How to Organize Your Yearbook Staff

How to Organize Your Yearbook Staff

Aug 10th 2017

There are many different ways to organize your yearbook staff.  No way is necessarily right or wrong.  In truth, even the most experienced yearbook advisers may have their organizational structure setup and find themselves changing it when the school year begins.

Why?  The students.  The nature of the yearbook staff will vary every year given individual students' experience, interests, and skillset.

By ensuring the goals of growth of your students and goals of your yearbook are aligned, you'll be on the way to a successful yearbook class!

  • Organize by Yearbook Sections

This particular method of organization allows every student the chance to photograph, layout, design, write and edit.  Sections can be assigned randomly or by pairing each student with sections they are particularly interested in, a member of, or would be able to easily partake in.  For example, assigning a football player to the cross-country page may not be wise as the schedules will overlap for photography-taking, context won't be as immersive in feature stories, and excitement won't be present in the writing!

  • Organize by Responsibility

This is the traditional approach used by larger, particularly high school, yearbook classes.  In many ways, it resembles what students will see when they begin their career.  To set up roles and responsibilities consider breaking down by particular needs - photography, layout and organization, design, journalism, and editing.

To begin the year, find out the students' strengths and interests utilizing written assignments, photography contests, and basic design skill tests.  While each student should have a general understanding of all positions, you'll be able to match them to their best role within the yearbook staff (similar to career-matching).  After being placed in the role, you'll be able to watch each one own the position and increase in skill through focus.

  • Organize by Software Role

Organizing by the roles in Blossom's online design tool, allow the role terminology to remain consistent through the yearbook design process.  Blossom allows you to set up user roles as follows:

1. Admin: This is you, the yearbook adviser.  You can also assign a co-admin to your yearbook as well that is allowed to add team members, organize and approve photos, and ultimately checkout and submit your yearbook for printing.

2. Editor: This will be the primary student role.  In this role, students are assigned a page (or pages) by the Admin to work on.

3. Photographer: A photographer can only upload images, but cannot design pages.  Students can be assigned the roles of both editor and photographer.

4. View: Can view the flip book preview.  Typically, this role is reserved for other teachers and principals who want to review the book before checkout and printing.

You know your students, your process, and your yearbook best.  Keep the students at the center of the process, and you'll undoubtedly have an excellent yearbook team!