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Misha and Class in Maui Waena Intermediate School

My Four Day Editing Course Outline For A Middle School Media Program In Hawaii

This is a 5 part course outline is written by Misha Tenenbaum, editor and founder of

When I first heard that my editing students were middle schoolers I wasn’t sure if they could handle the material I had prepared for them, but what could I do by that point? I had already landed in Hawaii.

After a presentation I gave titled How to Win an Editing Competition at the 2016 STN conference in Atlanta, a teacher named Mrs. Suzuki asked me a question that all teachers dream of being asked, “Do you want to come to Hawaii and teach a summer camp about editing?” There is only one answer to this question, and Liz Lemon said it best, “I want to go to there.”

Maui Waena Intermediate School
Thousands of high school students participate in competitions at STN. Only a handful of middle schools even have media programs, let alone compete. I just assumed that Mrs. Suzuki’s invitation was for a high school.

The first challenge I realized was my mistake of thinking that these kids, as young as 11 years old, were incapable of learning to edit. What I realized after I actually met these kids was that any limitations they had were my own.

I should have known better. I’ve been around dozens of chess masters who are yet to reach their teenage years. Last night I watched 15 year olds compete in the Olympics.

Mrs. Suzuki doesn’t underestimate her kids at all. That is one of her greatest strengths. Mrs. Suzuki sets a high bar of expectation with a coaches discipline but a mother’s love. No half effort project will be tolerated, but hugs are on tap.

For the next four days I had my work cut out for me. My goal was to create a class that introduced the basic editing concepts of all three major forms of editing: scripted, documentary, and music montage. The challenge was to present the material in a way that made it fun for kids who can’t sit still.

My goal in this article series is to share with you the lesson plan that I taught over those four days. While I was teaching it to kids who squirm around every time you say the word Spiderman, these four lessons are universal for beginner editors of any age:

Misha Teaching Class

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