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Staff Appreciation Ideas

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					Staff Appreciation Ideas
It's great to have on hand some ideas on how to reward the staff for all of their hard work. Here a few suggestions that we hope will work well in your school! You may consider adding a committee to your NHS chapter or student council that is responsible for providing monthly opportunities for the teachers and staff to feel that you DO appreciate them. Teacher Grammies
Each Spring, Grandville High School holds an all-school assembly to give out Teacher Grammies. All students vote to nominate male and female teachers for categories such as Mr./Ms. J Crew, Bulldog (for school spirit), Energetic, Hip-and-Happenin', Sports Illustrated, etc.. A special "Match Made in Heaven" award is also given to a husband/wife team that work at school (there are several who qualify at GHS). The actual "Grammy" award is a certificate and a gold-painted apple which can be purchased at most craft stores. Sorting through the nominations is a tedious process but worth it when the teachers are visibly happy and excited to be recognized. This big event is the culmination of our Teacher Appreciation Week in which we recognize and show appreciation for ALL teachers.

NHS Teacher Recognition Dinner
Senior members of the Comstock High School NHS wanted to show appreciation to staff members who made a difference in their lives. From this desire to say thank you, our Teacher Recognition Dinner was born. Each senior member of NHS is allowed to invite one teacher from his/her entire K-12 experience with whom they would like to share this special evening. The program is held in the evening on the last day of school and those teachers being honored are sent invitations to attend. The name of the student inviting them is not divulged until that evening. Junior members of the NHS planned the dinner for the event. Last year, juniors prepared and served a chicken dish with rice, salad, green beans and cream puffs for dessert. The juniors dressed up like waiters and served the seniors and their guests at the tables. The program consisted of each senior presenting a speech describing the special qualities of the teacher they selected. The teacher was then given a plaque and a copy of the speech. Many tears were shed as these students and teachers shared wonderful memories. This program was such a hit that it has become a tradition for our senior NHS members.

Teacher Appreciation Breakfast
Our Senior NHS members, to show their appreciation to all the teachers who have helped them during their four years of high school, host a breakfast for the high school staff during the last week of school. Invitations are printed and placed in the mailboxes of all the high school staff: teachers, administrators, secretaries, and janitorial staff. We invite them to breakfast, held in our homemaking room beginning at 7:00 a.m. Arriving no later than 6:15 a.m., senior members set tables, provide centerpieces (live flowering plants), prepare and serve a simple, but elegant breakfast to the staff. Our breakfast includes several varieties of quiche (Chef Pierre), fresh coffee cakes (purchased from our local bakery), fresh fruit, coffee, and a variety of

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juices. One plate at each table it marked, and the staff member in possession of the marked plate may take home the centerpiece from his/her table. We started this tradition two years ago. Our staff was so overwhelmed by this token of appreciation given by the students, that they now look forward to this breakfast each year; and the students look forward to playing “hosts” to their teachers. It is a great way for students and staff to interact for the last time outside of the classroom setting in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.

Staff Appreciation Luncheon
Every year the Grosse Pointe South Student Association (S.A.) puts on a luncheon for all the teachers and staff at our school. You can have the luncheon any time, a few ideas are during National Staff Appreciation Week, or, as we did this year, the week before Holiday break. Our “Staff Appreciation Luncheon” (you could also do a breakfast or brunch) is one of the most anticipated events by the staff. We invite all teachers, administrators, secretaries, and engineers to the luncheon. They really appreciate the event, mostly because it is totally student-coordinated and run. It gives the students a chance to give back to their teachers as well. We hold our luncheon in a large hall in front of our school, but a gymnasium or staff meeting room would work also. If you know of a catering company near-by that might give you a discount given the nature of the event that is an excellent way to get the food, but at our high school we utilize our “Commercial Foods” class. This is similar to a Co-op, the students in this class are very experienced, and they do an excellent job. We simply pay them for the food and supplies and they do all the settin-up, cooking, and cleaning-up. The kids really like to do it because they know they are cooking for their teachers, and we let the students serve the food so the teachers can directly thank the students who cooked for them. In addition to the cost of food, the S.A. purchases flowers as centerpieces for the table, and we photocopy brightly colored placemats that list the events the S.A. sponsors throughout the year. We do this not only to remind teachers of our events, but also to show our appreciation of the support they give us for the different occasions. To provide pleasant background music the S.A. plans ahead of time for two students (one for each lunch) to play piano during the luncheon. Other ideas would be having members of your choir or a “string quartet” playing. If you do it around the holidays as we did this year, aim for a holiday music theme. A week prior sign up a few others to help clean-up. Basically that is all the planning this luncheon requires, have a graphically talented member of your council create invitations, and after the fact thank you notes for the involved parties!

