Everyone Has a Place

Everyone has place

When I was little, I loved doing puzzles. I would challenge myself first by choosing ones with more and more pieces and then later by choosing ones with unusual pictures and designs. As the years went by and time grew more scarce, I had to shelve my puzzles until my daughter Zoe came along.

Like most young kids, she started solving puzzles with one image that fit into an exact cut out of it, but she quickly grew tired of those and progressed through the 24-piece, more elaborate wooden ones and by the time she was five, she was tackling 100-piece puzzles on her own. I was always fascinated to see how she approached a new one. Like me, she would turn over all of the pieces so she could see what portion of the image each contained, but unlike me she didn’t start by building the borders of the image. Instead, she would examine the image on the piece and lay it on the table in the approximate place that the piece would go. Slowly, the image would begin to take shape and, sure enough, pieces would be placed next to the first ones and the picture would begin to emerge. I was astounded as I had never seen anyone do a puzzle quite that way and still haven’t to this day.

When I was a yearbook adviser, I often felt like starting the year with new staff members was like putting a puzzle together. Each person was going to be an important part of how the picture formed, but knowing where to put the person (piece) was critical for the successful production of the yearbook. I would carefully examine (talk to) each person and have them tell me more about themselves using this colorful activity and then place them into a position where I thought they would be able to shine. Yes, it required some practice and I didn’t always get it right the first time, but when I did, I celebrated because I knew I was one step closer to seeing the big picture.

In order to decide what positions you want to have on your staff, consider this list of staff job descriptions and choose the ones you’ll need to get the job done most efficiently. I had my students apply for their three most desired positions telling me why they would be a perfect fit for each position. More often than not, the nuggets they shared about themselves did indeed lend them to fit a particular position perfectly so it made my decisions that much easier.

I loved this process every year and especially enjoyed it when students came back the following year to apply for a different position or a leadership role as they expanded their vision of themselves and knew, like Zoe did, exactly where they would fit perfectly into the big picture.

We’d love to hear how you choose positions for your staff and any unique ways you may have of doing that so please comment below and share them with us.

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Source: Yearbook Discoveries

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