Step One: Preparation
Space Themed Staff Appreciation Week

I first posted about the Space Teacher/Staff Appreciation week for my daughter’s school on my sister website, Scrapaholics, but I wanted to go into a bit more detail here at Simply Styled Home. This series of posts is for those of you on the PTSA and/or Hospitality Committee at your child’s school. Here you will find step-by-step instructions to duplicate this Space themed Staff Appreciation Week at your school. Ready? Let’s go!

Space Themed Staff Appreciation Week

PREPARING FOR STAFF APPRECIATION WEEK

 
Two months before Staff Appreciation Week: 

Send out an email to the Hospitality Committee, Room Parents, Volunteers, etc. letting them know to “Save the Date” and to expect more information in the coming weeks.

One month before Staff Appreciation Week:

1. Get a complete staff list from the school’s office manager. Be sure to add student teachers, and support staff that are not included on the list. You will use this list to create your SignUp Genius sign ups for the door decorations, Space Capsule lunches, and the invitation count.

2. Send out the SignUp Genius sign ups to the Hospitality Committee and Head Room Parents. It sounds like a long time out, but you will probably have to beg ask repeatedly for volunteers to sign up. It’s best to start early.

3. For the past few years, the Hospitality Committee and Room Parents were the only people who really had any clue what was happening during Staff Appreciation Week. It makes sense. If you don’t go to the staff lounge, why would you know anything was happening? I wanted to increase awareness in our school community and generate some excitement before the big event (and hopefully drum up more volunteers). One month before Staff Appreciation Week I put these posters up all around the school. I absolutely recommend posters beforehand. I have never heard so much Staff Appreciation Week chatter. It was great!

Space Themed Staff Appreciation Week Poster

3. NEW THIS YEAR: Our PTSA created a school website this year and gave the Hospitality Committee a page of its very own! I included information about Staff Appreciation Week plans and SignUp Genius links on the Hospitality webpage (which was listed on the posters and included in the weekly school newsletter).

One week before Staff Appreciation:

1. Deliver the main invitation + Blast Off Breakfast invitation + Rocket Fuel drink order form to the teacher/staff mailboxes. In the past I have passed out the invitation as week and a half in advance, and I have to say, everyone was much more prompt returning their drink labels with less notice.

Space Themed Staff Appreciation Week Invitation

Blast off Breakfast

2. Instead of including a paper lunch preferences questionnaire with the invitations this year, I used Survey Gizmo. I sent an email the day after the invitations were delivered with a Survery Gizmo link. It was FABULOUS. I received an email every time the survey was completed, then simply took a screen shot of the teacher/staff member’s answers and emailed them to the parent who signed up to make the Space Capsule lunch.

3. Ideally you would also have everything printed for Staff Appreciation Week. I don’t recommend waiting until the last minute. I’ve been the person pulling out my hair at midnight the night before an event when my printer refuses to print. At the very least, have the “I Think You Are Out of This World because….” coloring pages printed so you can sort them into class piles.

4. Remind any teachers/staff members who have not returned their drink order forms to do so.

5. Remind any teachers/staff members who have not completed their Space Capsule Lunch survey to do so. Email their lunch preferences to the corresponding parent volunteer.

A few days before Staff Appreciation Week:

1. Deliver the “I Think You Are Out of This World because….” coloring pages to the teacher’s mailboxes with a note to please have the students bring them home on Friday (to be returned on Monday and presented to their teacher).

I Think You Are Out of This World Coloring Page

NEW THIS YEAR: At the bottom of the coloring page instructions I included a link where students could download and print extra copies. The link was also included in our school newsletter which gets delivered via email on Sunday mornings. I didn’t have a single person frantically emailing me on Sunday asking for a copy.

We had extra printed “I Think You Are Out of This World because…” pictures in the office for students to color. Many of them wanted to make pictures for past teachers, the music teacher, librarians, etc. There was a poster in the stairway letting them know where extra pictures were located.

2. On Friday afternoon before Staff Appreciation Week decorate. This year, instead of one giant poster in the school foyer, I printed a half dozen 12×18 posters that were posted on exterior doors around the school to remind everyone about Staff Appreciation Week and letting them know where to find additional coloring pages. I also created “Mission Specialist” signs for the front office staff, and a “Shuttle Commander” sign for the principal.

