It goes without saying that this school year will be different for everyone. Advisers are now faced with the gigantic task of somehow putting together a book, that not only covers school, but an entire pandemic which shut down the world. Where do you even begin?
We sat down with our resident yearbook expert, Laura Schaub, to provide some real tangible advice to get Yearbook Advisors started and what to remember while creating a yearbook during this time.
Lifetouch: Why is creating a yearbook important this school year?
Laura: When COVID-19 first came into being, the first thing on my mind was safety for all concerned and then, when they closed the schools, we are going to have a lot of people question if they should have a yearbook. We told them, “Of course you want a yearbook, this is a pivotal moment in your lives!” You’ll remember this moment, like my parents remember when they heard about Pearl Harbor, and how we remember where we were on September 11th. What better way to mark this time, than in a yearbook? Look at this way, a yearbook is a historical document, that we keep forever and pass down from one generation to the next. I still have all the yearbooks that I had as a kid. This time in our lives is very important because it’s going to be something that the kids who are in high school today, when they grow up and have children of their own, their kids will ask, “How did you get through that?” and they’ll be able to share their memories.
Lifetouch: Well said Laura, yearbooks are important now more than ever before. Now that we covered why a yearbook is important, do you have tips or tricks for Advisers that are leading yearbook staff virtually?
Laura: The one thing we learned early in the Spring is to make sure instruction for students is short. No longer than 30 minutes because people tend to zone out, even when they are learning something very important. Next, you MUST engage the students as much as possible. Ask them questions like, “What’s something you have learned from this situation, is there anything good?
Lifetouch: We’ve talked about how to keep students engaged, but what about when we sit down to create our books, what ideas can you share as we begin the building process?
Laura: Remember, EVERYTHING is a story. There is a story everywhere. This is a great opportunity for staff to profile other students, teachers, coaches, parents, etc. For instance, maybe your friend Johnny has two little brothers, and they are younger. Both of Johnny’s parents must work, they go back into the office and now Johnny is not only a student, but a tutor, a babysitter for his siblings. Basically, find a different angle, and figure out how to tell that story in the yearbook.
Lifetouch: This makes total sense, it’s all about thinking outside of the box, and telling the stories in a different way! To wrap things up, is there any additional advice you have for advisers and students?
Laura: Yes, everyone try to keep as positive of an attitude as possible. It’s easy to get bored but look for ways to help others through it. It might be making a phone call or zoom call or sending a supportive email. I always say, if you do things like that, it will come in tenfold. And one last thing, FIND THOSE STORIES!
Don’t forget to register for our September 24th Webinar that dives even deeper into how to build your yearbook in these virtual or hybrid environments.