The opportunity for a clean slate to set the standard for the yearbook seldom arises. But that’s what the 2014 student staff at Blach Intermediate School in Los Altos, Calif., had before them as they created a yearbook for the first time in a number of years.
Middle School Moment
As with most aspects of a middle school student’s world, communication must be immediate and visual. Their world moves fast, and the printed word slows them down. After 22 years in yearbooking, I decided it was time to let go of copy just a bit to open up more room for pictures.
Let’s face it, anyone who has advised, been editor-in-chief, or worked on staff knows that making an even “mediocre” yearbook is a ton of work. So why not strive for something great? A middle school yearbook can be just as good — or better — than a high school one.
Having trouble keeping down the costs for your yearbook? Want to give parents a fun way to show off how cute their teenager was as a baby? Sell eighth grade baby ads!
Assuming the position of middle school yearbook adviser, which is usually part of a full teaching schedule, can be an overwhelming task. While middle school yearbooks may not be of the same magnitude as those created at the high school level, they provide unique challenges and require significant planning as well as creativity.
Our final day of school last year should have been an exciting day for our students at L’Anse Creuse Middle School–Central. However, for more than 50 of them, disappointment clouded the day.
What has 50 legs, questions everything, talks all the time and cannot follow directions? A middle school journalism class. In fact, that is my middle school journalism class. However, the news is good. You can tame this beast with the proper tools and the patience of a saint.
A yearbook’s success depends a great deal on the students selected for the job. The adviser’s job is to help guide students and teach them what is right and wrong, but all students selected should be self-motivated and willing to work.
Every fall, our annual trip to the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association (MIPA) Middle School Journalism Conference proves to be a memorable experience. Everyone involved – the students, their parents, our school and me – benefits in numerous ways.
One of the biggest challenges of putting together the middle school yearbook is getting photo coverage of every school event. Read how one staff tackles this by using a couple of effective strategies.