Final Deadline Push

The Final Deadline Push

Jostens Advisers & Staff

Abby Cole, Plano East Senior High School [TX]
Abby, a Master of Journalism Education from the University of Missouri, advises the Plano East Senior High School yearbook, news magazine and online news. Before teaching, she enjoyed two years working in advertising and marketing in the Dallas area.

­­­Spring is the time of year that the exhaustion begins to show and the students really need a little extra motivation, especially when it’s the season for final deadlines. There are several things you can do so when crunch time really hits, the students know what to expect and are able to use their skills in delegation, communication and support.
Have a teambuilding event to work on pages // This looks different with every staff, but includes things like some fun activity, a potluck style lunch or dinner, etc. But the uninterrupted time for students to work on the yearbook is the most important element of these events.
Showcase deadline pride // Have the staff design their own shirts to be worn around the final deadline. If possible, purchase these out of the yearbook budget so that every student gets one. You can also purchase special editor shirts or fleece jackets exclusively for the editorial board, so the school can recognize them around the deadline.
Give status reports daily or weekly // Take time to stop and reflect on achievements as well as areas of improvement. Encourage the students to speak openly and freely and offer critique to the editors, the curriculum, the adviser, the staff, etc. in efforts to create a feel of equality among everyone, reinforcing that their opinion matters and that through positive communication we really can overcome our challenges and accomplish our goal, and have some fun along the way. These status reports should include an update on page status, photos completed and placed, captions written, etc.


Sometimes a reward can be just what the doctor ordered. A “when we meet our deadline” party is both fun and motivational. Get a delicious spread of appetizers, entrées and desserts that the students love. During this time together, students can celebrate a completed book, reflect on the production and accomplishments.

Pro tip // Don’t forget about individual dietary needs — these specific students are always so grateful that attention was given to this detail.

// Tip for new advisers //

Remain flexible and evaluate the needs of the staff on a regular basis. If they are no longer having fun or if they are struggling to manage the demands of yearbook, take that observation and act on it. The most important thing, always, is that we have fun while we are learning so that we will want to continue this type of work. Offering them the numerous benefits of a team-oriented atmosphere allows them to have a full experience that they can reflect on and appreciate.