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RIDE supports several blogs throughout our website where Rhode Islanders and RIDE staff share their thoughts.

On this page, we have collected all of the blogs on our site - many of which share posts from Rhode Island educators other than RIDE staff. Blogs are listed in alphabetical order:

  • Commissioner's Corner: Blog posts and messages from the Commissioner to the Rhode Island community.
  • District Teacher of the Year (DTOY): Posts from the Rhode Island District Teachers of the Year, past and present, who share about instructional successes and challenges they encounter in Rhode Island classrooms.
  • Equitable Access to Excellent Educators: Rhode Island educators and RIDE staff explore factors and perspectives on the importance of ensuring that all students are taught by high quality educators.
  • Leadership: Reflections and insights from RIDE’s Leadership Fellow and other district and school leaders on the challenges and opportunities of being a school leader.
  • Rhode Island Poet Laureate: Reflections and poetry focused on teaching, learning, and the experience of education from Tina Cane, Rhode Island Poet Laureate.
  • Rhode Island Science Education (R.I.S.E.): A communication blog to update stakeholders in education and in the community on important developments, events and accomplishments in science education in Rhode Island.
  • Student Voice: Because student voice is an essential component of our discussion on education, RIDE will post essays written by students from around Rhode Island.

Click on a category below to filter by a particular blog:

This is Not Your Mother’s CTE

Posted by: Kamlyn Keith on 1/18/2019
Doreen Picozzi, MJE
2019 Lincoln District Teacher of the Year
Lincoln High School

Three front pages of the Lion's Roar school newspaper

The day I graduated with my English degree, I announced to my parents that I was exquisitely qualified to do nothing. I had not secured a degree in education. I had not developed any marketable skills. Despite my academic success, my concentration seemed impractical. I couldn’t imagine any existing company that would welcome me into its fold.

I was wrong. While my degree did little to place me on a career pathway, lessons I learned while still in school made the difference. At 16 years old, I landed a position where I was trained to set type and paste up brochures. I held the job for nearly five years. As a college freshman, I also served as a peer tutor in my school’s writing center. Soon thereafter, I took on bits of freelance work as well, producing features and arts reviews for a local weekly newspaper for $15 per story. The three positions netted me less than $80 weekly, but together they foretold the story of a three-legged journey that would span more than four decades.

The only emotion I felt when I crossed the stage to receive my degree was terror. It was the 70s, and there was a recession. Finding a fulltime job as a writer was as likely for me as selling a novel that summer.

After two months, I opened up the yellow pages, made a random selection, and found a newspaper job. I was hired, not because of my degree, but because of my typesetting and paste up experience. Soon after, I was named associate editor of the weekly that bravely took a chance on me.

I spent 12 years working for three different publications, another 12 during which I hopped the fence, so to speak, to serve as a press secretary to an elected official, and the past 17 serving the students of Lincoln High School as an English teacher and coordinator of one of LHS’s wonderful CTE Academies. My early work -- my very own career and technical education -- forged those pathways for me.

Students in broadcasting room

Every day, well before the busses arrive, a handful of students, often with breakfast in tow, gather in my classroom. Like board members of a multimedia company, the students apprise the status of the monthly newspaper, handle pre-production for the daily broadcast, share Adobe tricks and tips, solve problems, compromise, and collaborate. My scholars are thriving, becoming more confident students, better writers, and intrepid and honorable human beings.

Had I the same opportunity in high school, I would have felt valued, prepared, and ready to take on the journey ahead. I would have made the confusing odyssey in broad daylight, not at dusk where it is sometimes difficult to see the curves ahead. I would have felt empowered by skills rather than just my GPA.

Thanks to the Journalism Education Association, NSPA, and NESPA, I have met and learned from some of the thousands of teachers dedicated to teaching content that is essential to a well-rounded education, critical to the operation of a free democracy, and yet consistently under fire for its failings in a high-tech world where anyone with a keyboard can call themselves a journalist. Each of us has taken a very different route, but we proudly share this same destination.

Forty years ago, I did not want to be a reporter. Seventeen years ago, I did not want to teach journalism. I wanted to teach my students how to celebrate the big books, how to revel in the beauty of poetry, how to hitch a ride to adventures in fantasy and myth. I imagined that only literature could start a wildfire in their minds and hearts.

Poster displaying LMS Journalism and Broadcast Academy, Lions News

Like so many times before, I was dead wrong.

Today, I marvel at the way the three little jobs that I held so long ago brought me here to LHS, to a career that I didn’t know I wanted, and to a place where students are becoming college and career ready, thanks to their own personal journeys that have already begun, right here, on this pathway, and in our CTE Academy.

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