How to empower your editors

Editors are awesome. I really couldn’t think of a better way to begin this post than by getting that out of the way. If you’re like me and you’ve been advising for a while, you probably have a long list of former editors who feel more like family at this point.

Editor positions are more than a title. These students are taking on a huge responsibility and should be laser-focused on bringing the entire team across the finish line. This is what sets publication classes apart. We have all sat in multiple seminars hearing about the highest levels of Bloom’s and other teaching strategies, and, let me tell you, when editors take over and teach – that’s the sweet spot all education instructors are talking about.

So, how do we get editors to take control of the process?

Be clear about expectations and duties

New editors especially will need help knowing where to get started. Meetings before school starts and the first week will help them navigate these roles. Let them ask lots of questions and create a safe environment by encouraging the group to show gratitude to every question.

Show them how to handle conflict BEFORE it happens.

Conflict is a normal part of being a human. Drama is what happens when you allow conflict to fester. Like a wound, drama is an infection that occurs from mishandling or ignoring a wound. Every kid will be wounded by someone on staff and almost all of them will at one point wound someone. How much better would everything be if they approached conflict with a loving heart and focused on finding a resolution?

Have some materials for them!

Creating some basic organizational tools for them will help get them started and then you’ll watch them make it all their own! Most of the best things we use in our program were built by editors seeking solutions!

Take a chance on them by stepping back

This can be hard, but trust them! Don’t expect them to be perfect from the first day. Back away and be supportive. Give them a safe space to fail and help them back up. Editors who learn to bounce back from mistakes are more confident and able to help others.

Here are some things we use that were created by editors!