Are you a teacher who’s stuck for how to start a yearbook message? Don’t worry; it gets easier with practice. Here’s our top tips for writing open letters to your students (tips for autograph pages are also below):
The best yearbook message advice I can give you is to keep it short and sweet. Confine it to half a page of writing – no more than 300 words. No one wants to read your life story; they want to read about the complex panoply of emotions you feel for them, how difficult, painful, and fantastic the past few years have been for you, and how proud you are of them.
If you have personal messages for each student, save it for when you sign their yearbooks. Make your open letter relevant to the entire student body. Did something epic happen on a school trip? Maybe there was a particularly memorable event you can mention?
Remember to make it funny, or at least make a passing attempt. What funny things happened to students while they were at the school? If you can’t think of anything, you can’t go wrong signing off with a #YOLO – something they probably wouldn’t expect you to write to them.
This next tip’s tricky. Remember that these few paragraphs of text are how many students will remember you over the coming years, so try to write with the same cadence you use while speaking. You probably already do this without thinking about it, but if you have any particular mannerisms, try to include them.
Include yearbook quotes from inspirational people that they can relate to. If you can’t find anything relevant, you can’t go wrong with this one:
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
On the other hand, don’t be afraid to leave a slow burner; they don’t have to get it right away. If you’re totally stuck, feel free to use the quote below – free of charge.
Consider including life advice, either from your own experiences or something relevant to them, but don’t make it about you. You can always keep it simple and advise them to never stop learning and having fun.
Finally, appearance matters. You want your open letter to the student body to look great. Using Yearbook Hub, you can play around with your yearbook page design in real time. Use this flexibility to help you think about how you want this to look. Should it be formal, or playful? That’s up to you to decide.
You’re a popular teacher. Now that you’ve figured out your open letter page, you need to recoup and prepare for the deluge of yearbook signing requests.
How to write a comment in student yearbooks
Your leavers will want you to write something meaningful and memorable in their yearbooks. Don’t disappoint them by just signing your name; try out the tips below:
- Just be honest. If you had a great time teaching a student, let them know. Keep a reserve of stock unilateral “good luck” answers for those students you are a bit indifferent about, and make it extra special for those who deserve it.
- Leave a prediction for their future. Maybe you think they’ll grow up to win a nobel prize or to be a captain of industry. Maybe you think they’re going to have a really fulfilling and meaningful life. Comments like this can be the fuel that ignites the fire of their self-determination.
- Draw a silly picture. When I left school, I had a teacher called Mr. Moon – he signed everybody’s yearbook with an illustration of a smiling lunar semicircle. Both adorable, and memorable. Because of his goofy penmanship, I will forever remember him with fondness.
- Write something they wouldn’t expect. You’ve been in teacher mode for the past however many years; it’ll be a surprise to them when you bust out the bants. #YOLO
If you have a staff page, find your picture and write “Favourite teacher” above it. That’ll give them something extra-special to remember (and possibly hold a deep seething resentment about).