Adviser Spotlight: Growing a Great Yearbook Classroom
Jostens Advisers & Staff
Kristin Scott, Kealing Middle School [TX]
Kristin advises The Vespa yearbook, Inkblot literary magazine and the KBTV broadcast news team. With good humor and enthusiasm, she works to elevate the quality of journalism instruction at the middle school level, earning NSPA and CSPA recognition.
Tips from Kristen Scott // Adviser at Kealing Middle School [TX]
There’s one thing that a yearbook adviser knows, regardless of whether they’ve been advising for ten years or two: yearbooks have a lot of moving parts, each one with layers of technical information to be delivered. Finding time in the year to teach all of the curriculum required to make an outstanding publication AND actually making the book itself proves challenging to even the most seasoned adviser.
Yearbook production requires extensive knowledge in a number of areas: design, photography, writing. It’s why students can take the class year after year and still learn something new each time.
As an adviser, you will find that you, too, have the opportunity to learn and grow year over year. If this is your first year advising, you will discover that a journalism room is a dynamic place like nowhere else in a school — it is truly a full-year, project-based experience. This means that traditional teaching methods and grading will be done differently than in other classes you may teach.
At the club and middle school level, the challenge is amplified by limited staff training time. Whether it be the shorter attention span of middle school students, a club staff with fewer meeting times whose involvement waxes and wanes, or a staff structure with fewer leadership and editorial positions, training time at the middle school and club level gets condensed, leaving advisers feeling like the primary thing in short supply is them.
And while there is a wealth of information available to help train your staffs, finding the time to use it all becomes one of the biggest challenges facing a new, middle school or club adviser.
To help provide better resources to new, club and middle school advisers, I wrote the YRBK Adviser Guide. The Jostens YRBK Adviser Guide is a condensed resource specifically designed to pare down the task of making a yearbook. Complete with overviews of yearbook elements and structure, it hits all the main concepts needed to make a successful publication. It also provides tools and suggestions for streamlining the organization and management required to produce the school’s yearbook, tips that will save a new adviser’s sanity.
The YRBK Guide can be read straight through and taught in succession, or advisers may choose to personalize the experience based on the needs and demands of their program. It includes a number of downloadable resources designed specifically for students. These fast fact reference sheets were designed for advisers who need students to be able to creatively problem solve, both in and out of the classroom.