I’ve had a few requests to post my UP Teacher Appreciation Week from last year and I am finally getting to it.
First, let me say that I went ALL out — so much so that I burned myself out and am not doing Teacher Appreciation Week this year. I didn’t have a big committee, and despite some very helpful friends and volunteers, I ended up doing much of the work myself. I did have room moms to help me with the students’ portion, but it was just too much for one person to coordinate. So my advice to you would be to pick and choose some of these activities, but don’t try to do them all unless you have a full blown committee.
Here are few things to note:
1. My budget was $700 for 85 teachers and staff. That is less than $10 per person for the week. I am proud to say that we stuck within the budget AND pulled off an awesome week.
2. There were two things going on every day. One event was sponsored by the PTA (me and some volunteers) and the other event came from the students with the Room Moms’ help. So to clarify, the PTA and the students worked together in tandem to show our teachers appreciation. It took a lot of coordination to contact and communicate with every Room Mom to make sure they knew what was going on and had all the supplies they needed. But I did this because some teachers were getting nothing from Room Moms and some were getting spoiled. I coordinated the PTA gifts with the Room Moms’ gifts so the week all flowed together and so that the love was distributed a little more evenly.
3. The Room Moms went into the classrooms sometime before Teacher Appreciation Week started. They just kicked the teacher out of the room for a half hour and did all the student gifts at one time. I had most of the materials for them.
4. Pictures were my last priority that week so I don’t have pics of everything.
OK. Here goes:
My sister made a big UP sign for me. (I got Stake Girls’ Camp thrown on me in the middle of planning Teacher Appreciation Week and she stepped in to help me out). She made it out of foam core and scrap book paper. I hung it in the faculty room.
Then I made a little banner for every day of the week to hang across the word UP. I changed out the banner each day. This helped to alert the teachers to the schedule and more importantly, it helped to make the faculty room cute.
I also changed out the decor on the faculty room tables every day. I tried to keep it simple
I wanted the teachers to know about what would be happening during the week so I gave them this letter. I tried to use the word UP as many times as I could, but it still took some awhile to catch on to our theme.
I also wanted the parents and students to know what was going on for Teacher Appreciation Week so we sent home flyers a couple of times and we put info in the school newsletter, emails, marquee and Facebook.
I had an awesome graphic designer mom that helped me with the week. She made a poster to hang up in the school and she also did a few other projects for me.
We wanted to do something every day of the week. Here was our schedule:
PTA: We gave each teacher a cute baseball treat. It included a baseball cupcake nested in peanuts. A fork stuck out the top and held 2 baseball tickets. A local grocery store catered the cupcakes and The Bees organization donated the tickets to our school. One of my dear friends and cohort in anything over the top, ordered the cupcakes, assembled the packages and made the cute tags.
I decorated the tables with baseballs, pinwheels and unshelled peanuts.
Students/Room Moms: The kids wore baseball caps to join in the fun and at one point the principal had them take their “Hats Off” to show respect for their teachers.
The students also did a “Step UP to the Plate” pledge. For the younger grades, we did one class pledge in the middle of the plate and the kids signed their names around it. For older grades, the students signed their own individual pledges on the plate. We had everything from “I will read 20 minutes a day” to “I will be kinder” to “I will raise my hand.” We just wanted the kids to think of something they could do to help their teachers’ jobs be easier.
PTA: We served the teachers a “Wake UP” breakfast before school started. It was just a light spread with muffins, bagels, fruit, donuts, yogurts, string cheese and thick ham slices. We had milk, chocolate milk and orange juice to drink.
I decorated with alarm clocks, bird houses and pinwheels.
Students/Room Moms: The kids wrote little messages to their teachers on suns. Again, the Room Moms could decide how to present the notes. Some stuck them around the room, some bound them with ribbon, others posted them on a poster board.
PTA: This was our one and only big lunch day. We did pulled pork sandwiches, and we had Texas Roadhouse cater the meat, rolls and beans. Parent volunteers brought in salads and desserts. I bought waters and pops and put them in a galvanized tub.
I lucked out and found a wedding planner who had done a cowboy themed wedding so we were able to deck out the faculty room with cowboy boots, sunflowers, bandanas, burlap, and straw bales.
Students/Room Moms: We “Rounded” UP school supplies for our teachers. Students brought in any donations and the Room Moms helped collect them. The PTA provided a sign for them to put on a box, wall, basket, etc.
PTA: We had a local smoothie company cater our Surf’s Up day. They gave us a discount because we were a school and because we were ordering so many. We went with their most popular flavors. They premade the smoothies and had them sitting in a large white cooler in the faculty room. I just did one smoothie per teacher.
I decorated with beach pails, sunglasses and pinwheels. (Did you know brown sugar makes awesome looking sand?)
Students/Room Moms: The kids filled out silly questionnaires about their teachers. The Room Moms could decide how they gave the questionnaires to the teachers. Some made them into books and some just handed them a stack of paper.
Friday- Dress UP
PTA: This was our last day. We served a variety of desserts from Costco – cheesecake, chocolate cake, mousse cake, carrot cake, etc. We also had a 7 UP bar with the pop being served in plastic champagne glasses.
I decorated with black, red, doilies, and roses. One cute touch was I had kids playing the violin or piano in the faculty room during lunch as a kind of serenade.
This is where I gave the teachers the 7 UPs of Teaching cards that we made up.
Students / Room Moms: We had the kids wear nice clothes to show respect for their teachers. Not every child participated, but it was nice to see many kids in ties and dresses on a Friday. This day the kids brought in a flower to their teachers. The flower could be real, homemade, drawn, etc. The Room Moms provided a vase for the flower bouquets. The teachers scored here!
My kids brought in little bouquets of paper flowers. I had some left over supplies from F week.
Our school has a tradition of decorating the teachers’ doors for Teacher Appreciation Week. Another lady was in charge of coordinating that so I don’t have much info for you there. We gave the Room Moms the UP theme and they went with it in all kinds of ways. It was so fun to see what they did.
Each year I try to do something interactive between the students and the teachers on a wall in the hall near our lunchroom. My sports year was a Teacher Hall of Fame and my “Best Teachers in the World” year was teacher passports. This year we did a What’s UP? wall. We handed a questionnaire to every teacher and they filled out the interesting facts.
We included a picture and displayed the questionnaires in the hall. It is fun to see the kids reading the papers. We got the pictures from the CD the photographers provide at the beginning of the year.
After typing all this UP, no wonder the PTA President wanted me to do Teacher Appreciation Week again this year; no wonder I had self-diagnosed adrenal fatigue for the rest of the summer; and no wonder I decided to homeschool
All joking aside, this week was awesome. I never regret doing my best, but it doesn’t mean I can’t learn from it either.