Creating Order from Chaos

Creating order from chaos

Anyone who has ever visited a publications staff room knows that there is a lot of activity happening all at once; the fact that the chaos doesn’t seem to affect anyone present is the sign of a well organized staff and classroom.

Two of your highest priorities when you begin the year will be assigning staff positions and providing job descriptions to everyone on staff and organizing the room so that tools are easily found and put away after use.

Let’s start with the room itself. A quick trip to Pinterest and searching “organizing the yearbook room” or “organizing the classroom” will yield some very creative and affordable ideas like this and this just to get you started. If you’re like me and you want some additional more costly items like comfortable seating or a mini fridge to store drinks for late nights, you may want to make a big WISH LIST and post it prominently in your room for parents to see on back-to-school night. You never know when someone has an extra something that they’d be willing to donate or when someone who is really handy would be willing to build you something. My portable mail center was awesome thanks to one of my staff member’s fathers who was a carpenter.

Your staff room will become a home away from home for you and your staff so you’ll want it to be an inviting, comfortable space that functions like a productive office. Brainstorm with your staff during the first few days about things they would like to have in the room to make it just perfect.

Once you’ve got your room in order, you’ll want to provide your staff with an easy-to-use but comprehensive manual that they can reference BEFORE they come to you with a question about fonts, photography check-out instructions, design or type styles, etc. Having a good staff manual will keep you from having to answer the same question 36 times and allow the staff to be more self sufficient.

Providing direction to your staff and in your room will help control the inevitable chaos that makes a yearbook staff room come alive and allow you to maintain control over the process.

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