Ready or not, the new school year is here. So, to help you get off to the best start ever, we’re digging into our archives to share our 5 best yearbook tips for the beginning of the year.
1. Establish Expectations: Review class requirements, grading policies, any planned staff work nights/weekends and the importance of making deadlines. TIP: Consider having each student sign a contract like this one:
2. Share Information: Complete a staff directory that includes cell phone numbers and e-mail addresses, class schedules, birthdays, parents’ names, etc. TIP: Consider creating a gmail account (or other e-mail), Twitter, Facebook page or closed group as a way to relay information between adviser/editors/staffers.
3. Build a Strong Team: Start each day with ten or fifteen minutes of icebreakers/team building activities. This will help students get acquainted and get over any fears, shyness, etc. and begin to become a cohesive team. TIP: Start with our Scavenger Hunt, then look here for short games with a purpose, or click on the image below for 10 more activities.
4. Determine Your Deadlines: Finalize and post the ladder. TIP: Color code it by deadline and list specific spread assignments, which pages will be sent with each deadline, etc. Indicate which pages are going to be printed in color and/or spot color.
5. Build a Staff Space: Most students need visual reminders that there are things to be done and deadlines to be met, so create a staff wall or corner that is strictly for yearbook. Consider individual mail cubbies for everyone on the staff or for each section. This gives you, other staff members and people on campus a place to “mail” information such as club rosters or sports schedules to specific staff members. The cubbies can be made from shoe boxes or even large envelopes tacked to the wall. Hanging file folders work well. Hang up an additional white board or designate a portion of an existing white board “yearbook only” and label parts for every section. This is a great place to write messages/needs as they come up for each section. TIP: Make sure you leave an area in your room for fun stuff. Post up mementos from staff outings. Leave a space to write funny quotes said by staff members throughout the year. Hang an elementary school birthday chart. Consider a classroom arrangement like our former Yearbook Lady Angela created when she was a yearbook adviser:
There you have it: our top 5 yearbook tips to help start the year off. What else do you do with your staff in the first two weeks to get the year rolling? We’d love to know!