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 Western themed Staff Appreciation Week I planned at your school. Ready? Let’s go!
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 the event send out the SignUp Genius sign ups. 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.
If you are planning to have a coffee cart come to your school, now is the time to contact them (if not 3-4 months in advance, they book up fast). In the past I have coordinated parent volunteers to pick up coffee, but having a coffee cart come to your school is 100x easier. (More on the coffee cart here.)
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 invitation count and coffee sign-up.
One month before Staff Appreciation Week: Now is the time to send out the SignUp Genius sign-ups to everyone. I discovered a new magical tool for coordinating week-long events: TABBED SignUp Genius forms. They are life-changing, my friends. Seriously. Visit this post (coming soon) to read all about the magic of tabbed SignUp Genius forms. It is worthy of an entire blog post. Here is a sneak peek of “the new hotness.” Ten points if you can tell me what movie that quote is from.
Let me go into a bit more detail about how I coordinated the coffee cart. The coffee cart company we used charged a flat fee per hour, regardless of number of drinks, size, and fanciness of drinks ordered. Instead of paying for the coffee cart out of my Hospitality Committee budget, parents sponsored coffee for the entire staff. I bet you can guess how I organized everything. If you said, SignUp Genius, you are correct!
I created a Coffee Sponsorship SignUp Genius form with every single staff member listed. Parents could sign-up to buy their favorite staff member(s) a cup of coffee for $5. (This prevented duplicate sponsors, and made sure the lesser known staff received coffee and a nice note too.) All of the coffee had to be prepaid online or by check. Parents could also pre-pay for a coffee of their own. Some also decided to buy coffee the day of. I emailed (via SignUp Genius) all the parents who signed up to buy coffee, with a link to download and print a certificate they could present to their chosen staff member. The certificate was not to be redeemed for coffee, just to let the staff know who sponsored their drink.
Next up: Creating “Wanted” posters. I LOVE how they turned out. I took pictures of the staff decked out in a cowboy hat and bandana, and worked some magic to create the posters. Click here for a instructions on how to create them for your school! The posters decorated the hallways and classroom doors.
TIP: It will take at least two hours to put posters up on all the classroom doors and around the school by yourself. (Learn from my mistakes, friends.) Recruit help so you can divide and conquer quickly.
A week and a half before Staff Appreciation Week: Deliver the invitations to the teacher/staff mailboxes.
TIP: Utilize your school district’s print shop if at all possible. Ours prints posters, sheets of stickers, labels, color copies, you name it… And all of it is gorgeous, fast, and extremely affordable.
A few days before Staff Appreciation Week: Sort the coloring sheets into piles for each classroom, and place them in a large manilla envelops with the 8×10 teacher poster. The Wednesday before SAW, the room parents distributed the coloring sheets to the students in their class. On Monday, the students presented the pictures and notes to their teachers, and the room parents came in and taped them on the classroom doors along with the 8×10 “Wanted” photo.
TIP: Have your room parents send a coloring sheet reminder emails to the classroom parents on Sunday. Inevitably a handful of students will forget, and will appreciate the reminder.
We had extra “I Think You Are The Best In The West Because…” pictures in the office for students to color. Many of them wanted to make pictures for past teachers, the music teacher, librarians, etc.
Now that the groundwork was laid, I focused on the activities for the week, each one being Country Western/Cowboy themed, of course. I used SignUp Genius to coordinate sign ups with the Hospitality Committee and Room Parents for these activities. I made everything look pretty, but I couldn’t have pulled off an event like this without the wonderfully supportive parents at our school. Here are the step-by-step instructions to create each of the daily events for your school!
All of the Western printables listed above (and more) can be purchased in our shop.