I was asked recently by a mentee of mine about the relevance of producing a year book for her school. She has been recently employed as a school administrator and being her first time on this position, she was uncertain if a year book was a worthwhile venture for her. A few of the things I’ll be sharing here are some of the points I shared with her two weeks ago.
First of all, what is a school year book?
A school year book is a publication that captures the events and lives of people involved with a school during that particular academic session. Year books are more than a book of pictures of classmates who passed through the same school or class with you. A year book is a compendium of shared memories that will last for a lifetime.
The importance of a school year book
With that in mind, what is the real purpose of a year book? And should a school bother producing one every year despite all the hard work involved in putting one together?
I remember attending an international conference in Accra in 2013 and towards the end of the three day conference, all the school administrators were asked to attend a special training on Producing a Year Book. This came as a surprise to me because, even though I’d always liked the idea of producing a year book for my school, I had never really sat down to see it from the light of what skills the students could develop from working together to produce a year book. Quite a lot of emphasis was laid on the importance of a year book.
Attending this course opened my eyes to the world of possibilities with the year book, apart from the benefits I had always known it to have for me. So now, I knew both the benefits for me personally, and then why I should do it for my students.
Personally (and I’m sure to a lot of other folks), the year book affords one the opportunity to condense the experiences of school and carry them to the future. It reminds you of your first crush, the special teenage friends, and your volleyball team members that hold so much space in your memories.
You can relive the school days years later in life- through a year book. It’s a valuable reminder of experiences shared during school days. It is a record book, a history book, a memory book, a reference book, a special piece of your life’s story. A place to go back to when you remember your childhood dreams and how hotly talented and liked you were at youth when life’s blows deal on you later in life.
Also, yearbooks come in very handy during high school reunions. When you are all grown and come back together in years to come, what better way than to bring your year book to remind yourself of the good old days, and share the old times again; and linger in the nostalgic feelings it brings.
By then, who knows? Maybe a few of your classmates are now governors, ministers or the Dangote of their time, and you can show off your famous persons as your classmates through your year book.
Besides these, a school year book is a pride to a school and a collection of year books tell a school’s story. It is also a means for you to remember the teachers that taught you, influenced your life, and moulded you to what you are much later in life. And even with Facebook, Instagram and the internet, nothing beats a printed year book for a permanent keepsake.
Skills developed while producing a school year book
And, there are skills to be developed while producing the year book. Students and staff involved learn the following skills:
- Students involved in the production of the year book learn journalism. Sometimes interviews are granted, and writing, reporting and editing skills are involved with putting this across properly to the audience.
- Photography skills are developed when students are allowed to contribute in the production of the year book. Great picture taking is practised.
- Team work and collaboration is involved in the production of a year book. Students learn to celebrate one another’s successes and tolerate each other as they bring in ideas and concepts on how each person thinks or feels the year book should be.
- Children earn to pay attention to details as a lot of details are involved with the production of a year book.
- Record keeping is enhanced. All the important events of the year need to be properly chronicled, and records have to be kept accurately to achieve this.
- Children learn to manage their time as producing a year book comes with stiff deadlines, which places a demand on their time. They learn to prioritise.
- ICT skills are honed during the production of a year book. For designing and editing, various software and apps are used.
- Publishing skills are also developed.
- They learn project management skills.
I’m sure there are some other skills to be learnt from producing a year book. I guess these are the ones I can remember. I just met with the head of the Year Book Committee at work today; maybe that’s why I remembered to share this today.
Are you convinced you should produce a year book for your school? How far have you gone with yours? Please share your thoughts and experiences about the year book with the group.
What do you think about it?
Some schools don’t involve students in year book production