Organize Your Staffs By Having Them Select a Major and a Minor

I have long organized my staffs and the work they do around the Rule of 3.

With school changing so much this past year I felt it was important to adapt the structure a little bit to the circumstances we find ourselves in. The goals in the restructure were to:

  • Make the workload more manageable for students
  • Make the workload more manageable for me and the program’s other adviser Jordyn Kiel
  • Help students be more successful
  • Build something that could weather the storm of being in person or virtual and weather the storm of moving back and forth between virtual and in person

A student’s “Major” is essentially selected for them based on the staff hour they are involved in. The Major is meant to be something that the team works together to create. The following are the “Majors” for the different staff hours we offer:

  • Newspaper – Write and Design for each newspaper issue (they chose to do 5 issues this year)
  • Yearbook – Write and Design for the yearbook (they chose to trim the book by 40 pages)
  • Video Staff – Weekly Announcement show
  • Web Staff – Group In-Depth Project every 6ish weeks.
  • Virtual Web Staff – Group In-Depth Project every 6ish weeks.

Conversely, students select a “Minor” based on an area of interest to work individually on. For “Minors,” we decided to limit the options for students to 3-5 options and they all needed to be things students could do at home on their own if the school moved to full virtual. While Majors have deadlines every 6-7 weeks, students are responsible for completing Minor work monthly.

You can see each of the Major/Minor options are for staffs here:

If you have a way you have restructured your staff and found success, we’d love to hear about it and share here. Please reach out and share if you do or if you have questions on this system, feel free to reach out as well. You can email us here.

Aaron Manfull

Aaron is in his 26th year of advising student media. He is currently the Director of Student Media at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, Missouri. He is the Journalism Education Association Digital Media Chair and co-Director of Media Now. He is the 2023 JEA Teacher Inspiration Award Winner and is a former Dow Jones News Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year. He is one of the authors of the textbook "Student Journalism and Media Literacy." You can find him on X and Instagram @manfull. He's a proud father. A transplanted Iowan. And an avid Hawkeye Fan.

Aaron Manfull has 865 posts and counting. See all posts by Aaron Manfull

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