September 19, 2017 / New Advisers

All yearbook advisers can benefit from the Adviser Mentor Program

Written by Jim Jordan

Year Two of Walsworth’s Adviser Mentor Program is Underway!

We’ve completed a successful first year of new advisers being supported by experienced advisers. For the second year of the Adviser Mentor Program, we are looking forward to getting even more advisers involved in supporting and encouraging each other.

Advising can be a daunting task at times. All new advisers can benefit from having a friend and mentor who will help guide and encourage them through the process of creating a yearbook. Successful, experienced advisers who want to share their passion for yearbook have the opportunity to volunteer their time and expertise to these new advisers.

Love, Friendships and Encouragement

Last year, in my final year of advising, I was a part of the inaugural year of the mentoring program and offered monthly email tips to help the mentors better support their mentees.

After Walsworth learned I was retiring after 35 years helping students create their yearbook, they asked me to come on board to help further their commitment to effectively retain and support new advisers. As a career teacher, this emphasis is very near and dear to my heart. I want all advisers to love yearbook as much as I do.

When I first started advising over three decades ago, one major factor that kept me wanting to grow as an adviser and keep creating a better yearbook every year. That was the friendships I built with experienced advisers. In those early years I was supported by current and former advisers like Charles Watterson, HL Hall, John Cutsinger, Wayne Brasler, and Col. Charles Savage, who were always available for a quick call, a snail mail letter (there was no email or social media in those ancient days), and a word of encouragement.

The Heart of a Yearbook

If you are an experienced adviser with great passion for yearbooking, become someone’s friend and inspiration.

If you are a new adviser who is not exactly sure what you have gotten yourself into, reach out and be inspired by someone who loves doing this incredibly challenging but even more rewarding job.

The heart of a thriving yearbook publication program will always be the adviser.

  • An adviser who loves the challenge of working with great high school students to produce a yearbook that captures the essence of one school year.
  • An adviser who is a learner who wants to grow in the role and learn all that a yearbook can be.
  • An adviser who feels valued and supported.

I am looking forward to this year ahead as mentors and mentees work together to support and encourage one another – as they lead their students through the life-changing process of creating a yearbook together.

I’m an experienced adviser – how do I become a mentor?

First, speak directly to your Walsworth Representative. He or she will pair you up with a new advisers who has expressed an interest in working with a mentor.

Walsworth asks that mentors:

  • Be a Walsworth customer
  • Have advised a yearbook for a minimum of three years
  • Commit to a monthly communication with your mentee – an email, a text, a phone call, a cup of coffee together (you can always do more if your time allows)
  • Be in it for the entire 2017-2018 school year – just nine short months
  • Mentor one, or if you have time, up to two new advisers

Once you start mentoring, you will also be able use the title Walsworth Adviser Mentor on official correspondence. Mentors will also receive special recognition in Idea File magazine and on Walsworth’s website and social media channels.

I’m a new adviser – how do I get a mentor?

Just let your Walsworth Representative know that you want a mentor and he or she will pair you up.

What a mentor is not

A mentor does not take on the role of the Walsworth Representative, who is always available to handle contracts, costs, billing, production and a thousand other crucial parts of the process.

Mentors understand grading, working with administration, school staff members, and parents, incorporating social media, and so much more because you are on the front lines every day.

Sign Up Now. Let’s Get Started

Call, text, email your Walsworth adviser and let’s get started on this amazing journey together.

Great New Adviser Resources from Walsworth Yearbooks

Mentors and mentees can use these resources to guide their conversation together as they progress through the year.

12 Essential Tips for the New Adviser

This unit explains everything first-year advisers need to know, as well as how and when to do it, to succeed in their first year. It also serves as a refresher for veteran advisers.

Mike Taylor Back-to-school Checklist

For his latest project, Yearbook expert Mike Taylor has funneled some of his vast yearbook knowledge into an eBook. Mike Taylor’s Back-to-school Checklist for New Advisers walks first-time advisers through their summer to-do list, step by step.

Yearbook Suite curriculum 

Both new and experienced advisers can teach all aspects of yearbook with this 11-unit curriculum, plus an Adviser Edition and the New Advisers Field Guide to Yearbook.

First 30 Days in InDesign

This unit in the Yearbook Suite series, for schools using In Design to produce their book, explains everything first-year advisers need to know to succeed in their first year. It also serves as a refresher for veteran advisers.

First 30 Days in Online Design

This unit in the Yearbook Suite series for schools using Online Design focuses on everything first-year advisers need to know to succeed in their first year. It also serves as a refresher for veteran advisers.

Let me know how I can support you in this process. You can reach me at

Thank you for being involved.


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Jim Jordan

Jim Jordan is a Special Consultant for Walsworth Yearbooks and the host of the Yearbook Chat with Jim podcast. He is former yearbook adviser at Del Campo High School in Fair Oaks, California. Jim was the 1996 JEA Yearbook Adviser of the Year, and shares his expertise with students and advisers at workshops and conventions across the country. Jim is the lead mentor for Walsworth's Adviser Mentor Program.