Yearbook theme ideas can be found in a lot of places. Some companies offer downloadable idea lists, and you can search for great ideas on sites like Pinterest. Even with all that, you might be beating your head against the wall to come up with a winning idea. Stop beating your head, and look around; your school can be a great source of inspiration for your yearbook theme.
What makes your school unique is not the mascot or the location. It’s the people in it. It’s their connection to the mascot, to the location, and to the heart of your school. They can be the source of unique yearbook themes. Here’s a way to come up with ideas, working as a team, as individuals, and as a school community.
Poll Students On What Is Hot This Year
You don’t want to be a slave to fashion or in thrall to trends, but there is something to be said for general student involvement in picking a theme. Is there a game everyone likes? An app that is sweeping the school? Is everyone smashing fruit together (hopefully on a smartphone)? If there is something that is broadly popular, and that you are confident everyone will get, that can be a fantastic theme. This doesn’t have to be an official poll, but make sure your sample size is large enough to represent the school as a whole.
Look To The Community
You may have students out in the community selling ad space or asking for donations. That’s a great time for them to talk to merchants, business people, police officers, crossing guards, or whomever, and ask them what they think of the school. How does the school fit in the community? What positive associations do they have? Finding this out can help you highlight the best of what you have to offer. If people say how happy they are with the amount of volunteer work the kids do, “Service” can be a theme. You’ll be surprised how helpful this can be.
Have your yearbook staff (or a broader sample size, if you’d like) jot down what comes to mind about the school; list their favorite things. What’s the first place in the school they would take a visitor, or the last place they’d visit if they could never see the school again? These are the kind of things that make memories, and describe a place far better than a description of bricks and mortar. This is how you can get the essence of your school.
Ask Around In The Faculty Lounge
Youth offers a fresh take on the world, looking at things with new eyes. That’s not the case in the faculty lounge, but age does have its benefits. The perspective of age gives a chance to understand each school year, and how each crop of students are different, and how they are the same. Ask around–what makes this year different? What stands out? What attitudes in this class do you admire? How do you think they’re going to change, and how do you think they’ll remember the school? Again, the pattern that emerges will give you a different take.
Poll Previous Yearbook Alumni On Their Memories
Your past students are all a few steps past their school days, with various years of reflection, and so it can be great to ask what they remember most about the place. There will be a lot of different answers, of course, but you may start to notice a theme. People might keep talking about the community, or the diversity, or the school spirit displayed in pep rallies. If there is something consistent throughout the years, it probably still holds true today, and could make a great theme.
Seeking themes in these various directions shows that there is wisdom all around you. The school is a collection of hundreds or even thousands of students, all individuals. But place matters, and community matters, and you will find that what means something to one student may mean something to everyone else. You’ll find inspiration in the people.