Staff Appreciation Breakfast
Every year the Marion High School Student Council shows our gratitude for the staff by throwing them a Staff Appreciation Breakfast. The cooks in the Kitchen especially get a kick out of watching us mess up their area. On the first day of school teachers arrived to their classrooms to find a School Year Survival Kit to help them get through the year. Some things like • • • • A Hershey’s kiss to stay sweet A band-aide to cover the small things An eraser to correct mistakes A pencil to stay sharp

We gave every staff member some pudding with an attached note "thanks for PUDDING up with u Around mid terms we gave each teacher a plastic glove full of candy with a note “Here's a helping hand.” Just to be nice we spray painted kitchen utensils gold and gave them to the kitchen staff, they loved it. We also gave golden hammers to our Custodial staff.

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Recognition Ideas that are Fun and Inexpensive
The dollar stores, candy racks, and Oriental Trading catalogue are indispensable allies in the hunt for teacher appreciation ideas. We buy our staff two gifts a year that we try to keep in the $5 or under range. Coffee mugs, plastic apples, portfolios, pens have been our recent purchases and we do one at either the start of school or at the winter break and the other at Teacher Appreciation week in May. Here's a list of some things we have done but you can come up with your own just as easily: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • A small mirror with the note, "You are looking at a very special person." A pencil with the note, "Thank you for helping us write our future." Little Nestle Crunch Bars with the note, "Thanks for your help at crunch time." Pay Day bars with the note, "Thought you could use an extra pay day." $100,000 bars with the note, "You are worth much more to us than this." Small bags of miniature marshmallows with the note, "Because there are times when we just get tired." Plastic glove popcorn hands with the note, "Thanks for lending a hand on..." Works with hands cut out of construction paper as well. Pill bottles from a pharmacy filled with M & M candies with labels made by our council with each color M & M having a different remedy such as: red=relaxation, blue=fun. A coupon for a free Student Congress car wash done right after school and we use our students good at schmoozing to talk to the teachers while their car is being washed. Our teacher day ends 50 minutes after students are dismissed so on snowy days we get ten or twelve students who invade the teacher parking lot and brush off their snow and leave a note, "You have been brushed off by a member of Student Congress." In October we got the little candies that look like pumpkins and attached the note, "Thank you for helping us harvest our potential." We have also used ghost suckers made out of Tootsie Pops and Kleenex, with the note, "Don't have a ghost of a chance without you." Use a longish narrow bead and a piece of chenille strip to fashion a brush that resembles a little toilet brush (chenille shaped into a circle and inserted into the bead which serves as a handle) with the note, "Belly button brush to help you relax when you are stressed." Do this on the teacher workday before the start of school, at semester break or at the end of school. Have students report to the Student Activities Room to help teachers rearrange, carry, clean, put up bulletin boards, etc. Teachers can call or visit Student Activities to get student assistance with their needs. Small erasers that look like light bulbs with the note, "Thanks for helping us turn on our light."

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Our program also provides a monthly newsletter to staff, keeping them updated on our activities in the Congress Chronicle which allows us to thank chaperones, etc., after events. We do a monthly staff appreciation project as well that is smaller and cheaper and this is where we utilize our creative people, as well as candy bars and trinkets purchased at the dollar store/Oriental Trading.

The Food Cart
Members bring in baked goods, snacks, candy and drinks. During a study hall or free period, a few people push around the cart full of goodies to each teacher's classroom. Food is always the way to win a teacher's heart.

Back to the Grind Celebration
This event is hosted during the teach workdays before the first day of school. You set up the teachers lounge with couches and have movies playing all day for them. They can come in at any time and relax for awhile. You must have plenty of food and drinks for them to enjoy all day long. To help with expenses, try asking local companies for donation of any items.

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Welcome Back Bags
To get back into the swing of a new school year or semester, surprise your teaching staff with bags full of candy. Be creative and put them in lunch bags, placing them in either teacher's rooms, or mailboxes on the first day back. This is a great welcome back gift for everyone.

Halloween Festivities
There are many things you can do to get inot the spirit of Halloween with our staff. One way to get a teacher's attention, is to decorate their lounge with all different types of decorations. This can be set up for the entire month of October. Another thing teachers like is to receive a miniature pumpkin, attached with a little message for them, showing them your appreciation.

Appreciation Letters
This is something that can be done around the time Thanksgiving. All you do is assign a member of your council to a teacher. They write a letter explaining how thankful everyone is for them being such a good teacher.

