ERIC Number: ED390072
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Preparing for What Might Happen: Teaching High School Journalism in a Segregated High School in Fort Worth, Texas.
Sparks, Mary Kahl
If ever there ever was an unsung heroine in journalism, it was LaBerta Miller Phillips, who taught journalism and advised student publications at Fort Worth's segregated I.M. Terrell High School from 1922 to 1966. When asked how she was farsighted enough to be teaching journalism all those years when there were few jobs open to blacks in the field, she replied that perhaps there was no opportunity yet, but she was trying to get her students prepared for what might happen. It was no accident that the first three Blacks to work for the "Fort Worth Star-Telegram" were Mrs. Phillips' students. Alumni credit her with energetic enthusiasm, identifying students' strengths and encouraging them to work up to their maximum ability. LaBerta and her siblings, three of whom were also teachers, were encouraged by their parents to go to college. Mrs. Phillips got into high school journalism by first becoming an English teacher. Terrell High was blessed with excellent teachers because there was little other professional opportunity for minorities in that era. Today, it is necessary to encourage the brightest and the best to go into teaching. Teachers need to set high standards and nurture students until they do their best. It is impossible to measure the influence of a teacher, but LaBerta Phillips influenced hundreds of lives in more than 40 years of teaching. (CR)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Historical Materials; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Fort Worth Independent School District TX; Outstanding Teachers
Note: Honors Lecture presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Educators in Journalism and Mass Communications (78th, Washington, DC, August 9-12, 1995).