Looking for a fun way to remind your staff about rules and introduce them to the culture of yearbook? Editors or advisers can stock up on these sweet treats and borrow from the genius of Former JEA Adviser of the Year Kathy Daly. When Daly presented this session with students or at a workshop she did a quick introduction before holding up the candy package and then talked about the topic (points for each listed below…adjust yours as needed.) After finishing the topic, Daly tossed the candy to someone in the audience. Perhaps it was someone who was either great at that aspect of being on staff or maybe needed to remember the lesson.

1. Make New Rules and Keep the Old (Skittles)

  • School Rules – should never be broken; however, a little bending (with principal’s okay) does wonders for staff morale.
    • hall passes build prestige
  • Class Rules – should be enforced consistently and fairly (and with humor—see #2)
    • sign out sheets
    • editors who work harder than staff
    • following deadlines – especially internal ones
    • nothing irreplaceable should EVER leave the office!
    • adopt the 24 Hour Rule–no criticism of the publication for 24 hours!!

2.Laughter is the Best Medicine (Snickers)

  • Cutthroat Christmas party – everyone gets a present! (some are even good)
  • Work Parties – even if your work is done, show up, eat, help a friend, flirt a little, do homework
  • Need a Date/Want a Date – make a list on the board for big events, good friends are sometimes the most fun — and no disappointments!
  • Make friends with other schools — nobody else understands and it’s fun to brag to them
  • Find humorous pictures of staff members and have caption contests
  • Organize “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” Week!!

3. Get the Most From All of You (Good and Plenty)

  •  Raise the expectations for the staff (the good) and then provide solid ways for them to meet them (the plenty) — give them organization…and rewards…and incentives…and praise…and feedback — and pride
  • Recruit new staff by sending letters to members of National Honor Society and others that teachers recommend; but be careful whom you choose!
  • Have every student write down something positive about someone else on the staff. Then for Valentine’s day (or whenever) type up all the positive comments with the person’s name at the top.

4. Make the Most of Your Office and Deadlines (Lifesavers)

  • • Office Clutter – don’t throw away important things, but empty milk cartons, scribbled homework from four months ago, . . . And have cubbies and drawers for everyone to store things!
  • Organize a place for FOOD!!! Consider a Parent Booster Club to help provide even more food
  • Have a “Things to Do” list that is revised at the end of every class, posted and added to during the day, and used to begin each class period
  • If each section editor devises a “Check-off Sheet,” then less will need to be done by the editors on each final deadline
  • Post and enforce mini-deadlines; this will keep you on track for the final one
  • Make a huge calendar – put every important event on it in a color code; have a smaller yearly calendar to keep from staff to staff
  • Turn your yearbook office or at least a corner of the classroom into a second home; include a microwave, a stereo system, a refrigerator, a couch, and more—hang out there when the “real world” gets too demanding!

5. Pat Yourselves on the Back (Kudos)

  • Praise specifically and publicly and sincerely— and in a timely manner
  • When your photographers come back to the classroom, make them feel valued!
  • Send a letter to parents praising the student who needs the most encouragement
  • Have staff T-shirts made and wear them on certain days
  • Take a picture of each student on the first day of school
    • use one for “staffer of the week”
    • use the second to post on the wall with a description of each staffer’s role/job •
  • Require each staff member to write FIVE thank you notes at the end of each grading period. They will turn them into the teacher and the ones that have to be mailed should have envelopes addressed.

6. Take Care of Yourself (Sweet Escapes)

  • Get enough sleep – plan an extra week for every deadline so you can check pages with enough time to comprehend them
  • Exercise – use the time to plan strategy, organize your deadline, take out your aggression!
  • Eat your fruits and vegetables!
  • Hold at least one “out of school’ bonding per semester
  • Sports parties; roller skating nights; bingo; volleyball games against other staffs; retreats; etc.

7. Get to Know the People You Work With!!! (Mars—as in Men are from…)

  • Get an idea about the opposite sex by buying a magazine normally just for one sex and reading it from cover to cover
  • Recruit from both sexes so that the coverage in your publication is balanced

8. Treat Your Rookies Well (Runts)

  • Be honest with your staff; if you don’t know an answer, say so and then find out the answer and get back to the person
  • Ask questions and then listen to the answers; get feedback, input, advice, alternative methods — involve your staff
  • Give everyone a post-it note at the beginning of the year; have them write one idea they want to see in the book; then post the papers; when each one is put in book, put a star by it

9. Don’t Take it Personally (Sweettarts)

  • Have a coupon for bad days: everyone gets one per quarter; it is good for a back massage or a cookie or just a day off
  • Magic wand for those having a hard time
  • Criticism is inevitable — do it right: privately. Start with praise, state the problem as you see it, ask the person to state his views, let person offer choices, come up with a plan, end with a compliment

10. Enter the Classroom Smiling Every Day (Almond Joy)

  • You can do anything IF you follow H. D. Thoreau’s advice from On Walden Pond:
    “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours . . . If you have built castles in the air… that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”

This workshop is one foundation. What you do when you return to class can add to it. The choice is yours: remember, no one ever reached the top of a ladder by falling there. Take one rung at a time, but start climbing.

Contributed by:
Retired Herff Jones Special Consultant
Kathy Daly Former JEA Yearbook Adviser of the Year