Assigning Roles and Responsibility

Lesson Three

Assigning Roles and Responsibility

There are many ways to assign responsibility and roles in your classroom.  The main thing to remember is that it has to work with your students, your schedule, your school and your leadership qualities. Some schools have photographers who only take pictures, or people who only work on sports pages, etc. . . . but equal opportunity in the classroom works, especially if you are new(er) to being an advisor.  Remember, if it’s not working, change it. Yearbook is not supposed to be stressful.

Here are a few tips on how to assign roles and responsibility in your classroom:

  1. Everyone is an editor.  To begin the year, each student should have equal opportunities to work on every aspect of the yearbook.
  2. Everyone wants to do the sports pages, but no one wants to work on the club pages.  Make it very clear from the start that each page in the book is equally important, just as taking pictures at each event is equally important.
  3. Everyone should be taking pictures, everyone should be designing pages, everyone should be editing, and everyone’s opinions should be heard.  This will build a team atmosphere in the room where no one feels left out or secluded from the group.  You can ask students what they prefer to work on or what they think that their strong suit is, but they should know that you will make the ultimate decision and that everyone will need to do their part to make a great book.
  4. Once everyone has a page (or pages) to work on, you will begin to see leaders emerge.  As the year progresses, you can hand out more opportunities to those students who earn your trust and deserve more responsibility.
  5. Regardless of how you assign roles in your classroom, a yearbook will get printed.  Simply figure out what works for you.

A few ideas for assigning roles and responsibility:

  1. Have students fill out a staff contract that asks them what they are interested in, what they like to do, and how they work with other people. You could even have them take a personality quiz online and have the results sent to you.
  2. Pair up students who are not especially close friends to work on their first page together.
  3. Pair up new students with returning students if possible.
  4. Have a checklist with all the necessary page elements.  (Checklist coming in the next Chalk Talk; stay tuned).
  5. Watch for natural leaders to emerge.  It may be the holiday break before it happens, but give them the opportunity to figure out what they are good at for themselves.