Can you tell us about yourself?
"Hi, I'm Jerry Fordyce. I'm a teacher here at Tomball High School. Tomball is in the Northwest part of Harris County where Houston is located. I have been teaching here for 12 years. I teach the journalism programs, including newspaper, yearbook, journalism, photo journalism, and broadcast journalism which is the one that applies most to you guys."
Why did you start a career in education?
"I was a journalist for 30 years and deciding to go into teaching to share my experiences and pass along my information to other."
If you could have any other job what would it be and why?
"You asked if I could have any other job what would it be and why. Honestly, journalism is the only thing I ever wanted to do. I absolutely love it. If I ever get out of teaching, it would probably be to go back into journalism and work as a reporter again."
How are kids different now than 30 years ago?
"You asked how the kids are different today. Honestly, you know there is all this talk about these kids being snowflakes and all this other stupid stuff but I find kids today are more aware of the world. I am not saying they are smarter, or better, or worse than the kids before them but they are very aware that they are inheriting a world that has a lot of problems. They do seem dedicated to try to solve them, which is a good sign I think. It bodes well for the future."
What would you tell someone who wants to become a teacher?
"I've actually had several teachers, or several students that go into teaching. Journalism is one of those fields of study that lends itself to teaching. A large number of journalism students in high school go on to be teachers and they are very satisfied with that choice. It's something that is a good profession that they really enjoy."
What is one thing you would change to help kids learn better?
"The only thing I would change to help kids learn better, honestly, for my program a lot of it is just resources. We have.. I have 20 something kids in broadcasting. I have 20 something kids in yearbook. We are all fighting over the same 6 cameras that are worth using that I have. I have got one that is a modern full frame mirrorless camera. The rest of them are older DSLRs. We don't get budget from the district or anything. I'm not saying just my district. A lot of districts are like this. So if we want equipment, we have to raise money for it. We have to use money we raise from yearbook and sales and stuff or fundraisers. We've done the DonorsChoose Program and things like that. My biggest wish is that we could say "Hey I need, for example, headphones for my students to use to watch videos." Unfortunately, there is noway to do that. So, opportunities like this to able to get that equipment comes in pretty handy. In fact, that is what I'm going to be using the headphones for is my broadcast program. You can imagine the cacophony of noise if 20 kids were watching different videos or editing different videos at the same time with the speakers turned on. In fact, a lot of my computers don't have speakers so they have to use headphones. Today's headphones, a lot of my kids' have IPhones, so that's a completely different jack. So they can't use those like they used to be able to do. So, I want to be able to have a box available to give one to each of my students in broadcasting so they can always use. They will have their name and stuff so that will be theirs and they will always be able to grab one and listen as they edit videos and stuff like that. So, they will be a very practical addition to my program. Thank you."