Every yearbook adviser understands the challenges that come with running a club. Managing a team of busy students is no easy task! If you’re starting to piece your yearbook club together, don’t stress yet. Sticking to these six essentials will ensure your club runs smoothly this year.
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Recruit

The start of your year should involve recruiting students to your club. An easy way to connect with and attract students is by setting up a table at lunch. Have a sign up to join the yearbook club. Be sure to advertise the work and commitment, but also the fun!

Retain

To build a sustainable team, you must retain students each year! Students who have been through the yearbook process make things easier for you. Older students can teach younger students how to navigate online tools. Returning students help take ownership over the whole creation process as they know the routines, timeline and deadlines.

Be Consistent

Being consistent will help you stay organized throughout the year. Require attendance at each meeting. Require permissions to miss meetings for school reasons or absences. Always meet in the same place and at the same time. These consistencies will help keep you and your club members on track!

Reflect and Prepare

At the end of every year, consider asking your club members to write suggestions for next year’s club. At the start of the new year, review all the suggestions. This will help the group avoid reoccurring mistakes or omissions in the yearbook and make your year all the better!

Be Inclusive

Often, students really enjoy getting to choose the yearbook theme. Starting with big decisions can give everyone a chance for input. Start the year with the big ideas and make room for each participant to contribute ideas and take ownership right away. Brainstorm a list of theme ideas. Give each member a chance to make a case for their favorite theme and then vote to decide the winner.

Be Realistic

Your yearbook club is full of terrific, energetic students who are excited to make a real impact in their school. However, obstacles along the way make it hard for the students to do as much work as they would like. Much of the actual work falls on you, the adviser. It can be tricky to balance how much work is delegated to the adviser and how much is to the students. Time is limited. Resources (computers, space, etc.) might be too. Try to plan your meetings in advance to increase productivity. When there is more work for the students, they can make more valuable contributions to the entire process.

Dara Henning

Author

Lives in Chicago, IL and works as an art teacher.
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“The best part of creating the yearbook is experiencing how excited students get to see their hard work in print and showing their fellow students what they’ve created.”
Dara’s go-to karaoke song is Rainbow Connection.
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Dara is training for her 6th marathon and believes chocolate chips should go on everything!

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