Teacher Appreciation Week - A Camping We Will Go!

If you are a teacher then chances are that you know this past week was Teachers Appreciation Week. Each year, our PTO does a ton of things to make everyone in our school feel special during the first full week of May. This year was not different. To top it off, my parents surprised me, too. You never realize how much your kids are watching and listening to you until you see some of the gifts. Apparently, it has become clear that I love Panera and ChickfilA this year! Isn't the packaging cute!

So, at my school, I am a teacher representative for our PTO Board. Over the past few months, we began discussing what we could do to make teachers feel special. If you are on a PTO Board or if you are a parent that wants to do something big for your school, then this is the post for you. Below are some pictures and suggestions of what our school did this year and even a few things that we have done in the past.

First, when planning our Teacher Appreciation Week, we picked a theme. If you go to Pinterest and type in "Teacher Appreciation Week Theme" a ton of ideas will come up for you to consider. Some past themes that we have done are baseball, movies, and fiesta. This year, we chose to do a camping theme. 

Once you pick a theme, make a list of ideas that would fit within that theme and within your budget. When doing this make sure that you pick things that applies to all faculty/staff. For example, if you decide to do decorative cups, remember that your men teachers aren't going to want curly, cute fonts with their monogram on a cup. This year, we decided to do S'mores, trail mix, a food truck, massages, breakfast, t-shirts, and SnoCones. 

Once we came up with our list, we decided which days we would do different items. We also discussed how we could simplify passing out everything. One way we simplified things this year is we did not decorate a room. Instead, our PTO delivered items to our classrooms or they put items in our boxes. PTO did cover tables for our lunch, but it saved a lot of time not decorating an entire room. As a teacher, I loved that they delivered things to me. 

Another thing that our PTO did is they used Sign Up Genius to ask parents to send in items. Our parents provided all the S'more items and trail mix items. This allowed PTO to be able to put their budge towards some of the bigger items.

For my school, this was the first time we had a food truck. Our PTO president looked into many options. Some food trucks were booked solid, some were extremely pricey, and a few we were uncertain if they would be great. If your PTO is wanting to do a food truck be sure to start early and definitely do your research. Make sure that they fit your price range, they are prepared to feed many people in a short amount of time, they have several options, they have good reviews, they have a high health score, and that their food is fresh. While our first choice didn't work out because it was booked, the food truck that was picked ended up being excellent because they fit all of these criteria. 

Once everything is scheduled, delegate, delegate, delegate. Make sure you know who is going to handle each thing. Have someone that can create labels and flyers that may be needed. Have someone that can deliver breakfast or other items each day. Be sure to have parents that do not mind putting together eighty or more baggies of snacks. If you delegate correctly, then while Teacher Appreciation Week is a big undertaking, it will not be overwhelming. It is much easier with multiple people working together.
Now, while the majority of this post has been about how to pull off a great Teacher Appreciation Week, here is a note for teachers. Teachers, be appreciative and thankful. Mistakes may happen. You may end up having to wait a minute for lunch or you may not like trail mix. You may be absent one of the days and miss breakfast. Your PTO may only be able to do something one of the days instead of all five days. While this week is about you, remember to be grateful that someone took time to celebrate you. Tell your PTO board thank you when you see them. If you post on social media about Teacher Appreciation Week, be appreciative. If your kids bring you small gifts or large gifts, be sure to write thank you notes. Yes, I get it! Writing notes is one more thing on your never-ending to do list, but it is necessary.

Hope this helps your school plan a super Teacher Appreciation Week!

Have a great weekend and Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!

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