Holiday Breakfast and Gifts
To get into the holiday spirit, show your council's appreciation for your teachers and staff by hosting a holiday breakfast. Invite them with a formal invitation, and order a lot of great food. Play festive holiday music and present them with a miniature poinsettia as a token of appreciation.

Valentine's Day Festivities
Win your teacher's heart by giving them a single rose with a cute valentine attached to it. To make it more personal, assign a Student Government member to creatively make a personal valentine. You can also put candy bags together with valentines' candy in them.

St. Patrick's Day Treats
Set up tables in the teacher's lounge decorated with the holiday theme and be sure to have cookies and all types of different green candy and drinks on it. Teachers will think this is very creative, and it will be loved by all.

Teacher Appreciation Week
This is actually a nationally held event that happens the first week of May). Teachers know about it, and will anticipate any little gifts they may get. You can do it many ways, but what works is if you split it into days. Write a letter to the staff explaining all of the activities for the week. Make sure to give them this the week before so they will know about it. Have a day where you do the food cart, another day go around to each teacher's car and wash their windows leaving a little message for them on their windshield. Also give out a "Student Helper One Time Only" pass that the teacher would have to fill out and turn in when they need help during their free period. A member of the NHS or student council who has study hall that hour would go to that teacher's room during their free period and help them out with anything they needed. End the appreciation week off with something spectacular like a breakfast or luncheon. Look for donations from local business or see if the event can be catered in.

Midterm Break
As the second semester starts, have a 1/2 way party for the staff or even for your council. Cut all of the food you serve in 1/2. Only serve 1/2 cups of coffee, soda, etc. If you have an agenda or card for the staff, cut the copies in 1/2 lengthwise so people have to find a partner to match up with to be able to read it. Pass out cards with the name of 1/2 of a famous duo, (i.e. Batman & Robin), and have members find their "better 1/2." If they find this person, award them a candy bar or other prize. Get some area restaurants to donate coupons for "1/2 off" a meal or "buy one get one free" and have a drawing 1/2 way through the party or meeting.

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Staff Scavenger Hunt
A Staff Scavenger Hunt is a fun way to get people to mix and mingle. Ask staff members to submit interesting/unique information about themselves to create a human scavenger hunt. You won't believe some of the trivia they come up with! Collect information ahead of time so that staff members can do the "scavenger hunt" at the first Welcome Back staff meeting or anytime to put a little spice into the school day. Offer a great prize to the person who can identify the most people on the Scavenger Hunt list.

Staff Softball Game
At the end of the year, sponsor a "Just For Fun" softball game and BBQ for the staff. To keep it from getting too competitive, split the teams up as "Over 30" and "Under 30" and create silly rules. Over 30 team members get 4 strikes and 4 outs per inning while the Under 30 team members come to bat with a 1 and 1 count and only get 2 outs per inning. Or under no circumstances could Under 30 member's advance more than two bases, etc. It's a great and fun way to end the year.

Servant for a Day
Announce at a staff meeting that the Student Council is available to help teachers do errands, rearrange their rooms, put up new bulletin boards, run errands for the secretaries, or whatever they need help with. This activity is great during conference time, during back-to-school workshop time or during the school year. The teachers and secretaries select the student or students (or assign them) that they would like to work with. The student council can be available for a certain period of time (8-12) or during specific periods of the day, depending on when the activity takes place. This is great for PR and a fantastic way to get the staff on your side! The staff is so thrilled to have help and the students are able to get to know the staff better!

Turkey Feathers
Pieces of paper are cut in the shape of feathers and your chapter/council sells them for $.25. After they are sold the kids give them to their favorite teacher. The teacher with the most feathers receives a gift certificate to a grocery store for any of their needs before Thanksgiving.

Teacher Notes
Your council can make little notes to place in each teacher's mailbox to thank them for being such great teachers. Lunches are also held for the teachers, catered in and paid for by student council.

Thanksgiving Pies
This year the NHS staff appreciation committee hinted at a live turkey in the staff lounge! Imagine our surprise when a festive, decorated room and 10 homemade pies greeted us in the morning. The staff loved it and only scraps remained by morning's end.

Staff Appreciation Notes
Our Student Council at North Huron had a teacher appreciation day, then a few days later they had staff appreciation day, at which time they sent notes to the maintenance people, thanking them for keeping things clean and in operating condition. They thanked secretaries for helping them when they are sick and for keeping things running smoothly in the office. They thanked aides for helping them in the classroom and in the gym. They thanked the kitchen staff for working hard to serve them up great lunches! Staff always gets forgotten, but not at North Huron!

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