Teacher Appreciation Week starts May 3, one week from today, and if you haven’t planned anything for your teachers yet, don’t worry. You still have plenty of time! I recently received lots of good ideas in my inbox from Dr. Diane Hodges, a recognition champion and experienced educator. Diane has really creative ideas that are perfect for appreciating educators, and I wanted to share some of her ideas with you. For more of Dr. Hodge’s ideas for teacher and staff appreciation, visit her website or register for her newsletter. The ideas listed below are from one of her books, Season It with Fun.
Working Together Is Paradise!
Set a festive, tropical theme for the week. Encourage staff members to wear tropical clothing that reflects the theme, such as flowered shirts, sundresses, straw hats, etc. Decorate the staff lounge with palm trees, parrots, tiki lights, and more. Have daily drawings and award the winners with tropical items such as pineapples, flamingo items, and other fun, inexpensive prizes.
Decorate a cart with fresh fruit and summer beverages, such as tropical punch and lemonade. Go to the various classrooms and serve staff members a tropical treat.
Host a festive staff gathering that continues the theme. Dress up the lounge with summer décor and give each person a lei when they enter. Serve tropical fruit smoothies to everyone-and be sure to put the little umbrella in the glass!
Supply the staff lounge with gourmet teas. You could also host an after-school tea party in which you serve tea sandwiches and cookies. Put notes on the tea that incorporate the use of the word "tea." Some examples are:
Our Staff is Tea-rrific!
We Appreciate Your Creativi-tea More Than You Know.
Have a break and enjoy the tranquili-tea.
Your Generosi-tea Toward Students is Appreciated!
Take a break and enjoy the simplici-tea of a warm drink.
This is said with all sinceri-tea: "Our staff is GREAT!"
Handwritten Thank You Note
Dr. Hodge’s ideas are wonderful ways to celebrate your school staff and give them a brief break from the pressures of their job. If you don’t have the time or resources to coordinate one of the events listed above, however, encourage students, parents, volunteers, and others to write handwritten thank you notes to the school staff. Share your personal thanks and lots of sincerity for a Teacher Appreciation Week your school staff will long remember!