New Advisers Field Guide to Yearbook

By Jill Chittum, MJE, and Mike Taylor, CJE

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

You can download a PDF of the New Advisers Field Guide to Yearbook here.


Congratulations! You have been given the job of yearbook adviser.

You have this all under control. After all, you’re a professional educator; you went to college to learn how to teach. You may even already be a veteran teacher. It is all going to be great. It really is!

No other classroom has the rewards you will find in the yearbook room. You will work with some of the best and brightest students on campus. You will challenge them to excel beyond their wildest dreams. You will shepherd students through completing a product encompassing a year’s worth of work and memories. That product will be cherished long past your lifetime.

There will be nights where you laugh, cry and cheer, all in a matter of five minutes. There will be nights where you dream of your students, the yearbook and yes, summer vacation. During all of those nights, we are here to help you, guide you and answer questions.

This unit is comprised of five sections. Each section contains practical and time-tested suggestions, a checklist to help you stay focused, and everything you need to be successful from day one. These sections include:

  • Preparing you
  • Preparing your classroom
  • Preparing your students
  • Preparing your school
  • Preparing to end the year


Jill Chittum, MJE, and Mike Taylor, CJE

Jill Chittum, MJE, is a sales representative and field trainer for Walsworth Yearbooks. She previously taught journalism, yearbook and newspaper at Blue Valley High School in Stilwell, Kansas. Chittum worked at the Wichita Eagle, Kansas’ largest newspaper, for five years before becoming a high school journalism adviser. She teaches at summer workshops across the country, including Walsworth’s Adviser Academy, and is a presenter at state and national conventions.

Mike Taylor, CJE, is a journalism and key accounts specialist for Walsworth Yearbooks. He is a well-known speaker and instructor at yearbook workshops and conventions, known for his creativity and energy. For Walsworth, Mike travels the country each year to meet with yearbook staffs and help them improve their program in all facets. For 13 years, Mike was the journalism adviser at Lecanto High School in Lecanto, Florida, where his publications staffs won numerous state and national awards. In recognition of his contributions to scholastic journalism, Mike has been awarded the JEA Medal of Merit, CSPA Gold Key and Florida Scholastic Press Association Gold Medallion.