Space Themed Staff Appreciation Week Posters

This year I recruited volunteers to decorate with me. I didn’t bother last year because I thought I would zip through everything in an hour…tops. Wrong. It took me almost three hours to put posters up. This year it took less than 30 minutes. Many hands make light work.

3. Ask the room parents to send an email out on Sunday reminding their class to return their coloring pages to school the next day.

“Best in the Universe!” Gift Card Holder
Teacher Appreciation Freebie

I have seen some pretty amazing Teacher Appreciation gifts on Pinterest, but I have to be honest. I am much better at pinning ideas than actually MAKING the projects I have pinned. Are you with me on this? And really, who doesn’t love a gift card?!

I created this gift card holder to coordinate with the Space themed Staff Appreciation Week at my daughter’s school. (More on that soon.) Please enjoy this free 5×7 printable with my compliments! It can be used for teacher appreciation, birthdays, graduation… anything, really! Click HERE to download the file. (For personal use only.)

Best in the Universe Gift Card Holder Freebie

Dangerous Dessert Bar
Superhero Staff Appreciation Week

I first posted about the Superhero themed Teacher/Staff Appreciation week for my daughter’s school on my other website, Scrapaholics, but I wanted to go into a bit more detail here at Simply Styled Home. This series of posts is for those of you on the PTSA and/or Hospitality Committee at your child’s school. Here you will find step-by-step instructions to duplicate the “Dangerous Dessert Bar” for Superhero Staff Appreciation Week at your school. Ready? Let’s go!

The Hospitality Committee outdid itself last year with the desserts. They were Seuss-y and colorful and fabulous. There was also a lot leftover. This year, I thought less would be more. I created a dessert table with a mix of bite sized treats and traditional favorites provided by some amazing dessert vendors!

TIP: If you are planning to purchase themed treats for staff appreciation week start early, and by early I mean MONTHS in advance. It may seem ridiculous now, but the really popular vendors book up quickly with birthdays and events.

Superhero Staff Appreciation Week - Dessert Table

A party is not a party without cupcakes, and Three Monkey’s Cakery made some super fondant toppers for the cupcakes that I purchased at our local grocery store. I added superhero printable party circles for an extra pop of color.

Superhero Staff Appreciation Week - Cupcake and Macaroons

For those that didn’t want a cupcake (say what?!) we had gorgeous macaroons (or macarons) from The Splendid Sweet Shoppe. I have the utmost admiration for anyone who can make a beautiful macaroon. These were amazing and so colorful!

Superhero Staff Appreciation Week - Cookies

Sweet Tweets made AWESOME super cookies with an M instead of S. I was seriously impressed. I used some of them for the dessert table, but the majority  of the cookies were wrapped in cellophane bags and tied with a “Thank You!” tag to take home along with their “Superhero Award” to enjoy later. (More on the Superhero Award down below.)

Superhero Staff Appreciation Week - Cake Pops

The highlight of the dessert table was definitely the cake pops from Decadent Cake Pops. The owner, Jaime, and I met at our children’s preschool a few years ago. I have ordered cake pops from her in the past and my girls love them. Last year I discovered that both of my girls are highly sensitive to gluten, dairy, and eggs which excludes them from all of the fun birthday treats children have at parties and/or bring to school. I asked Jaimie if she could make me gluten free/vegan cake pops, and she did! I now keep a stash of GF/Vegan cake pops in my freezer at all times. When anyone in my daughter’s classes bring in a birthday treat, I pull out a cake pop and send it with them to school. Cake pops are my new favorite thing. These superhero cake pops were the normal variety, but it’s nice to know there are delicious and fun options for those of us dealing with food allergies.

Superhero Staff Appreciation Week - Rice Krispy Pops

Speaking of food allergies, Wickedly Whipped made Wonder Woman Rice Krispy pops (yes, those are real!) for everyone, but especially for those staff members that cannot eat gluten. Who am I to deprive someone of treats? Who doesn’t love Rice Krispy treats?! Unfortunately the mail man didn’t deliver them in time for lunch on Friday but they did arrive before school got out for the day so I whipped up (get it? ha!) a quick display of take home treats for the staff.

The teachers and staff also took home a Superhero Award at the end of the week. They are after all, the most amazing superheroes I know.

