How to interview for a school magazine?
Spotlight interviews and student life articles are perfect for school magazines. A spotlight interview is when you interview a student or a group and write an article about them. That being said, the best way to start is by choosing who you would like to interview. If anything significant has happened at your school recently, it is a good idea to contact the people or group involved. Use the interview to shine some light on the recent events. Keep in mind that the topic may influence how your article is received. Some things may be controversial and will therefore receive varying and unpredictable responses from certain groups of people.
Where as, if nothing has happened recently, you could also choose to interview students, interesting teachers or faculty, or people you know that have outspoken opinions on certain topics. It's worth mentioning that you want to choose people that will have a lot to say when you ask them questions, so you have enough information to write about.
Student life articles
We are aware that the topics below mostly speak for themselves, but we'd like to give you some extra inspiration with a few tips to get started or keep writing when you're stuck.
Whether they are the most loved or the least popular team, sports teams in general are interesting to write about. A sports team article provides readers with an opportunity to get to know the team better and from a different perspective. Consider asking team players the following questions to get the conversation flowing.
- When did you start practicing the sport and why?
- What is your favorite part about the sport you practice?
- Do you have any advice or tips for people that are interested in getting started?
- Do you have any role models who play the same sport? If not, do you have any role models (not related to the sport) that inspire you? If so, what makes them your role model?
School clubs such as chess clubs, mathletes, and theater clubs may be the most common clubs at your school, but in reality there are probably many more. We recommend, you first do some research and look into what clubs are available at your school before you settle on one to write about. It is also smart to bring attention to clubs that are just getting started and have few or no members. This way you can use your article to recruit other students who may be interested. The best person to discuss this with would be the organizer of the club. It is also not a bad idea to ask members of the club because usually people who are passionate about their hobby will have the most to say and provide a lot of information for you to write about.
Teachers are always a valuable source of information for a variety of topics. In this case you'll want to look for information that students may find useful. Below are just a few ideas that you can use as a starting point:
- Real life skills (a math teacher may give an example of applying math skills in 'real life', a gym teacher may shed some light on the importance of physical exercise when you get older).
- Exams, papers, and due dates are unavoidable, but maybe there are a few teachers that are willing to share some extra tips, advice, or other information that may come in handy when preparing.
- Ask teachers to share some of their own experiences going to school. What are some things they miss and/or would have done differently? Writing about these things may help some students improve their own experience at school and make the very best of it.
Writing about administrators can sometimes be tough, since their jobs usually entail things that don't generally interest students, however their job keeps the school running. The best way to tackle this is by explaining what their job means for students. What would be missing from a student's life if a particular administrator wasn't around to do their tasks? Who schedules the subjects, manages the teachers, handles applications, and finances all the tuitions, field trips and events? Without schedules, the right teachers, new students, or budgets for school activities would not be able to function.
While school changes seem like an easy addition to a school magazine, there are many creative ways to present them. You can should them as:
- A timeline for construction work
- Graphs for changing student demographics
- Or a spotlight introduction for new students or teachers
Cafeteria staff also play an important part of student life. The people that feed you are often underrated. Get to know them and write a feature piece on each of the staff members. Ask them to share some memorable experiences when they went to school. You could also ask them what their day looks like and write a 'day in the life' piece.
From the menu to the nutritional value of the food available in the cafeteria, cafeteria food is a great topic to include in your magazine. You can create and share a poll asking students what they would like to see on the menu.
What kind of extracurricular activities do your fellow students participate in? Use space in your magazine to share the benefits and drawbacks of particular activities.
Depending on how your school organizes field trips, you could create a poll, similarly to our suggestion for cafeteria food. Ask the organizers for a few possibilities and ask students to vote on the one they prefer the most.
Upcoming events and activities
A schedule for upcoming events and activities is always a good idea for a school magazine. You can share these dates in a creative way, such as:
- A monthly calendar grid
- A linear timeline
- A circular schedule