With Christmas and New Years approaching, students are probably preparing for winter break, and in anticipation of this time off, it may be difficult to keep your yearbook staff on task in order to meet those December and January deadlines. On top of that, after the long break, it’s common for students to come back to school and need help refocusing. So what can you do? Don’t fight the holidays, embrace them!

To keep the yearbook class motivated through the holidays, yearbook advisers often try to mix in some fun with the work that still needs to get done. This can help keep the spirit alive in your classroom while meeting your yearbook deadlines. It can be as simple as throwing on some music while you do your “yearbook” work, adding some festive decor to the room, or celebrating your accomplishments with a staff party.

Here are a few tips and ideas on how to keep your yearbook class motivated through the holidays:

  • Set reasonable expectations! Although work still needs to get done, remember that the holidays are a time for family and friends. Let everyone know ahead of time what is expected of them during the break and how you’ll “hit the ground running” upon return. It’s important for them to understand what the goals are, but don’t overburden them during the break.
  • Share with other people what the yearbook class is up to. Use daily announcements, the school newspaper, social media, or emails to parents. This can be a great way to increase awareness as well as interest in the school yearbook. This is a great time to encourage yearbook and ad sales while people are in a “giving” mood.
  • Host a “School Yearbook Photo Contest.” Announce it ahead of time and during the break to the school students and staff. You can set up a Dropbox, email, Facebook group, or Instagram where students / parents can submit their pictures from winter break. This will help with your yearbook coverage through the holidays and a nice “How I Spent my Winter Vacation” section for the yearbook! 
  • Throw a “Holiday” party. Bring treats for everyone to enjoy! 
  • Will some students be away during the break? Schedule a couple of Zoom chats, so everyone can check in and catch up. Or if they’re staying local, arrange a coffee meet-up!
  • Have a gift or an ornament exchange. Maybe a Secret Santa exchange with a small dollar limit for those ‘always broke’ students.
  • Play a game during your downtime (i.e. “Never have I Ever”, a trivia game, or a scavenger hunt). 
  • Take your yearbook class to an escape room or other group activity. Great for team building. And super fun!
  • Then, get back to finishing an amazing school yearbook!

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