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GatsbysDream 06-03-2017 04:17 AM

Assuming responsibility for a club next year?
During my end of year evaluation and meeting, my principal told me he wants me to start a Literary Magazine or some type of "Pen and Quill" club.

I am thinking he means literary magazine, which, as an English teacher, I am totally happy to do!

The issue is that the last time I did this at my old school, interest faded quickly for whatever reason.

I know how to get it started, but I don't know how to keep it going or keep kids interested. I have no idea what I'm doing past the initial stages of "This is what this club is all about and this is what we do" phase although it seems simple enough.

For example, I don't know any companies that would publish the finished product for the school or how to contact one.

My department head has been very sick for the past week or so, so I don't want to bother her with all these silly questions.

I don't know if we are definitely going to a block schedule next year, which would have an impact on how often we meet because then we probably would during the school day instead of after school.

If anybody has any advice for me, please post it below. He said very specifically multiple times "I have very high
expectations for you" and I would love to actually meet them.

Thank you so very much!

lisa53 06-03-2017 05:11 AM

A thousand years ago, when I was in high school, we had one annual publication for the literary club, and we were can just copy the pages and staple...or take it to a copy place and have them copy with a spiral binding, for example. That part is easy. You will need some up front cash to pay for the publication, so the first year, see if the principal can give you a small budget. If not, you will need to do a fundraiser or two. You could offer pencils and pens for sale, perhaps, or have a used book sale...or just go with the traditional candy sales. Your school probably has guidelines.

You can have monthly competitions advertised in your poem, best short story, best informative article, best personal essay...or offer writing prompts. Your editorial board would then select the best 3 from that category, and those would go into your end of year publication. If you announce the winners in advance, you can keep interest up, especially if a prize is involved. A prize could be as simple as a certificate. You can also solicit best student work from the English teachers if you need more. Have a contest for the cover design and maybe some illustrations of stories or poems, too.

Develop a structure for meetings and meeting dates in advance, and keep it simple and straightforward. Be sure every kid has a specific task responsibility so they feel invested. Offer snacks at meetings (this is a great way to get good participation if you can manage a batch of cookies or other simple homemade snacks).

GatsbysDream 06-04-2017 04:05 AM

Wow. That is some fabulous advice! Thank you!

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