The journalism students at Maynard Jackson High School are privileged to gain hands-on experience in the classroom. They are learning photography, video production, and post production while exploring their creativity and talents.
Mr. Henderson Maddox is their broadcast/video production teacher who joined Jackson last year. He is a filmmaker himself, with 8 years of teaching experience as well. His goal is for the students to acquire skills that will open doors for future success.
The first year class covers the basics of video production, including shot composition. The students are working on a photography project, which allows them to explore the surrounding areas capturing shots of landscapes, architecture, etc. These photos are compiled into a photo album, as a reference for the student’s work. The second year class applies what they’ve learned last year as they create short films and learn more in-depth about the world of journalism. They are introduced to news production, including reporting, and how it differs with narratives and short films. The third year class is an independent class that works on several projects throughout the year. These projects include a timeline of their senior year, as well as a video yearbook, that captures the whole year for students and is great for fundraising for equipment.
“What I like most about this class is that we are very independent. When we come inside this class, Mr. Maddox gives us our assignment and he tells us when it’s due and we’re responsible for getting it done on a certain day,” says Daresha Scott, a senior at Jackson high school.
The fourth class is also independent but counts as an internship. Although the students are not allowed to leave the classroom, they will gain real world experience even at school! The students work as post-production editors and edit footages that Mr. Maddox shot over the summer, and will receive credit for their work. Their credit will be listed in IMDB.com and can be added to their resume. The internship requires them to create 4 promos, create a trailer, and edit all 10 episodes of the show, including teasers. This is a great opportunity for students to have a head start in their production career, with a work reel to show for it!
It is inspiring to see high school students pursuing their dreams and preparing for the real world. They are active in learning and gaining a skillset that explores their creativity and exercises effective communications.