Arrowhead High School has two buildings, one for freshman and sophomores, and one for juniors and seniors. Yearbook class met at the building for juniors and seniors. I was a sophomore so I had to walk back and forth between the two buildings, through sleet and snow, solely for yearbook class. It became my favorite class because it’s fun designing pages of a book the school will look at, but it was also because of the teacher.
This is my second year taking Mrs. Barbee’s yearbook class (sophomore year was my first year). Mrs. Barbee makes the class fun and relaxed, but at the same time, gives us a healthy dose of discipline and responsibility.
Mrs. Barbee doesn’t look too intimidating (as she is only about 5’4”), but she has the determination to get us to work hard to meet our deadlines. I would describe Mrs. Barbee as the wizard behind the curtain. In class if we have a question about how to edit pictures or what font to use, she has an answer, like an all knowing wizard.
She trusts our judgement about what we want on our pages. She does this without looking over our shoulder and telling us how to do it. She trusts our creativity and knows that we can put together a book worth buying. This is a great teaching style because it teaches us how to motivate and manage ourselves which are skills we will need in the future.
At the beginning of the year, we split into groups and put a presentation together about our group's idea for a theme for the book. We presented them to the class and then voted. This is an example of how she gives us the freedom to make choices. This year we chose Hollywood Blockbuster to be our theme. Choosing the theme ourselves is a great experience and gives us the opportunity to choose how we want the book to look.
Mrs. Barbee uses her own time to take pictures at school, and at sporting events throughout the year. Although the students take photos, Mrs. Barbee takes photos when students can’t be there. This is appreciated because without her help, we wouldn’t have pictures for as many different clubs and activities.
Teaching this class is stressful, especially when every year there is a new batch of students who have no idea what they are doing. On top of that, our class organizes senior photos, grad ads, and senior superlatives. Coordinating the information, deadlines and envelopes with pictures can be a huge headache, and Mrs. Barbee is the one managing it all and keeping track of it. She helps us by giving us tasks when we get to them, rather than leaving us with no clue what to do.
With all of the stress that comes with the class, it surprises me that Mrs. Barbee is in a good mood at 7:30 in the morning every day. She’s approachable, friendly, and laid-back. This makes it easy to like her class.
Mrs. Barbee is honest, helpful, and hardworking. She is the only person I could imagine teaching this class and she has given me the opportunity to be independent and self-driven in school where usually we don’t get the chance to do that. She is my favorite educator because she teaches yearbook with trust and she is able to answer questions calmly without talking down to us.