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By, Sydney Scallock

 It is no secret that advising students is a tricky business. Each student comes from a different background with separate and distinct needs and wants. Every student also has different levels of abilities that create a unique landscape in the classroom. Acknowledging these challenges, seasoned advising pro, Mitch Eden, offers 10 Habits of a Successful Adviser.

 This session is presented by the Northeastern Wisconsin Scholastic Press Association (NEWSPA).  NEWSPA is holding its annual spring conference virtually this year and invites high school teachers, advisers and students to register. Experts like Mitch Eden will be sharing valuable knowledge to aid journalism teachers and high school students in their pursuits this year.

 Mitch Eden is an adviser at Kirkwood High School in Kirkwood, Missouri. Eden has been advising his school’s yearbook class for an impressive 25 years. He says that over the years he has devised a list of 10 best practices that he believes every adviser should put in place. These 10 best practices are also applicable to other similar student organizations like a high school newspaper, journalism club, etc.

 Advising Amidst a Pandemic
However, Eden also acknowledges that even 25 years of yearbook advising did not prepare him for the challenges and ramifications that a pandemic had to offer. COVID-19 has made advisers’ jobs harder even in the most basic of ways. Regardless, Eden approaches this challenge as a unique opportunity to document unprecedented history within his school. He also encourages others to take the same fresh perspective.

 “We can’t be doing things the way we have always done because this year is unprecedented. It is like no other,” says Eden.

 Eden offers helpful suggestions and practical advice to help advisers navigate their obligations and aspirations in the midst of a pandemic. It is still possible to go above and beyond as a teacher and adviser in this climate.

 Eden’s presentation will be available through the NEWSPA annual spring conference which will consist of a combination of pre-recorded and live sessions. Eden’s session is one of the pre-recorded sessions and will be available from January – June 2021. The pre-recorded conference will feature over 30 guest speakers, many of which are videos that can integrate seamlessly into your existing spring semester lesson plans. Other presentations, like Eden’s, are designed to aid advisers and teachers in cultivating the best classroom possible for your students. The live conference will be held remotely on April 21, 2021 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. The live sessions will also feature a Kahoot style journalism smackdown and awards ceremony.

 This year, the conference is being presented at no cost. If you would like to view sessions like Eden’s 10 Habits of a Successful advisor, registration information can be found on NEWSPA’s website. Interested in learning more about NEWSPA membership, more information can be found here.