the youth long enough to engage them. Let’s call this lesson The Hook. Hook is figuratively a thing designed to catch people’s attention. It’s like a chorus or repeated instrumental passage in a piece of music that gives it immediate appeal and makes it easy to remember.

I put on a pair of boots, matching earrings and necklaces and get this … I got may nails done in two colors that matched the uniformed shirt I wear to work daily. It created dialog from the many of teens (over 15) and all of the tweens (10 – 13). I am sure many of you are cringing at the idea of changing to gain the attention of a group of youth that are younger than your biological children … but give me a moment … it wasn’t a change for me.

Changing occurred when I graduated from college and joined the routine of corporate America. Blouses, suits and heels make women look and feel very feminine. Starting work a 9 am, then leaving at 5pm seemed ideal, but my feet would hurt and the evenings allowed me enough time to relax, have dinner, watch TV and prepare for the routine of tomorrow. Honestly, some days I am just a Neil Diamond kind of girl and will forever be in blue jeans, an oversized t-shirt with bare feet.

My “look” was appealing to the youth. My Adobe Youth Voices group started with 3 and has now reached more than 15 by the end of the first month back to school. I decorated the walls with their print projects and we are always brain storming new ideas. I thought of innovative ways to “hook” them into telling their story and the “hook” of spoken word was helpful to assist in the introductory lessons. Rhythm and rhyme always helps pass the time away and stirs up the creative process. We are building bonds.

Each educator has secrets, tips and even tricks to lure the young people. But for me, my hook comes in many disguises, faces and talents…

“… See … I teach the youth to fall in love with technology
play Cupid and metaphorically my arrow is imagery
Please allow me to explain
In the stages of infancy
even a craftsman chooses a topic to study
and develops a discipline of mastery
in short
I lure the young people in the ICC
by bringing life to originality
And secretly, I show them how to increase their vocabulary
through spoken words …”

“In order to have what you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done.”

Cherie Kabba,
Adobe Youth Voices Master Educator

Youth Media: Adobe Youth Voices Celebrates Back to School!

As we enter the new school year, we’re excited to move forward with a plan to put the spotlight on our students work, rolling out a new theme each month and inviting the online community to view, comment on and share these amazing creations.

Month by month, youth-produced films will be posted to the Adobe Youth Voices Youth Media Gallery. We will highlight this content through this blog and via our social networks: Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

We invite you to check back often to view newly posted work, artist statements, and updates from our Adobe Youth Voices website, then share what you’ve seen with others!

Congratulations to all of our students, mentors and educators on beginning a new school year. We wish you all the best and we look forward to another year of sharing your work with the world!

Stacey Long, Adobe Youth Voices

Gregg Witkin Shares Thoughts On The New School Year

Guest post by Gregg Witkin

You know it when you wake up, it’s that day again.  The one you knew was coming.  One moment it’s a ship off in the distance hanging onto your horizon, the next your riding its bow wave.  For some it’s the start of a new places, new faces, for others its like a warm blanket on a cold winter night.

This year for me marked my 14th as a teacher and 14th working for the same school.  Sometimes I just take a moment and realize how incredibly quick the past 13 have gone and pledge to do my best to hold on just a little longer to the moments that will highlight this next year.  I find that moment to be a precipice between summer and the start of the year.  For when I actually have students walk through my door my world doesn’t seem to stop moving until I walk out that door again next June.

I stood in my doorway to welcome my first class and in they walked, a fresh group of teens/young adults/gen whatevers with their whole lives in front of them.  I thought, was this going to be the year something incredible happens that will forever be etched in my memory or will it be a year that seems to fade somewhere in the middle leaving no true indelible mark.  Last year was a struggle at our site all teachers agree and this year we were hoping the mix of students would work to our advantage.  This group already had the feel of a positive beginning according to our administrators.  The students smiled, shook hands, there were even hugs.  It was a start, a positive one, one to build on.  To take advantage of as a teacher and use to my advantage to help them realize as much potential as possible.  It was time to get to work.  I even felt my world lunge forward as the brake lever on the year released.  I hope they were ready, I sure was!

I’ve had the luxury to spend my career at the same school and see all those who were there when I was hired, retire, move on, rise to district leadership, and far too many passing away.  At 38, I’m the old guy, the scruffy veteran.  The one who sometimes writes lesson plans on napkins while out to dinner with his wife.  Who understands, all rhetoric aside, that achievement is linked to buy in by both teacher and student.  In all those years I feel I have experienced quite a bit and still realize that there is so much more out there.

Adobe Youth Voices is a cornerstone to the technology classes taught at my school and we start right away getting our hands dirty.  With many of our students needing only 50-100 credits to graduate I have the unique challenge to only have them in my classes for a year or less (many a semester or less).   With drawbacks comes advantages and every person interprets those things differently.  Lets just say, there are many reasons I’ve been at my school for now 14 years.  With the students who are now in my technology classes I see great things happening.  I feel I’ve started the year out with kids who have seen the light and want to explore their world.  I promised them I’d work as hard as they do and some have already begun the pre-production process.  I can’t wait to help them see their projects though.

This year, we seem to have the technology nailed down a bit more and we are able to better use the CS4 suite (and hopefully CS5) more seamless.  The IT guys take hits all the time when things don’t go right so I have to mention when they do, so thanks guys!

I’ll finish by saying, I’m looking forward to working with the other Adobe Youth Voices Lead Educators, they left me this summer with more energy and inspiration than I could have ever imagined, I felt lucky to be included.

Have a great year and may all your files render quickly.

Gregg Witkin
Adobe Youth Voices Master Educator

Adobe Youth Voices Teachers “Go Back to School” …Early!

Adobe Youth Voices held in-depth training sessions this July and early August for Educators, Mentors and Coordinators eager to begin training and planning for the upcoming school year.  The trainings are designed to prepare educators for teaching students the technical aspects of creating videos and digital art, but are also facilitated in an environment that keeps them engaged and inspired and fosters sharing and learning from their peers and in some cases, students!

One of many trainings this summer hosted educators in the Boston area from EdCo Youth Alternative, Spontaneous Celebrations, Artist for Humanities, and Ferryway Middle. The teachers were asked to put themselves in the shoes of the youth in the Adobe Youth Voices program. In a condensed three day period,  educators  had to brainstorm topics, work in groups, and create a video about something they are passionate about. At the end of the institute, they showcased their work to a group of twenty five youth who are participants in the Adobe Youth Voices program. Youth offered critique to the educators.

Hillary Kolos, educator from the Boston area, commented – “Some of the highlights of the project included creating an exhibition plan which included choosing an outreach partner, creating a postcard and program for the event, and an activity that would engage the audience in the subject matter of the video.  The teachers and students had a great time challenging each other with ideas and came away excited about kicking off the new school year with the program.”

In addition to the Summer Institute this year, Adobe Youth Voices launched a training specifically for “Lead Educators.” Teachers, Mentors and Coordinators in the Adobe Youth Voices program, around the world from traditional schools sites, after-school programs and alternative schools, that have gone above and beyond in their commitment to teaching the program to their students.  The objective of the training is for the Lead Educators to learn new curriculum, provide insight into ongoing program development based on their creative and innovative ways of implementation and to help train and mentor others in the program.

“We are excited that these very dedicated teachers, mentors and coordinators participated in the trainings this year, said Patricia Cogley, program manager for Adobe Youth Voices. “They are seriously committed to engaging their students and helping them learn and we are just as committed to providing them with the tools to do so.”

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