Whether this is your first year as a yearbook advisor, or you’re a veteran of the process, knowing the resources available to you is important. At times, stress and exhaustion may have you feeling like the success of the yearbook relies on you alone, but this is not so. Fear not! We have compiled a list of go-to references to help your yearbook be an absolute success.
1. You – Your job most likely involves overseeing the production, promotion, sale, and distribution of the yearbook. You don’t have to do these things alone. With a little organization up front, this can be the most successful yearbook yet.
2. Principals –Use the principal’s influence with the other staff and parents to get what you need. He/She may be able to get you people and things that you may not be able to get yourself. Ask your principal if he/she can provide a couple of cameras to use. Sometimes they have extra money (especially at the beginning of the year) and they may be able to buy a few cameras that teachers can use throughout the year.
3. Secretaries – Use the secretaries as your main source of communication with the parents and staff. Type up emails exactly how you want them to go out to parents and staff, and ask them to forward the message for you. Get a system set up with your secretaries that allows parents to pay for the yearbook in the front office. Set a stack of order forms that the parent can fill out in the office so that all the secretary has to do is collect the money and order form. Include your phone number so that parents can call you with questions.
4. Teachers – It may surprise you to know that some teachers will be excited to help you with the yearbook. Teachers are with students all day long, so it is likely that at some point they will be in the right place at the right time to capture a picture-perfect moment. Let teachers know they are welcome to share any pictures they capture throughout the year with the yearbook committee. Let them know this at a faculty meeting at the beginning of the school year. Everyone is a photographer in this day and age with the commonplace of smartphones, so it won’t be necessary to provide every teacher with a camera. Teachers can help with writing and page design, also. Be sure not to limit teachers on what they can offer to your yearbook committee.
5. Parents – Make sure yearbook is on the list of committees that parents can sign up to help with. Parents can help to design the book, but their central function would be signing up to take pictures at room parties, athletic events, all school functions, plays, concerts, etc. This would be a great help to you. Many parents are already taking photos at these events, so you might as well allow them to share their pictures with you.
6. Students – Last but not least, students are capable and love taking pictures. Give them a camera and tell them you need a lot of pictures for the yearbook. Before too long, you will have to ask them to stop because you have so many. Most of them have phones that can take pictures too, so include them on the image sharing possibilities. You will be amazed by what your students are capable of. Never limit your students on what they can help you with; many will go above and beyond what you ask them to do.
You are not alone in your yearbook advising position. If you use these resources, your yearbook advising experience will be smooth sailing.