Glance behind The Lance: Setting up the classroom


Josh Tidd

Emily Reed, Beau Cameron, Catie Jo Tansey, Lily Weaver, and Mrs. Natalie Rebetsky pose while recording the podcast.

by Lily Weaver and Catie Jo Tansey

The first episode of the Linganore High School Journalism podcast series, ¨A Glance Behind the Lance¨, stars journalism Co-Editors-In-Chief, Emily Reed and Beau Cameron, as well as Advisor, Natalie Rebetsky. This episode is focused on how the nationally distinguished high school paper, The Lance, sets up their classroom.

This episode features key ways the classroom runs in order to be successful. This includes creating the journalism hierarchy. To do this, Rebetsky leads students in a bonding activity using The 36 Questions That Lead To Falling in Love from the New York Times, to allow students to get a better idea of who they would work well with.

From this, new students who have never taken journalism create a list of students who have taken journalism once (J2s) who they want to report to. Once the Editors-in-Chief create a staff list of J1s and the J2 who they report to, J2s choose the J3s they will report to. The J4s oversee the class as a whole. This creates a hierarchy where students can report to their designated upper level students when they need help, or to get their stories edited. 

Under this hierarchy, Rebestsky can demonstrate a hands-off teaching approach, trusting that the day to day issues are being taken care of. Issues can travel up the hierarchy to the Editors-In-Chief before reaching the advisor. However, Rebetsky oversees the production of the newspaper, as well as reads over every story before it gets published.

Rebetsky also mentions the main difference between teaching a journalism class now and her class when she first started teaching, over 30 years ago. She believes the main difference is how much faster the production of stories needs to happen, due to social media. Stories are posted every day to keep the online website updated, as well as to keep a strong social media presence, whereas 30 years ago, the only way stories were published was through a paper copy. This only occurred once everyones stories were complete and ready to be published.

To learn more about how The Lance sets up their classroom, listen to our podcast above.