He was a journalist specializing in education. What He Saw Made Him Change Jobs: NPR
After covering education as an outsider, a journalist was inspired to make a difference from within.
Who is he? Cameron Fields was a Cleveland-based journalist, who originally focused on sports writing before transitioning into community journalism. This eventually led him to work on a project called Cleveland’s Promise.
- The project aimed to tell the stories of young students, including their struggles, triumphs and everything in between.
- Fields was stationed at Almira Elementary School, west of Cleveland, alongside reporting partner Hannah Drown. It was there, among students and the community, that he realized that education was the next step he wanted to take in his career.
- “That’s when I started thinking about it, just because I loved coming to school every day and helping the students with their work, helping them with whatever problems they had. , with all the things that they had in mind. And that just felt like really fulfilling and rewarding work for me,” Fields told NPR.
What is the problem ? Aside from those students gaining a dedicated and qualified new teacher?
Want more education journalism? Listen to the consider this episode on how the class of 2023 survived high school in a pandemic.
What’s he saying? Fields spoke with NPR’s Juana Summers about making the switch.
On the philosophy behind the Cleveland Promise:
The aim was to show the different challenges [within] the metropolitan school district, [focusing on] a Cleveland school, and the experiences of teachers, staff, and students, as Cleveland is one of the poorest major cities in the nation.
Residents of Cleveland and the City of Cleveland face many different financial challenges [difficulties]also with regard to social challenges and different emotional challenges.
And what I think I’ve been able to help is show the commitment to social-emotional learning, within Cleveland schools. And I think that was one of the main tenets that Cleveland’s promise showed is that teachers and staff do their best to help students, not just academically, but also socially. social and emotional level.
By making the change:
It was really hard. I had thought about it. And I was like, journalism is kind of the only thing I know, and that’s what my degree is in.
Writing was a challenge for me, and reporting was a mental challenge. So I was ready for something different, I was ready for a change, and I wanted to get into something where I felt like I could really continue to do great work.
Working with children:
So they were just great to be around, great to work with, and really, really resilient kids.
Many students there may not have the best self-image or self-esteem. And that’s why I want to be in teaching and do this job, because students need someone who is going to believe in them, students need someone who is going to help them and nurture them.
So what now?
- Fields has joined Teach for America and will train with them this summer to develop his teaching skills.
- Some lucky students will soon be able to call Fields their teacher.