Yearbooks last nearly forever; contain vast information; preserve important memories of classes, teachers, friends, and activities; and are fun to read and own. You must charge as high a price as your market will bear.
Yearbook advisers must be inventive. The following six tips might help you be more organized, save some time and even help handle a few of life’s little inconveniences.
It usually does not take long for people in stressful jobs, such as parents, to start analyzing repetitive or tedious tasks to try to figure out a better way to do things.
Three of the biggest problems I’ve experienced on this epic journey involved finding the way – developing a theme, new sections, and new story ideas. So, like Ishmael, “whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet (that Melville was a cheery guy); whenever it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off-then, I account it high time” to find my way to a theme, a new section, and new story ideas as soon as I can.
That’s the lament of many a first-year yearbook adviser. Because it’s a unique position within the school, there is usually no mentor and no training. Many times, the position is thrust upon the unsuspecting teacher, either with this line from the principal, “You’re hired. Oh yes, you have to do yearbook, too,” or upon arrival on the first day of school.
“Yearbook advisor was one of the most rewarding parts of this school year for me, because I was able to work one-on-one with great kids and help them create something of which they are proud,” Wiley said. “I am part of chronicling the year’s events and capturing the best in the students and staff at the middle school. That’s a priceless experience!”
Once the theme is picked, the next decision involves presentation of the theme. How much theme is enough? The theme does not need to be spread across every page like peanut butter on a slice of bread. Like peanut butter, too much theme in too little space can gag a person.
I recognized a student in my class from a workshop the previous summer. I talked with her to encourage her to try a different class this year. She looked so sincerely at me as she said, “As soon as I went home last year, I got a job at a dry cleaners so I could be sure to have money enough to come back to this class this year.” Knowing how hard dry cleaning work is, I understood the value this student placed on her workshop experience.
For 4,000 people, these are the high school yearbooks. How we make them this year is how these treasures will remain for posterity.
School is real life. Classes are full of students. Some we choose. Some we do not. But as yearbook advisers, we are the adults. We are not to grow for the students. We are not to bend them to fit our images. We are to be alert to opportunities that allow our varied students to develop themselves. The yearbook needs a variety of talents.
Yearbook staffs view the index like the mom with four children contemplates her youngest child’s baby book. Ideas for what to put in it are few, and time is limited. Because yearbook staffs wait until the last deadline to think about the index, the section is often only a boring gray list that students open simply to find their own names. But the index can be a section in itself, an archive with sidebars, group shots and group coverage. Assign a staff member to the index and let them use one of these five simple ideas to give it a little flair.