Yearbook Critiquing: Begin with the end in mind

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Goals will help you break down yearbook production into bite-size pieces. Take a critical look at last year’s book. What would you like to improve or do differently? Survey students, including members of teams and clubs, and ask what they would like to include in this year’s book. (By demonstrating to students that you value their input, you increase sales.)

There are a few simple steps to follow in the goal-setting process.

1. Consider what it will require to meet the goal before setting it. Costly or unattainable goals create three problems: failure becomes acceptable, excusable and expected.

2. Make your goal attainable by considering additional resources your staff may need.

What items do we need to achieve this goal?

How we will find the time?

What things do we need to learn more about?

What people can we talk to for support?

3. Write the goals down in as few words as possible, e.g. “Our goal is to improve photography.” Hang the goals on the wall. They will have ten times more power than ones that are filed away.

4. As a group, discuss each student’s commitment to the goals.

5. Break each goal down into smaller bites.

In increments, determine steps necessary to achieve a goal. Be specific. For example, the following is a list of a staff’s photography goals for this month:

PHOTO GOALS

  • white balance before shooting
  • use available light
  • include foreground, middle ground, background
  • take establishing shots
  • vary angles
  • cover before, during and after activities
  • vary number of people in images

Photographers should do a self evaluation after each assignment. At the end of the month, overall progress will be evaluated before setting the next month’s photo goals.

Create monthly goals for each area you targeted for improvement. At the end of the month, evaluate your progress and retrain if necessary.

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Use Cut to the Quick of Critical Rating Services worksheet for the initial evaluation of your book.