How to get students to work—your responses to an adviser request.—Your Yearbook Tip of the Day for Friday, February 15, 2019.

At the end of January I sent you all out this request from a fellow adviser:

“Could you send this out to other yearbook advisers to get input?  I’m so frustrated and have to find other ways to get these kids to sell ads and take pictures. How do other advisers sell business ads? Do they give them class time?  Assign them all due at one time?  How do they give them credit?  How do they get their students to take pictures?  Do they assign events?  Let the kids pick?”

So of course I did and as you always do, I got some great responses. And the quality was matched only by the quantity so I will give you have the responses today and the rest on Monday.

“We assign pretty much EVERYTHING!  We have our ad sales for about 2 weeks in October.  We get last year’s book and divide up those ads among all the staff so each gets 4-5 specific businesses to sell too.  And then we brainstorm new ones and divide those up also.  We have an ad sales pizza party and sometimes little gifts for high sellers when we reach our ad sales goals.  We also assign all pages to specific people but talk about working as a team to help each other out if need.  So for example, if a girls basketball player chooses the girls basketball page - it is ultimately her responsibility to get the pictures but she can ask others for help in getting them.”

“Hope this helps!

Students are hired to be in yearbook. They must submit a job application, which the current yearbook staff reviews anonymously. Then students are hired to be on staff.

Students sign a contract at the beginning of the year that states their expectations for job performance, meeting deadlines, and handling equipment. Their parents sign it too. Breach of contract means students are fired.

In terms of ad sales, I give each staff member the same number of businesses. We get all the literature together (brochures, ad forms, page sponsorships, etc.). We do mock ad sales where I bring in other adults and have yearbook students “sell” to them. Then the students and I take a day from school and complete ad sales. We start at 9 when businesses open and end at 3. If follow-up sales are needed, students leave during yearbook class to complete those sales. Parents give permission for students to leave on the yearbook contract that was signed.

In terms of accountability, completing the ad sales to their assigned business is part of their job. It must be completed. Failure to meet expectations means the student is fired. Completing ad sales to the expectation level is an A.

In terms of page assignments, student choose which pages they want. We do it school yard pick style. If students pick a page, they are responsible for the pictures on the page. It’s part of the page creation.

I’m happy to answer more questions for the advisor if needed.”

“I totally feel her pain, but I do have a suggestion.  When we sell business adds, my students get to to go out in pairs (carpool) and visit business’ in person. They seem to really enjoy it One of my groups made over 1,000 dollars a in ads on their first try, so they got to go again. They have to have a plan and have every teacher approve their absence, as well as, have all  The work they will miss, done a day early, but they do it.

With regards to working, I sit down with them and let them have a say in what t hey want to do. They like to work on pages for their activities, but they are responsible for making sure someone takes the pictures for their page if they are in the activity.  I also have students take a minimum of 25 good photos per week and give it a grade 1 point per photo that could be used in the yearbook. I have also given daily points 5 points per day for on task, positive work ethic. This can be a motivator because it shows up fast. I also have a club that picks up the slack, edits and can yearn a letter. Hope that helps.”

“Regarding ads, I have a ‘draft day’ in October where the kids “draft/choose” businesses to sell to.  Usually they pick ones they know or relatives who work at or own businesses.  Also, I encourage them to choose ones we’ve sold to before.  I require everyone to sell two ads minimum, and this is part of their grade due any time before the end of the semester.  I also give an incentive for anyone who sells $200 in ads, they earn a free yearbook.  Class time is given for them to make phone calls or send emails.  I encourage direct contact by phone or in person. As far as pictures go, my students have a team that is assigned to each yearbook page, and the people assigned to that page are responsible for getting their own pictures.  They either take their own at events or find someone else to do it for them (fellow students, parents, photographers, etc).  I require 12 pics per spread or 6 per page minimum.  I have a “Photo Ops this Week” poster in my room, so they know when meetings or events are happening.  Hope this helps!”

“I allow my yearbook staff to sell an ad in exchange for a free yearbook because we really don’t need the ads money other than to purchase camera equipment and reduce the cost of yearbooks by a little bit.  If they sell a $50 ad (the cheapest), that’s the same price that they would pay for a yearbook, so I figure it gives my kids a way to earn a yearbook that they worked so hard on even if they can’t afford it.  You could maybe tweak this a little and say that anyone who wants a yearbook could sell an ad and collect all the graphics/info for it even if they’re not in the yearbook class or club? Another option that I’ve thought of that I’ve never implemented is to have students who want a yearbook fill out an application created by the advisor and write a paper or film a short video on why they want a yearbook, but can’t afford it.  Then, you could have a review committee of teachers (a few should be adequate) who determine whether the student gets one or not based on income levels.  If you don’t have enough money in the yearbook account to provide free yearbooks for all those who applied, maybe you could give partial scholarships?  I would think that the amount of work that goes into that application process would weed out the students who are serious about wanting a yearbook from those that would just take one if it was free.”

“I assign Photo Event points in the gradebook. Right now I have 6 kids in the class so they have to photo 2 events per quarter. Sometimes they don’t do it and their grade is affected. I also give “Makeup Day” points for any events they photo above and beyond their required events. I have had kids photo 10 events a quarter just so they get the makeup points which helps if they are absent a lot. As far as sponsorships (that’s what we call our ads), we send letters out in August and anyone we don’t hear back from we use a couple class days to go out and talk to them. My students have permanent permissions slips to leave class whenever I deem necessary so I can send them out anytime to pick up a check. (We are a small school in a small town so this is feasible.) Again, they are graded on their participation in the sponsorship sales and get extra credit for obtaining new ads.”

 Watch your inboxes on Tuesday after the holiday for the rest of these superb and well thought out responses.



Tips of the Day
Tips of the Day