Patricia Monroe 2017-03-07 01:52:58
FIVE SIMPLE IDEAS FOR... SEARCHING FOR THE RIGHT EDITOR-IN-CHIEF This is a crazy time of year for yearbook advisers. The book isn’t even complete, but advisers are already concerned with next year’s staff, especially who the next editor will be. Choosing the right editor-in-chief is crucial to a successful year and a positive experience for the staff. I look for a number of attributes. None is more important than the other. TEAM PLAYER — Because yearbook is a team effort, I look for someone who not only works hard, but works smart. This person pitches ideas and is open to others' suggestions. There is mutual respect and the understanding that this is not a "me" undertaking but an "us" effort. It's not an ego trip or power trip. It's someone who respects what it takes to get the job done well and enjoys working with others. VISIONARY — There needs to be a vision for the yearbook that can be communicated to the staff. This begins in the summer by attending workshops and having a concept for the theme. I want the editor to be able to get the staff to buy into the theme early on and allow members to develop it throughout the book. This way, staff members can feel they are part of the process instead of feeling like worker bees. RESPONSIBLE — This entails so much. It begins with someone who understands his or her role when it comes to commitment. If a staffer doesn't come through, it's understood the editor must finish the job and do it with a positive attitude. This person understands the ramifications of missing deadlines and can convey that to the staff. It must be noted that editors can't bark out deadlines and then not meet them themselves. This hurts their credibility and the leadership breakdown begins. However, editors should not do everything. They need to be able to delegate work to staff members to build a sense of trust. However, a real plus is an editor who can write, design and take photos. MATURE — Editors must be role models inside and outside of the journalism room. They need to reflect the department in the most positive way with administration, teachers and their peers. They should conduct themselves in a way that encourages others, especially their staff members, to be respectful and responsible. PERSONABLE — It is imperative that the editor-in-chief and adviser get along. A bad relationship between the two can create all kinds of problems. I am always looking at the way a potential editor treats others and how they treat me. Are they respectful? Are they as passionate as I am about yearbooks? Are they willing to do whatever needs to get done, even if it's not their assigned task? Are they a follower or a leader? The right editor can make creating a yearbook more enjoyable, a class that everyone looks forward to, and a high school experience like no other. ON THE WEB For more 5 Simple Ideas for... columns, go to walsworthyearbooks.com/ideafile. Patricia Monroe has taught journalism for 26 years, all a t Burges High School in El Paso, Texas. Her yearbook, Hoofbeats, and newspaper, Stampede, are repeat recipients of the NSPA's Pacemaker and CSPA's Gold and Silver Crowns. Monroe has been honored as a JEA Special Recognition Yearbook Adviser and was named an honoree of the Edith Fox King Award for contributions to Texas scholastic journalism. Before teaching, Monroe spent 10 years as a reporter, editor and producer in television news.
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