Getting students to understand that they have to meet deadlines before they take a vacation — that’s a career/professional/life skill. Keep repeating this in your head (and aloud.)
If you are submitting pages over (or before) break, make sure you have all of the photos and words in hand, plus bylines and photo credits.
Survey your staff. Are they going to be home and bored? They may want to get together (virtually!) and work on yearbook. It is fun, after all.
MAKE THE MOST OF DOWNTIME
Stories happen even when school is out. Do a little brainstorming. There may be something really cool to cover.
Make a cell phone photo assignment: Snow pics, skiing pics, lights, tinsel. Even if you don’t have a specific need for the photos, it’s always great to have extras.
Extra credit, anyone? Consider giving a points boost if students are willing to cover a basketball game or other event over break.
Provide a “things to do when you’re bored” list to students: Learn a new photo technique, read a great longform article, find an interesting design for inspiration, practice a Photoshop skill. This may be another opportunity for an optional grade, especially if they share with the staff after break.
Send printed proofs home. It’s so much easier to find typos when you don’t have a head full of school. It may be worth a half-hour of their time. Give a point, or a candy cane, for great catches (before the page is final.)
Nothing on this checklist should keep you from taking time to check-out, sign off and recharge your batteries. Trust us — we have been in your shoes — you will do much better work in January, if you take a break. So, say yes to a TV binge. Read a good book. Go for a long walk. Most importantly, enjoy your break. You are our most precious, mostly renewable, resource.