Year End Clean Up

Journalism and Media teachers have a lot more to do at the end of the year than most other teachers.  Sure, we have to turn in books, finalize our grades, turn in fine lists, and deal with all the end of the year check lists.  But we also have a lab and equipment to deal with too.  So, here’s another checklist of to do’s:

1 – Take out all the batteries.  If it has a disposable battery in it, get it out.  Flash units, point and shoot cameras, microphones (lavs), wireless mice/keyboards, remote controls, etc.  Check them for batteries and toss the old ones.  Order new ones. Those AA/AAA/9-volts can go bad and leak acid everywhere.

2 – Clean your lenses and sensors.  If you have DSLRs, then now is a good time to clean the sensor (usually easy) and clean the lenses.  Do NOT use canned air on a DSLR ever!  There is a built in cleaning routine in your camera.  Read the manual/menu.

3 – Clean out your hard drives, reinstall software, fonts, systems, etc.  Get rid of all the old useless junk that has accumulated on any shared disks, servers, etc.  The bigger the disk, the more junk will be hiding.  Backup important files, awesome student projects, etc.

4 – Shut it all down.  Unplug all your computers, monitors, printers, servers, hubs, wireless devices, etc.  Your district will appreciate you not burning power all summer on vampires.

5 – Don’t let video/SLR batteries go flat.  Exception to rule #4.

6 – Take something home for the summer.  Got a new toy or piece of software?  Take it home for the summer and play with it.  Learn it better, stretch your skills, read the manual, use it in a fun summer project.  Anytime we get a new camera, DSLR, software package, etc.  I take it home for vacation and have fun with it.  Make a video of your kids, take photos at the zoo, create a photo collage in Photoshop or InDesign, etc.

7 – Clean off your desk.  Sure you may need to check your voice mail or e-mail in the summer, but try not to leave any projects undone.  Then put everything away in storage.  Come back in the fall to a clean desk.

8 – Take inventory.  What’s broken, missing, worn out or used up?  As you pack up, make a list to stock up.  Do you need paper, toner, pens, batteries, video tape, grid sheets or lens caps?  Make a list, check it twice.

9 – Get next year started off right.  Call your yearbook rep. and your senior photographer.  Make sure the juniors know where to go and when.  Get a list to the photographer of juniors.  Sign your contract for the 2010 yearbook.  Many companies offer an incentive for signing now. Talk to the football coach, band director, dance team sponsor, cheerleading coach, etc. to schedule dates to take team pictures BEFORE school starts.  They are there practicing, so should you.

10 – Get a planner, wall calendar, set up your iCal, get all the important dates in it – like HOLIDAYS, yearbook deadlines, photography dates, etc.

11 – Go home and relax.  Just chill for a while.  You earned it.



  1. Great blog, I’ve got your RSS feed and have followed along for at least the last two years. I teach TV Production and Broadcast Journalism and I like the idea of wiping out the hard drives and starting fresh for the new year. Do you have a system for doing this? Do you do a disk format? I have 12 iMacs with video clips all over the place on the local drives. Keep up the great work and here’s to a solid new year!

    • The system is to create a clean disk image from a Mac with everything installed and tweaked just how you like it. Then erase the other hard drives and copy that master image over using a Firewire cable. That’s it.

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