It’s almost here…summer! And for those of you who teach, especially yearbook, that means some much needed down time! But, before you head into summer school, or professional development classes, or rewriting curriculum and tests and lesson plans, or completely restructuring units, or any of the wonderful, lazy things we do in our down time (please insert sarcastic grin), there are just a few yearbook tasks you should do before you leave for the summer to make returning to your yearbook classroom easier for next year.
1. Clean out and organize your classroom. Yes, I know, this is neither an easy task nor a quick venture, but it is so worth the time and effort. Look for ways to re-organize all your yearbook materials. Clean out the cupboards of any food materials left over from those parties and work nights. (Ants, mold, crickets and other creatures are really not good staff mascots.) File all design ideas, either in a notebook or in the round file. You want your staff to look at new, fresh ideas and inspiration. Organize your yearbook library and discard samples older than 4 years. Trends change so fast that books and magazines older than that are already outdated.
2. Register yourself and students for a local yearbook workshop. You may have already begun working on your 2012 theme and graphic ideas, but a yearbook workshop is invaluable when it comes to honing your ideas and ironing out the details of theme and coverage. It’s also a way to give new staff members some training and experiece before the year starts, allowing you to jump into production earlier in the Fall. For a list of workshops around the country, start here: http://www.yearbooks.biz/events
3. Check on your account. It’s always a really good idea to make sure your final bill has been paid. It just isn’t fun to come back to school and see an invoice in your box with an unpaid balance due. You also want to verify your profit before upgrading any hardware, software or photo equipment. No one wants to start the year in the red!
4. Update your membership to Scholastic organizations and submit your book for critique/competition. If you are interested in getting a professional review of your publication or seeing how it ranks among the best books in the nation, be sure to fill out all applications and submit membership dues/payments before the deadlines. You can start here: NSPA Critiques & Pacemaker Award, or CSPA Critiques & Crown Award for the national organizations, but there are local and state groups who do critiques as well.
5. Have a plan for Fall book sales. No matter how you’ve sold books in the past, the beginning of the school year is ususally the best time of year to sell yearbooks. If your school mails home a registration/orientation packet, see if you can add a yearbook sales flyer. If you are selling your yearbooks on line, make sure the site is set up and ready to take orders when your sales begin. If you need to, order marketing materials from your representative or have students make posters so they are ready to go on registration or orientation days. A weak marketing plan usaually results in weak sales. Be prepared.
6. Plan some REAL down time. We know how short summer really is, but find some time for just YOU! Schedule time to do what you love to do best, and what is truly relaxing for you. It will help make the transition back into the chaos of the school year a little easier. And your students and family will thank you for it!
Congratulations! You are done!