Getting it Done: The Importance of Delegating Duties to Your Yearbook Staff

Create a system in your classroom to help organize assignments.
Photo credit: Flickr CC user Enokson

As the school’s yearbook adviser, you have a unique job–you get to create a yearbook. Not only are you a teacher, but you’re also responsible for publishing a giant book each year that captures every magical moment of the students’ school experience.

Making sure the yearbook goes out without a hitch is a tough job, but you’re not alone–you have a whole classroom of students there to help you along the way. Although many of them might be a little green when it comes to interviewing, graphic design, and all the other aspects of putting a book together, they all bring a talent to the table. It’s your job to make sure these talents shine through on every page.

No Do-Overs on Yearbooks: The Importance of Getting It Right the First Time

Yearbook class is also different than other classes because the student’s homework assignments aren’t the same. If you forget to turn a piece in, you might not have a chance to redo it. Students have to go above and beyond to make the yearbook great by putting in extra hours outside of class and possibly on weekends.

That’s why delegating assignments is so important. You’ll always have some students who are eager to take on EVERY assignment and story while others might only be able to handle one or two per quarter or are more interested in doing layouts.

Yearbook is about participation and the finished product. The journey to this finished product could be an interesting one and things might not go the way you planned as a teacher, but that doesn’t mean they happened the wrong way. Like I said before, yearbook staffers are still learning and the lessons they learn will be right there on the pages of the yearbook for all to see.

When you delegate assignments, make sure things are spread out evenly among the entire class.

Assign the base stories first (the ones that have to go in the yearbook no matter what, like class portraits and quotes, facility photos, etc.) and give them to the kids that need a little more time to turn things around. Assign the more on-the-field stories (homecoming, assemblies, etc.) to a student who has proven to be reliable and can turn things around quickly. Don’t assign the entire yearbook all at once. Instead, put all of the concrete assignments on a giant whiteboard so everyone is always aware of what’s coming up and can check in at the top of every week to see if anyone needs to cover anything.

Checks, Balances, and Incentives: Delegating and Spreading Responsibility To The Yearbook Staff

Always have a backup plan and make sure every story has at least two people working on it as a sort of yearbook checks and balance system.

You can also have incentives. Try offering extra credit to the students for assignments that are a tough sell like events that must be covered on the weekends or that go late into the night.

How do you delegate all of your yearbook assignments? Do you find it difficult for students to stick to their deadlines and responsibilities? I would love to hear some of your strategies in the comment box below.