Virginia Assocation of Journalism Teachers & Advisers

Club Picture Day: A First Year Adviser Look


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By Chris Waugaman, MJE

This past week as a first year yearbook adviser I oversaw my first club picture day. To be truthful, I wasn’t really too nervous because our previous adviser and staffs had laid the groundwork for our group. I was fortunate to have a schedule that I could base this year’s schedule on and a time frame for working with the schedule.

Here are a few elements that I had in place before the day arrived:

1. Schedule: An email was sent out to our staff four weeks before the event (it actually coincided with our Thanksgiving break). I asked for all club sponsors to email me with their club size and planning period. I then published a draft of the schedule and then asked for any late changes to be emailed to me. We had a few sponsors who had forgotten and needed a last minute entry. Lastly the Friday before I sent an email out to all teachers with the final schedule. I also emailed those teachers who we made an adjustment to personally before the large group email went out. Once the first draft went out a lot of kids put in their planner the time – they would probably not check again.

Screen Shot 2014-12-20 at 11.18.35 AM2. Check with People About Building Use – We take the photos in the auditorium so I needed to check with a few people before I just announced the date. First I checked with our front office secretary to reserve the space. Next I checked with the theatre teacher, choir and band teacher to make sure they didn’t need the space.

3. Submit paperwork for an in-school fieldtrip. Make sure you will have the numbers to cover all of the jobs. All of my yearbook classes met for class that day so I only had to really worry about the first block for job coverage. Some students couldn’t come all day on my staff due to tests in other classes, but we arranged everything despite this conflict.

4. Organize your supplies the day before. We needed the following:

  • Cart to transport everything.
  • Four laptops for data entry
  • Clipboards and pens for writing down names for captions
  • Handouts with lines for entering caption information (one sheet for each row)
  • Caution tape to tape off walking routes
  • Black Sharpie markers to write slates for photographers
  • Power cords, extension cords, and surge protectors for computers and speakers
  • Two ladders for photographers
  • Music to keep students going
  • Your own cameras to document your students working
  • Cups, plates, napkins for food
  • Donuts for breakfast & pizza for lunch
  • Extra trash bags

5. The day before the event create a Google Form – Save the link online so that when you set up your computers on the morning of club picture day, you can pull up the form and have students just enter the data. Our google form was simple – it had a space for the club name and then seven other entry areas for each row. Also it had a space for the typist to fill in their name.

6. Job assignments. Our jobs included “bouncers, secretaries, camera assistants, typists, and clock manager.” The job descriptions are as follows:

  • Screen Shot 2014-12-20 at 11.18.52 AMBouncers – sit at each door and check students’ Ids, club cards, and planners. They do not allow anyone in that does not have those items. In addition they manage the groups waiting for their time to come in and sit down.
  • Secretaries – stand at the end of each row, and as students leave the write down their names for the caption. You must have one with a clipboard for each row.
  • Camera assistants – stand next to the photographer and write the slate with the name of the club whose picture is about to be taken. They also watch the group as the picture is being taken and ensure no one makes any inappropriate gestures.
  • Screen Shot 2014-12-20 at 11.18.24 AMTypists – sit in the center and fill in the Google form on the laptops as the sheets are handed to them from the secretaries. They then staple and highlight the sheets that have been entered into the computer and file them.
  • Clock manager – this person is so important – when I call out to the clock manager they call out the time and which group should be at each camera. This person is essential in keeping everything going on schedule. If we are running behind schedule she/he allows us to know we need to speed things up. They also let us know if we have a big group coming up so we might have to move more secretaries over to that camera.Screen Shot 2014-12-20 at 11.19.07 AM

Here are a few adjustments that had to be made…

1. I had to move some clubs to the morning so that seniors could make the photo. We have a number of students who leave early now. They are not required to take afternoon classes (not enough teachers).

2. I had to have some photos taken simultaneously to fit all of the clubs in. And with this there were some people who needed to be in both pictures. So my advice is if you have to schedule two pictures at the same time, do smaller clubs.

3. Speaking of that – our photographer showed up a bit late – not to worry we caught up. But maybe I will schedule the really small groups first next time, and therefore if we have to wait then we will only be asking a small number of students to wait.

4. Even with checking with everyone about the auditorium – there was still a conflict with SOL testing and with a guest speaker. Just prepare to make adjustments – we moved our Friday date to Tuesday, due to the fact we had make-up SOL testing that would affect 100 students.

At the end of the day – it was a great bonding experience for all staff members and I look forward to it next year. I am sure as I think of things I will add more to this post. And special thanks to Allison Heath who laid the groundwork for how we do things at Prince George High School.

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