Don’t Wait. Celebrate!

Margaret Sorrows

Jostens Ambassador
In Margaret's 24 years as adviser, the Hornet yearbook consistently earned the nation's highest honors. In 2014, she was National Yearbook Adviser of the Year, 2012 JEA Distinguished Yearbook Adviser and 2008 runner-up Arkansas Teacher of the Year.

It’s the stuff that wakes a yearbook adviser in the middle of the night.

  • Did we check to make sure all the people pictured on the endsheets are really our students?
  • Did we spell sophomore correctly in the people section?
  • Was the volume number on the cover the right one?
  • Did we correct all the placeholder names we inserted in captions because we didn’t have time to find out their real names?

Yearbook stress.

By now, you’ve likely tackled a deadline or two. Some of you are wondering what in the world you’ve gotten yourself into. Others have to remind themselves to just breath, as the first semester has been a whirlwind of yearbook.

Yearbook can be so time-consuming that sometimes we forget to pause and reflect on all the accomplishments the first semester. It’s time to make the yearbook staff feel special and accomplished.

After you submit all pages possible before break, take the time to pat yourself on the back with some stress-free fun events and take a break from all things yearbook.

Food/gift party

Plan a pizza party and gift exchange. Staff members can draw names and exchange gifts. Keep the dollar limit low, $5 or less.

Secret Santa

Have each staff member bring a gift and play Secret Santa. Start the gift choosing by birthday dates in a basket.

Holiday potluck

Involve parents in the celebration and food preparation. It’s a great time to invite parents to the yearbook room to see the work of their child from first semester.


Write thank you notes or create holiday cards to send to other teachers, administrators and secretaries who helped make the first semester successful (Get some free thank you cards here). If one particular department, like English, really supported the yearbook, treat them to a catered lunch at school.

Support staff love

Get the janitor who cleans up your room after all those late-night work nights a gift card. Invite him to eat with you at a work night.

Praise board

Create a bulletin board of staff shout outs or wall of praise. Use colored note cards or post-its and encourage staff members to recognize each other for work well done.

Sweet treats

Create candy bar medals. Attach a colored ribbon to favorite candy bars and reward good work or recognize birthdays.


Have a birthday party to celebrate all the first semester birthdays. Who doesn’t love cake, cookies and cupcakes?

Unexpected carbs

Bring in surprise donuts for a before school celebration or cook and serve breakfast before school. Order a lunch delivery to the yearbook room.

Plan of action

Have each staff member write a personal reflection of the first semester. What did each do well? What do we need to improve? Create a plan of action to make improvements.

The list is endless. Remember fun keeps the staff happy and excited to work on the yearbook. When you start incorporating the fun in yearbook, you’ll find the staff eager to spend time creating the yearbook. Consider choosing a student to be the Fun Editor who plans a small monthly activity after each deadline. Fun keeps students loving yearbook.