So what exactly does an education reporter do? A lot

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 15, 2014

You may ask, “What exactly does an education reporter do?”
Most people would probably guess that my duties center around reporting on local education, and they’d be right. But the day-to-day details of my position aren’t as clear-cut as one might expect.
My duties vary by the day and week, but that’s part of what makes my job so enjoyable. Last week was a great example of the wonderful craziness I experience.
Monday was a great example of a typical misconception people might have about my job. The day began with a five-hour school board meeting in East Spencer. Many of you are probably groaning just at the thought of such a long meeting, but in all actuality, it was quite the opposite.
At meetings, school boards discuss policies, jobs, curriculum and district finances, which allows me to be informed of big local decisions that affect our youth and pass them on to you, the reader. It is also an excellent way to hear and understand the opinions and feeling of parents and other residents of Rowan County.
Just like my week, school board meetings always vary in length and content, so its never routine.
On Tuesday, I joined 46 fifth-graders at Horizon’s outdoor classroom on Duke Energy’s Buck Combined Cycle Station property.
During this trip, I was able to observe the students interact with a variety of animals as they watched birds, learned about different types of scat and, my personal favorite (or not), saw a very large black snake.
My day wasn’t over after the field trip, as I headed back to Salisbury to cover the local county elections from the Rowan County Administration building that evening.
Our entire newsroom split up to cover the different primary elections, and my responsibility was the Kannapolis Board of Education. This race was between three candidates for just two open seats. Covering elections can make for a long night but can be a lot of fun as you get to interact with and interview all of the candidates.
On the down side, it proved why I am a reporter and not a mathematician, as I struggled through voting totals and percentages from both Rowan and Cabarrus counties.
The biggest perk of election night is pizza in the newsroom — a tradition held by journalists across the nation.
Thursday began at Overton Elementary learning about the new one-to-one technological conversion. One-to-one will put either an iPad or a laptop in the hands of each student in Rowan County. Throughout the morning, I enjoyed meeting great administrators and staff within the school. Despite the wonderful faculty and staff, my favorite part was my time spent with the students as they talked about the devices and applications that they were using.
As a reporter, there are smaller assignments that are quicker or easier to cover, yet still require attention. Friday was a big day for covering these types of assignments. I spent a large portion of my day focusing on preparing for June’s graduation section and finding local students who had special prom proposals this year.
As a team member here at the Post, if our crime reporter is out of the office and breaking news happens, I go out and cover that too. That could be anything from a wreck to a bomb squad searching a house for explosives.
The life of an education reporter is never consistent but also never dull, Each day is full of excitement and adventure and a whole lot of hard work.
Perhaps the biggest perk my job affords is the opportunity of interacting with the people of Rowan County and learning what is important to them.
Our children and college students are the future of our county. I’m proud to say that I get to be a part of the change as it takes place.