TIP: Supply the teachers with to-go containers or Ziplock bags to take treats home. Even with the smaller dessert bar this year, I still had at least 50% of the treats leftover. Many of them will bring treats home to enjoy later if they have a convenient way to do so.

The Superhero Printables seen in this post can be purchased here.

Soup-er Luncheon
Superhero Staff Appreciation Week

I first posted about the Superhero themed Teacher/Staff Appreciation week for my daughter’s school on my other website, Scrapaholics, but I wanted to go into a bit more detail here at Simply Styled Home. This series of posts is for those of you on the PTSA and/or Hospitality Committee at your child’s school. Here you will find step-by-step instructions to duplicate the “Soup-er Luncheon” for Superhero Staff Appreciation Week at your school. Ready? Let’s go!

Soup-er Luncheon - Superhero Staff Appreciation Week

March in Seattle is typically grey and rainy, perfect soup weather. I couldn’t resist having a SOUPer luncheon. Despite the fact that it was gorgeous and sunny (the complete opposite of soup weather) the lunch was a success. We had a wonderful variety of soups (6 varieties for 46 staff members was plenty) in addition to fresh fruit, veggies, and a few treats. I especially liked the “I Think You Are SOUPer” stickers which served as napkin rings, and the “Emergency Hydration” drinks. You can’t read the back of the water bottles, but they say, “Super powers will activate within 10 minutes of drinking.”

Soup-er Luncheon - Teacher Appreciation Week

TIP: Bring a power strip with you, and possibly and extension cord too. You will absolutely need the power strip to plug in all the slow cookers to keep the soup toasty warm.

Super Charged Breakfast
Superhero Staff Appreciation Week

I first posted about the Superhero themed Teacher/Staff Appreciation week for my daughter’s school on my other website, Scrapaholics, but I wanted to go into a bit more detail here at Simply Styled Home. This series of posts is for those of you on the PTSA and/or Hospitality Committee at your child’s school. Here you will find step-by-step instructions to duplicate the “Super Charged Breakfast” for Superhero Staff Appreciation Week at your school. Ready? Let’s go!

I included drink orders with the ZAP! Breakfast Invitation, and asked that the teachers and staff return them the Thursday before Staff Appreciation Week. They had the choice of a Super Charged Smoothie (berry smoothie) or a drink from Starbucks. The drink orders were printed on 8.5×11 sticker page and cut to size. (This is SO much easier than trying to line them up on shipping labels like I did last year!)

Super Charged Breakfast - Superhero Staff Appreciation Week

MONEY SAVING TIP: Purchasing lattes for the entire staff is a huge portion of the Hospitality Committee budget each year. The week before SAW, Starbucks offered a $5 for $10 Gift Card Groupon. I couldn’t have timed it better if I’d tried! Each person was limited to one Groupon, so I sent an email to the entire Hospitality Committee and asked them to please purchase a Groupon and email me the certificate. (I reimbursed them out of my budget.) I also did this earlier in the year with an Everything Party Groupon, knowing that I would be buying decorations, silverware, plates, etc. for Staff Appreciation Week. I was able to reduce my expenses by about $150 this year using Groupons!

I took 1/2 the orders to the Starbucks about a mile away, and 1/2 to the other Starbucks a mile the other way. (Remember, I live in Seattle. We’re surrounded.) I pre-paid for all of the drinks to make pick up easy for the 4 parents picking up the 40 lattes the next morning. The baristas loved the sticker labels. They quickly and easily made the pre-ordered drinks and attached the labels. The drinks and breakfast were waiting for the teachers/staff at 7:50am. I wanted them to have time to enjoy their breakfast before school started.

I have paid close attention to the food choices made during Hospitality Committee events over the past year. The staff overwhelmingly chooses healthy options when given the option. I modified the breakfast menu to include Kind Bars, yogurt, fresh fruit, mini muffins, etc. There were bagels but, not surprisingly, they were the majority of the food left over.

TIP: Take food allergies into consideration. Breakfast generally consists of pastries, doughnuts, and more pastries (maybe some fresh fruit if you are feeling healthy). I am probably more aware of this issue because of my family’s allergies/sensitivities, but I always make sure to have at least one food item that is gluten free. I include an allergy section on the luncheon questionnaire each year about food allergies and make sure there is something for all of the staff members. It changes each year, but this year I had a few who couldn’t eat wheat, and a few who couldn’t eat dairy.

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