A few weeks ago I sent out this request from a fellow yearbook adviser:
“How do other advisers handle students that are not performing. What is the best way to fire a yearbook staffer and how to best communicate the reasoning to parents. This may be an issue that other advisers have needed good advice for, especially since many of our schools have just completed at least one deadline. Any good suggestions out there?”
I had hoped to have more responses but I did get three good ones and I wanted to share them.
“Last year, I had 2 freshmen who didn’t do anything. They would take cameras out saying they would get quotes then just hang out and come back with nothing. This happened several times. I spoke to my administrator and requested that the students be placed in another class. They ended up in APEX taking Health. Luckily, my administration knows that Yearbook is too time sensitive and requires too much dedication to have slackers. It isn’t a good fit for everyone. And since Yearbook is responsible for tens of thousands of dollars in budget, it doesn’t make sense that students who can’t handle the work would be in the class. Hope that helps.”
“I had a talk with the kid and told them this just wasn’t working and had their schedule changed. Not a big deal! Most of the time it’s a mutually agreed upon decision.”
“I never fire or ask students to leave. I just remove them from the yearbook staff and move them into the yearbook class. The class is where all the students that counselors send me to take off their hands when they can’t find a place for them in other classes during the period I teach yearbooks. They (the class) sits silently in desks and reads and answers questions from handouts and lessons I have downloaded from the Digital Classroom on Yearbook Avenue. Each week they get a test and they get graded. So when I have a problem with someone who I have trusted and let onto the yearbook staff, they move back to the yearbook class. It only takes about a week before they are begging me to get back on the staff. We have a long discussion and maybe (if it is their first time) I let them back on. If not or if it happens again, they are in the class for good. What usually happens then is that they go to their counselors and ask to transfer. Works for me.”
I like that last one. Probably took a while to develop but I bet it works.