Ways to keep yearbook fun on the agenda at Adviser Academy

Written by Evan Blackwell, CJE

Yearbook advisers at Walsworth’s Adviser Academy got some valuable tips on ways to keep the staff motivated on Monday afternoon in the session “Yearbook = Fun… or at least it should be.”

Adviser Academy staff fun session

In his session at the Adviser Academy on Monday, Walsworth sales rep Keith Hughey (left) showed advisers several icebreakers they can use with their staff, including one with string or ribbon that demonstrated teamwork. (Photo by Jamie Chambers)

Walsworth sales rep Keith Hughey, a former yearbook adviser for seven years, outlined some strategies to help keep the yearbook students energized throughout the course of the year.

“Yearbook is unlike any other class or activity. You do something so unique and so real world. It’s fun, but stressful at the same time,” said Hughey. “The kids don’t always understand how unique what they do is. But this should be one of the most fun classes they ever take.”

Advisers in the class were shown a series of fun icebreakers, including a string of yarn that stretched back and forth across the room and then dropped when one person let go as a demonstration of teamwork. Other ideas to come out of the session included:

  • Using food at work nights, or as rewards, even keeping a fridge or pantry in the yearbook room
  • Celebrating holidays
  • Have mailboxes in the room as a way to communicate positive notes
  • Create a yearbook parent booster club
  • Make staff T-shirts
  • Create a “Staffer of the Month” or “Staffer of the Deadline” award for doing good work

“Find ways to reward when you can,” said Hughey. “Too many times, negative is all they hear. Mistakes will be made, and you will always hear about it. Try to catch the staff doing something positive and reward them for it.”

Evan Blackwell, CJE

Evan Blackwell, CJE, is a Web Content Specialist for walsworthyearbooks.com and yearbookhelp.com, as well as a regular contributor to Idea File magazine. He's been a writer and editor for Walsworth Yearbooks for the past 13 years, and is the author of the Yearbook Suite's "The Art of the Interview" unit. Prior to joining Walsworth, Blackwell spent five years as an award-winning newspaper and magazine journalist. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.