Gritty Details

Friday, May 19, 2017

Tonight's Poet Corner: Introspection

So I had a meeting today. Specifically, a meeting with a rep from the design program I'll be using at my new job for the school yearbook.

Like I said in my last introspection, being the yearbook adviser can be very, very stressful. But I learned a lot today. Namely, what program we'll be using, how it works, how I can structure my lesson plans, and how we can really delve into the yearbook process.

I also got to look at both good examples of yearbooks and bad examples of yearbooks. The biggest issue is that the public school I'm working at hasn't had a consistent yearbook adviser in years. And consistency is a big necessity right now.

That's what I want to give this school.

I got really excited about yearbook this time around. It really pushed aside my anxiety, and I felt like, for the first time, I could really do this. That I could really be an effective teacher and help create an amazing book that reflects not just memories of the past year at school, but also a journalistic perspective of those memories.

And that's really our goal here: To bring the yearbook back to a more journalistic tone.

Creating a theme. Allowing that theme to thrive in every page of the yearbook. Giving every senor student a chance to see their last year of high school through said theme.

I am pumped for next year now. Which is a huge difference to how I felt even as recently as last week!

I definitely have some ideas for how to manage my class next year. Yes, I'm teaching tenth grade English as well; I'm not worried about that. I'm an English teacher by trade and have a good handle on how to teach it. Wish me luck!

With yearbook class, I will have eight students. That's right, just eight. And it means a lot of things. It means that we will all rely on one another to create a successful, beautiful yearbook. It means no weak links. It means no dead weight. It means we're more than a class or a team - we're a staff.

We are in this together.

This is a serious undertaking, and the good news is that I have support. Not just from my principal, who also worked as a yearbook adviser. I'm also gaining support from the journalism teacher, the yearbook rep, and several mentors. I'm in good hands.

I also get to attend a yearbook camp in which I maybe get to meet some of my students. It happens in July. I'm excited for it, actually! It should be fun!

Then I have to rush down to Southern California to be a bridesmaid for a friend's wedding. Still fun!

I've been really brainstorming how my yearbook class will look, and I already have some ideas for standards and rules. So of course, why not add them here, on a very public blog? Shush, I know what I'm doing.

EXPECTATIONS FOR YEARBOOK CLASS

1. We are a team. There are no weak links. None of you will have the "easy job." Every page you create for this yearbook will be a collaborative effort. You will all work together to produce something beautiful and inspiring. I am learning along with you, so you are not alone in that.

2. The theme I want to emphasize in this class is consistency. This is something we have lacked in the yearbook class for quite some time. This is my first year as yearbook adviser, and if the school will keep me, it will not be my last. I intend to be adviser for the yearbook for as many years as possible, which creates more consistency in the classroom. The yearbook will be consistent in mentorship, teamwork, and theme.

3. Drama belongs in only two places: On a stage or on film. Any drama you have with each other, resolve now. We are here to work, not to deal with vendettas, arguments, or tiffs. You are all collaborating to create an amazing product,

And that's just the start. Some students have already been brainstorming a theme for the yearbook before I was even hired. I am not working alone, and this year will be an extraordinary experience for me and my students.

Change is difficult, but it can mean so much. I want to ensure that my students - both in my English classes and my Yearbook class - feel like they can make something worthwhile.

Only a few more months until I leave my beloved job at Fusion and start my new job. Let's see how it goes!

But until then, have a great night and a great weekend, everyone.

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