A Project for Better Journalism chapter
Showcase, Visual Arts

New Teacher Paves the Way for Stronger Media Program

Media and technology have always played large roles in our community. Northampton High School uses technology to connect their students to the school, to show students their grades, to improve theater shows, and even to teach in the classrooms. Northampton High School’s new media teacher Jeromie Whalen has fresh ideas to bring to the table regarding “looking at media in general through a critical eye and with a critical lense.” He wants to leave all notions of how the class was taught previously, raising the bar and focusing on the bright future ahead. “Technology means nothing if its not used to improve our culture in society,” Whalen said.

Before becoming a teacher at NHS, Whalen worked with Northampton Community Television, teaching a television production seminar as well as collaborating with the school as an “eyewitness to the potential that Northampton High School had,” said Whalen. Working with NCTV, Whalen said, has given him a great outlook on how media should be handled. It’s a great class for hands on education, allowing students to jump right into the swing of social media. He also stands by the idea that “mistakes are how we learn.”

Not only does Whalen want to continue using the valuable NCTV recourse, but he also wants to include the hidden talent in clubs here at NHS.

“What we’re really looking to do is bridge those connections and really show that students have a variety of means for learning, so what we need to do as educators is bring a variety of tools and resources to students to have them better educate themselves and learn in a better atmosphere,” Whalen says. It’s clear that Jeromie Whalen, as a first year teacher at NHS, has many aspirations for his current and future classes. He asks for feedback from his students often, knowing that their words will show what his strengths are as well as highlight his weaknesses.

But how are his students reacting to this new teacher?

So far, the response has been extremely positive. Whalen’s got a “fresh new perspective” that makes the class simultaneously interesting and challenging, said student Ruby Townsend. Student Cassidy Armstrong said that “he really cares about his students and wants them to succeed.” However, despite the fact that he might be a very approachable, easygoing teacher, student Davis Caron-Vera said that “it’s not an easy A class,” and that the balance between work and play is excellent.