Down Time? Read A Book!

What to do with your high school yearbook staff once your book is submitted.

As the year winds down, it's important to keep your staff engaged. Not sure how to do that without a yearbook to work on? We suggest reading a book.

Not just any book–choose a book that cultivates the environment that you've created in your classroom. Find a book about leadership, team-building or collaboration. A great resource for finding books like these are the JEA One Book selections.

JEA is the Journalism Education Association. Not familiar with JEA? The mission statement from their website states: The Journalism Education Association supports free and responsible scholastic journalism by providing resources and educational opportunities, by promoting professionalism, by encouraging and rewarding student excellence and teacher achievement, and by fostering an atmosphere which encompasses diversity yet builds unity.

To gain access to the vast array of resources, you'll need to pay for a reasonably-priced membership. If you're looking for a little help in your classroom in the way of curriculum, the membership is a small price to pay! Visit the JEA website ( for more information about curriculum, conventions and membership benefits.

JEA chooses two books each year, one in the Fall and one in the Spring that foster a forward-thinking, growth mindset for your team and classroom.

This Spring's selection is Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know by Jill Geisler. Geisler has coached and trained countless professionals who want to build their leadership skills, help employees do their best work and make workplaces happy and successful. She is currently the Leadership and Media Integrity Chair at Loyola University, Chicago, and was formerly a TV news director.

Former JEA One Book selections include: The Smartest Kids In The World And How They Got That Way by Amanda Ripley, How Children Succeed by Paul Tough, Most Likely To Succeed: Preparing Our Kids For The Innovation Era by Tony Wagner and Ted Dintersmith and A Curious Mind by Brian Grazer and Charles Fishman.

Even if reading a book doesn't seem like the right fit for the last few weeks of your school year, giving a reading assignment to next year's staff leadership may be just the right way to initiate open and honest conversation about expectations, collaboration ideas and how to build a solid team. Choose a book that speaks to your teaching and advising style.

We'd love to hear from you about what books you recommend for building a successful yearbook team...leave a comment below!