The Cardinal: The Ins and Outs

Beth HBeth Hanlon, Spanish Teacher, Wellington High School
Executive Recorder and Editor for Print Publications

I have only edited The Cardinal electronically and therefore, it blows my mind to think of how The Cardinal would have been edited in the past!  Were articles snail mailed between editors?  How long did it take?  After editing, how were they placed into the newsletter format that we were accustomed to receiving in the mail?

I like working with the electronic Cardinal!  I am a technology fanatic so placing your articles into our online Cardinal is a lot of fun for me.

But, what is the process of putting an edition of the Cardinal together?

The Cardinal Editing Process

First, I set a deadline to let OFLA Board members and the membership know when they should get articles to me.  I also let everyone know the format for the submitted articles- 12 font Times New Roman, single spaced, title and byline, etc.  I ask that everyone sends their pictures separately from the article with directions as to where to place them.

Once the articles are received, I download them from the emails into a Dropbox folder that OFLA Board members use.  I double check to make sure people submitting articles are members of OFLA.

I then upload the articles from Dropbox into a Google Doc folder.  I convert the Microsoft Word documents into Google Docs.  I read through the articles to reformat them so that they are all the same in appearance in the event that the requested formatting was not used.  I also begin editing grammar, etc.

Next, I create a Google Doc with the names of the executive officers, committee members, affiliates and OFLA members that have submitted articles.  The link to this document is emailed to the board members that help me edit (current president, president elect, executive vice-president, immediate past president and the editor for electronic media).  We set a deadline to read through and comment on parts of articles that aren’t clear, need grammatical corrections, etc.  It always amazes me what different items each of us will catch in the articles!  We are able to do this within the articles by using Google Doc’s “Comment” feature.  Sometimes I need to contact members who have submitted articles for any clarification we need in regards to their articles.

Upon reaching our editing deadline, I begin to make the suggested corrections from the other editors.  We complete another read through.  Once we decide that editing is complete, I begin placing the articles into the online format, which is a WordPress site.  I include pictures at this time.  The other editors double check the articles in their new pages.  Once I receive the green light, I place all of the articles in “posts” on the “Home” page of the WordPress site so that they appear in two locations for members to find.  The editors double check the posts and when we decide everything is in the right place, a link is placed in OFLA’s memberlodge for everyone to access the new edition.

Common Cardinal Questions

I see a lot of similar questions when OFLA members send their articles to me.  Here are some of the most frequent:

1) Can you publish this, if you have room?  There is always room!  The online edition offers a lot of space to accommodate many articles.  The more articles we receive, the more information is being shared among our members to help each other out!

2) I don’t know if this article would interest anyone.  There are hundreds of OFLA members from different types of school districts and languages. Whatever you write is going to be interesting and/or helpful to another teacher.

3) I would like to write an article, but don’t know what I should write about.  I do not need to tell you what to write!  Think about, for example, what is important to you in your classroom?  What have you done in your classroom that was a great learning experience for you and/or your students?  The possibilities are endless!

That’s a wrap!

As you read this, the winter edition of The Cardinal is “wrapped up” and checked off my “to do list”, BUT please allow me to get the ball rolling for the next edition.  Articles for the Spring/Summer edition are due to by Monday, May 26th.  Please use this format for your articles (click here for the format).

I look forward to reading your articles!  Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions.

This entry was posted in Cardinal, Executive News, Vol. 52, No. 2 - Winter 2014. Bookmark the permalink.

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