Making Connections with Students
Fourth-year teacher Travis Farnham hasn’t let lack of funding get in the way of plans he has for his broadcast journalism students. He said when he started at Blue Ridge High two years ago the only camera in the classroom had to be plugged in, preventing students from getting interviews within the school.
“I wrote a grant for a camera and put it on DonorsChoose.org ,” said Farnham. “Immediately after getting the funding and buying the camera, it opened up many possibilities for the class. Now we can film at football games and go around the school to interview students and teachers.”
Farnham expanded his grant search, which resulted in receiving funding from the Greater Greer Education Foundation. “We were able to purchase lights, a green screen, editing software, another camera, and tripods. It really helped take our students to the next level,” he said.
Farnham was recognized in August as the Secondary Emerging Teacher of the Year. His many contributions to Blue Ridge High include working with students during the lunchtime Power Hour. “I decided to use Power Hour to meet with my students. I run an extra-credit book club for students in my English classes,” he explained. “It’s an easy and enjoyable way for me to offer extra points. It is also a great way to promote reading for enjoyment because they choose a book that they want to read, they decide how much they want to read each week. I give them a quiz to make sure that they’ve read the book, and then I participate with them through group discussions.”
On Friday evenings, Farnham and some of the students at Blue Ridge High meet at a local rock climbing gym, where he teaches students climbing safety.