SchoolJournalism.org asked six women, ranging in age from 24 to 58, what life lessons their time on a yearbook staff taught them. Their honest and enlightening answers are ones that not only back up the true learning experience time spent producing a yearbook provides for students, but can also serve as inspiration for your current yearbook staff members and their parents.
What do you learn in yearbook? Well, from the snapshot provided here, more than first meets the eye.
Juli Schuster, age 50, Art Teacher in Missouri
“I became a member of the Wentzville High School yearbook staff during my junior year in high school. Up until that time I was a bit of a loner. Being on the yearbook staff taught me, for the first time, about being part of a team. Showing up for the team and working together to create something we could all be proud of was a lasting life lesson for me.”
Katee Myer, age 25, Preschool Teacher in Indiana
“I learned from yearbook the importance of not just hearing, but listening. Doing an interview can be a bit nerve wracking, so being prepared with questions is essential. However, if you don’t actually listen and have a conversation that may stray away from your original list of questions, you could miss the real story that needs to be told. The same can be true for many situations in life.”
Terri Overstreet, age 58, Licensed Massage Therapist in Texas
“As my high school yearbook editor during both my junior and senior years, I learned how to motivate and manage a staff. Those are skills that I have used ever since in the work place.”
Kenzie Nye, age 24, Dairy Farmers of America Field Representative in Colorado
“I learned that being attentive, whether listening to other people and what they have to say or watching what is going on around you, will be a key asset to any career you’re in. Your attention to detail will always give you the upper hand.”
Michelle Turner, age 42, Broadcast Adviser in Missouri
“I learned the true importance of meeting a deadline. There was no such thing as ‘late work’ when I was on my high school yearbook staff. That life lesson was the one that stuck with me like glue. Oh, and avoid clichés!”
Katherine Mills, age 24, Registered Infusion Nurse in Missouri
“In high school, I was a shy person that was never one to stand out. I was asked by my freshman English teacher to join yearbook, so I gave it a shot. Little did I know that when I joined yearbook I would have to step out of my comfort zone. Whether it was interviewing a fellow classmate or standing on the sidelines trying to get that perfect shot, I was front and center. Yearbook taught me to open up and not be afraid to go for it. I can honestly say it helped me with my career now with all the different people I have to work with. If I had a choice, I would do it all over again.”