Photo by: Kinsey Boyer

March 11, 2022 / Staff Management

Protecting Your Students from End-of-year-itis

Written by Mike Taylor, CJE

It is the Friday before Spring Break. The only car left in the parking lot is yours. Your kids have gone home, all the teachers are gone, even the janitors left. The last pages of the 2022 yearbook went in a few minutes ago, at 11:30 p.m.

It is time to celebrate.

After your week of sleeping and ignoring those papers that still need grading, you think, “What am I going to do with my staff now?”

I am here to tell you, do not let up now! Senioritis can eat your seniors for lunch. Those wonderfully dedicated seniors can turn into monsters overnight, or in this case, over spring break. And unfortunately, it’s not just seniors. You might find you don’t even recognize your queen- or king-of-checklists junior, your enthusiastic sophomore or even your go-getter freshman. The end of the year, especially for yearbookers, takes a toll on us all.

After your in-class celebrating, it is time to put students back to work. Keep them busy without giving them busywork. That means your tasks need to have a purpose so that they see the value in what they are working on. Here are a few things we did in my class.

  • Write thank you notes to advertisers, faculty and administration and parents who supported your program.
  • Come up with a lesson plan to teach newer members technology.
  • Submit all info for letters of recommendations and scholarships.
  • Create the “Yearbook Bible.” This document details how to be an editor – the ups and downs of all things yearbook. Start with the day they were selected as editors, go through camps and workshops, staff situations, technology situations, your contacts at the plant, etc. Be creative and yes, this is your final exam. It is to be delivered on awards night when next year’s editors are announced.
  • Plan distribution day.
  • Teach theme and have all students involved. You are not to decide on the theme; you are teaching the remaining students how to decide on the theme.
  • Plan the awards night, decide on most awards and create the yearbook awards night multimedia presentation.
  • Sit in on EIC/editor interviews.

I did not allow my seniors to plan or work yearbook distribution. I allowed them to enjoy the day with their class. Everyone else in my class was expected to participate in the entire process though.

There is a great deal of work that follows the final submission. If you let up just a little, even the nicest and most dedicated will be bitten by end-of-year-itis. You do not need that headache.

You might enjoy these eBooks as an additional resource.

Keep the end in focus and keep your students busy. You’ll end the year on a positive note with an engaged staff.

Comments are closed.

Mike Taylor, CJE

Mike Taylor, CJE, sees things differently, and as a journalism specialist for Walsworth, he uses that creative edge to help yearbook staffs across the country put together the yearbook they dream about. A former award-winning yearbook adviser, Mike has been awarded the JEA Medal of Merit, CSPA Gold Key and Florida Scholastic Press Association Gold Medallion. Follow Mike on Pinterest at taylormjc.