15 TIPS FOR SURVIVING
THE FIRST WEEK

1. EXPECTATIONS REVIEW

Review class requirements, grading policies, any planned staff work nights/weekends and the importance of making deadlines.

2. INFORMATION

Complete a staff directory that includes phone numbers, other contact numbers (i.e. pagers, cell phones, work numbers) class schedules, birthdays, parents’ names, etc.

3. THEME

If it isn’t already decided or in the works, discuss theme and cover ideas.

4. CRITIQUE

Go through last year’s book and have students list and discuss the things they liked best and the things they would change.

5. DEADLINES

Finalize and post the ladder. Color code it by deadline and list specific spread assignments, which pages will be sent with each deadline, etc. Indicate which pages are going to be printed in color and/or spot color.

6. SELL

Discuss and plan your book sales campaign. Have students brainstorm ideas to increase book sales.

7. ADS

Discuss and plan your community, parent and friendship ad campaigns. Decide whether every student must sell a certain number of ads, if they get bonuses/commissions, how to organize, etc.

8. TEAM BUILDING

Start each day with ten or fifteen minutes of icebreakers/team building activities. This will help students get acquainted and get over any fears, shyness, etc. and begin to become a cohesive team.

9. IDEAS

Have each staff member bring in five ideas from magazines that could be used in the yearbook. Or, have each student bring several magazines and have a “look for ideas” class.

10. PRACTICE

Have students refresh and reinforce their design skills by drawing layouts and pasting up photos and type from magazines.

11. PHOTOGRAPH

Have students shoot photos around campus and “discover” who your best photographers are.

12. IMPROVE

Have students rewrite five captions and headlines from last year’s book. They should try to make them more informative and adhere to the caption writing formula.

13. BRAINSTORM

Have students come up with and discuss ideas for feature stories, profiles, polls and side-bars.
14. Delegate Ask what special contributions/talents each staffer plans to give to the yearbook. From this conversation, decide each staffer’s strengths and what each student’s responsibilities will be.

15. BOND

Try to plan one outside of class activity. You could go for pizza, go bowling, go roller skating–anything that will allow staffers to get to know each other and just have fun.

Contributed by:
Jane Roehrig & Heidi Bryant
Herff Jones Sales Professionals, CA