About 4 months ago I walked away from my 25-year TV weather career. During the final days, I posted 20 lessons I’d learned throughout my years in broadcast meteorology. In case you missed them on Facebook or LinkedIn, here is # 4. (All 20 can be found on my website’s main blog page. Scroll through the posts to see which topics interest you).
- CHILDREN ARE THE FUTURE: INVEST IN THE FUTURE
From the time I started in TV, there was an unspoken “rule” that meteorologists visited schools to talk about the weather. I don’t know who started the tradition, but schools would call, and I would go. I was so nervous in the early years that those third graders would ask a question I couldn’t answer. With time, I crafted my delivery and presentation and started really enjoying the visits. Many TV stations encourage school visits since community outreach is a requirement of the FCC. They were done on my own time and for no extra pay. It was much easier in the early years to cut out after the morning news, stop at a school, and then head home for the day. Over time the visits became much more difficult as more newscasts were added, I had my own children, and I started homeschooling part-time. Sometimes I dreaded the thought of keeping a rowdy cafeteria of 120 4th graders entertained for an hour. But every single time, when the visit ended, I felt GOOD. I felt like I had made a difference. The smiles on their faces, the thoughtful questions asked, the pure excitement that they had seen me on TV that same morning wearing the same dress – was worth it. After each visit, as I left the school completely exhausted, I knew, “Teachers do NOT get paid enough!”
Of course, the years of visits also provided inspiration for my children’s weather books, especially the nonfiction, *Let’s Talk Weather, TV Forecasting: Behind the Scenes.* I published it in 2017 as a result of the school presentation I had created. The book was meant to be a companion to my visits but really ended up as a stand-alone source for explaining how I did my job. Writing the book renewed my passion for STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education in schools and provided personal fulfillment knowing a child might learn from my experiences.
When my employer told me I could no longer sell my books at schools, the decision to leave my TV job became much easier. Educating, promoting literacy, and encouraging kids in STEM fields, outweighed my desire to wake up at 2 AM. It really was a no-brainer.
I look forward to the day when coronavirus is under control and schools allow visitors again. I’ll be first in line to share in the weather classes.
➡️ “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin
Patricia R Blankenship says
Why ? Miss you on the news !! Good luck and stay safe !
Jason Shelfer says
This was a BRAVE and Beautiful decision. Congratulations on having the courage to be willing to boldly break free, step into the unknown, and impact the world in a deeper, more soul inspired way. This gave me chills and I look forward to reading the other lessons.
Thank you, Jason!