I was in charge of Teacher Appreciation Week at my kids’ school this year. I had a budget of $900 for approximately 80 teachers and staff. It was a fun, exhausting, politically incorrect week.
I went with the theme “Best Teachers in the World!”
With the help of the PTA, room moms, and the students, we took the teachers to a different country each day.
Here is an outline of what we did for the week in case any of you are crazy enough to have this assignment in the future:
First, I decorated the faculty lounge with a big world made out of cardboard, butcher paper and mod podge. I cut out letters “Best Teachers in the World” to go around the outside of the world. I also had a balloon/flag banner that added a lot to the room but was inexpensive and very simple to do.
I put centerpieces on the tables. I changed out the countries flags each day and added a little bit to the serving table depending on the country. Click here to download the “Best Teacher in the World” circles.
Another PTA member decorated the doors to the faculty lounge.
PTA: Mexican Munchie Bar. We had different parents bring in a variety of chips, dips, salsas, munchies, etc. at lunch. This giant sombrero turned out to be a really fun way to serve chips.
Students: Color Fiesta. The kids wore their teachers’ favorite colors that day.
PTA: Italian Soda Bar. We had an Italian Soda Bar set up at lunch for the teachers complete with straws, pebble ice, ginger ale, half and half, Italian soda flavorings, and a bartender . The teachers loved this. You could tell they were a bunch that didn’t mix a drink too often. It was fun to see their eyes light up on the prospect of adding a shot of cream.
Students: “That’s Amore!” Notes. With the help of room moms the kids wrote their teachers love notes. This was very individual and up to each room mom to determine how she wanted to do this.
PTA: Stuffed French Toast Breakfast. We had Kneaders cater breakfast with their yummy french toast. They gave me a great deal and were wonderful to work with. To save money and insure accurate numbers I had the teachers RSVP for this breakfast. A few moms brought in fruit plates, milk and o.j. to stretch the budget. I had a little french flag sticking out of the french toast.
Kids: Eiffel Tower of School Supplies. The children were encouraged to bring school supplies for their teachers. The students stacked the supplies in their rooms.
PTA: Giant Fortune Cookies. My friend made all of these giant fortune cookies herself and she dipped them in chocolate and sprinkles. She put a generic fortune inside each one that said “It is our good fortune to have you as our teacher.”
Kids: Fortunes. With the help of the room moms, the kids all wrote fortunes for their teachers. When possible, we nested the giant fortune cookie in the kids’ fortunes and delivered them in a Chinese take-out box. To know my friend is to know she had to do a cute flower and ribbon to complete the package. She may never talk to me again, but she went above and beyond.
Friday- TROPICAL ISLANDS
PTA: Luau. The PTA provided a nice lunch for the teachers on the last day. We had the meat, rice and dessert catered from a local Hawaiian restaurant, Bamboo Hut. We had about 10 different moms bring in all kinds of salads and fruit plates. We also served Hawaiian punch. We tried to make the faculty room as tropical as we could.
Kids: Fruit Basket. The kids brought in something “fruity” for their teachers to go into a collective “fruit” basket. It could be an actual piece of fruit, candy, lotion, bubble bath, etc. The moms got a little creative here. I sent in homemade strawberry jam.
The PTA supplied the basket and the tag which said “Enjoy the Fruit of your Labors”. The room moms had also collected money so many of the fruit baskets also contained a gift card of some sort.
We had the teachers fill out passports that another PTA member made. The passports had the teachers pictures and 4 questions:
Where were you born?
What languages do you speak?
Where have you been?
Where do you want to go?
Then we put a map up of the world and the U.S. on a wall in the hallway with the teacher’s passports taped all around them. It was fun to come in each day and see students gathered around the wall reading about their teachers.
Overall, the teachers were spoiled and I got a lot of positive feedback from them. One of my favorite notes said, “In all my 12 years of teaching, I have never seen a more organized, creative, fun Teacher Appreciation week. Each day I couldn’t wait to see what you were going to pull out of your hats. Thank you.”
I’ll take that.
If you want to do this at your school, let me know if you have any questions. (And I am already planning next year’s Teacher Appreciation Week. Hehe.)