May 25, 2011 / Five Simple Ideas

Five simple ideas for… hiring a yearbook adviser

Written by Elizabeth Braden, CJE

School administrators hire new teachers every year. But hiring a teacher who also will be the yearbook adviser can present unique challenges. The position needs someone who is creative, but also can run a business. So, for administrators, here are characteristics to look for when seeking a yearbook adviser who will be successful in the position.

1. Organized – A yearbook adviser should be a good planner who is able to meet deadlines. They should be able to work efficiently while multi-tasking and paying attention to details. This creative problem-solver should be flexible and adaptable, with a high capacity for work.

Hiring-advisers2. Computer Literate – A yearbook adviser should be extremely comfortable with all types of technology and demonstrate an enthusiasm for learning new programs.

3. Strong Communicator – A yearbook adviser is a teacher, so he or she should understand how to work with all types of people. However, each year there will be different personalities on yearbook staff, and an adviser needs to be able to work with each staff while having them produce a yearbook. The adviser must be able to give clear direction, praise and criticism while providing continuing motivation. The adviser needs to be exceptionally patient — cool under pressure. They must also possess solid writing and editing skills.

4. Understand budget and finance – A yearbook adviser is usually thought of as a creative person, but they need a general understanding of how to maintain a budget and keep the yearbook business in the black.

5. Visionary – A yearbook adviser needs to be able to see the big picture — to envision the creation of the yearbook from scratch by helping the staff work on its parts and raise money by selling books and ads to pay for it. This means they need to be able to start and finish projects, and hire student staff members who can do the same. They should be a quick learner and self-motivated, setting goals and objectives for himself, the staff and the yearbook.

It is a big job to annually create a book that represents the school year. Using these characteristics as a guide, an administrator may be able to find the person who will enjoy the work and succeed in the position.

(Walsworth yearbook sales representative Mary Slater contributed information to this article.)

Elizabeth Braden, CJE
Elizabeth Braden, CJE

Elizabeth Braden, CJE, is the former editor of Idea File magazine. Before retiring, she was a copywriter for Walsworth Yearbooks for more than 15 years, writing articles for various marketing materials, and proofreading copy for the Yearbook and Commercial divisions. Her career included reporting and editing for United Press International and editing for Knight-Ridder Financial News. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Media News from the University of Tulsa.