Good educators are the foundation of every school – from the adviser of your yearbook class to the gym teacher who helps students stay healthy. A great teacher can leave a long-lasting impression on their students and colleagues, and when they retire, they should be honored for their dedicated years of service. A yearbook is a great place to let a special teacher know how much they meant to their students over the years.
Dedicate the yearbook to the retiring teacher
Many schools like to dedicate the book to someone, whether it is a student who has overcome a challenge during the year or a teacher who has made that school an inspiring place. The dedication section is a great way to commemorate the impact that teacher has had on the school, and leaves a tangible and lasting legacy for co-workers and students to look back on. If you have several teachers retiring this year, let them share that space. Put the dedication at the front of the book in order to really grab the reader’s attention.
Add a teacher spotlight to your yearbook
Just like a student or senior profile page, develop a profile page for a retiring teacher. The chance to sit down one-on-one and interview them can be a unique opportunity. Craft a list of fun and interesting questions that will help students get to know them better, and reflect the sort of person they are both in and out of the classroom. Your teachers no doubt have stories to tell, and the yearbook can be a useful platform for that type of content.
Let them do the talking
While it may be fun to interview a teacher and write about them, in some instances it’s actually better to let that teacher speak to the school instead of the other way around. Give the educator a page to write a note to the staff and students. They are experiencing a range of emotions as they prepare to say goodbye, and will probably jump at the chance to put into words what their career at the school has meant to them. If you decide to interview, here are a few interview questions to get you started:
What has changed most in education since you started teaching?
What has mostly stayed unchanged since you started teaching?
When you talk to your friends and family about your time here at our school, what’s the first thing that usually comes up?
If you had not been a teacher, what other occupations did you strongly consider?
What activities and projects do you hope to tackle during retirement?
What do you hope students will remember most about you?
Gather old photos spanning the teacher’s career
You know what your teacher looks like now, but what did he look like when he started teaching twenty years ago? Ask for old photos spanning your teacher’s career to include in the dedication. Veer from the normal yearbook headshot and ask for photos of your teacher with their family and friends, or doing something fun outside of work.