Sometimes, forming and organizing a yearbook team can feel as difficult as herding cats. This may ring especially true for parents or administrators trying to put together a middle school yearbook committee. With proper planning and forethought, though, you’ll be able to put together a committee that can create a yearbook beloved by everyone.
High schools have the benefit of students that can largely handle yearbook team responsibilities on their own, with perhaps only just one administrator overseeing its production. On the other hand, middle school yearbook committees will need more assistance from parents and administrators. Students can still be heavily involved, however! Including them in the process will give them some valuable experience in skills like writing and photography while teaching them how to work well as a team.
At Entourage Yearbooks, we’ve worked with countless yearbook committees and have helped them with every part of the process from designing their yearbook to printing the final product. We’ve found that the most successful middle school yearbook committees carefully delegate roles, create an easy-to-follow workflow, and establish clear goals. Read on to learn more about organizing the most effective middle school yearbook committee possible.
1. Delegate roles and responsibilities.
The key to finding balance in a middle school yearbook team is to ensure that students have a good amount of license or agency with their contributions. At the same time, you’ll need to provide them with the resources and guidance they need to succeed. For example, take a moment to think about students that may contribute photos to the yearbook. If your school is big enough, you may want to look for volunteer student photographers that can specialize in areas that they’re passionate about, like the athletics program or the music program. These different volunteers can all report to one parent volunteer that can offer guidance, direction, or further resources to support the student photographers. If your school isn’t large enough to support this kind of specialization, a singular student photographer might report to a parent that serves as an art director. While it’s up to you to scale your team appropriately to the size of your school, clearly establishing different roles will provide your team with much greater focus and direction.
2. Create an intuitive workflow.
Having all the student photographers in the world will do no good unless they know what to do with the photos after they’ve taken them! If you followed our advice in the first step, they could always ask the parent or administrator that is helping to oversee the yearbook’s photography or art direction. However, designing your yearbook will be much easier if your students know, for example, that they should upload their photos to a shared drive or online yearbook tool. Set guidelines for how students can work with each other, as well. Within a week after a sporting event, perhaps the student photographer should meet with a student writer to draft how the event will be chronicled in the yearbook. Similar directions could help each moving piece of the committee work together more efficiently.
3. Set tangible goals.
Finally, yearbooks are time-sensitive projects. Organize art and content deadlines around your school’s year-long event calendar, if possible. Online yearbook software can help keep everybody on track with a shared schedule. Without this kind of structure, many committee members – adults and children alike – may flounder and easily lose track of their individual tasks. A yearbook isn’t exactly an assignment you can rush to complete the night before it’s due!
We hope these tips provide you with some helpful direction as you set up your middle school yearbook committee! For further assistance with designing your yearbook or to learn more about Entourage Yearbooks’ other yearbook services, contact us online or call us at 609-452-2665.