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 Superhero Staff Appreciation Week 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.
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 “I Think You Are Super!” door decorations and Hero Sandwich boxed lunches, along with the invitation count.
Two weeks before Staff Appreciation Week: Superhero posters were our main decoration this year. John Wolfe, a local photographer and fellow parent, took pictures of everyone decked out in a customized superhero cape and mask from Kid Kapers (now closed). I have been eyeing those capes for months and was thrilled that she had time to make a Superman style cape with an “M” for Mann Elementary. It couldn’t have been more perfect. Did you know you could have capes customized? How fun is that?! I love Etsy.
Originally I had planned on using the pictures John took as is, but then I got the great idea (if I do say so myself) to turn them into comic book style posters with advice from each staff member to students. John transformed each photo into a comic book style poster which I used to decorate the hallways, and an 8×10 photo for the classroom doors.
TIP: Two weeks was cutting it really close on the pictures. It was completely my fault, of course. I was the one who decided at the last minute that we should make comic book style posters. If you plan on doing this, give yourself a month to take the pictures, edit, print, etc. John worked his tail off to get the posters done and I got them in the nick of time.
TIP: It will take at least two hours to put posters up on all the classroom doors and around the school. I completely underestimated the amount of time it would take. Recruit help so you can divide and conquer quickly.
A week and a half before Superhero Staff Appreciation Week: Deliver the invitations along with a lunch preferences questionnaire and drink order form to the teacher/staff mailboxes.
TIP: Utilize your school district’s print shop if at all possible. I mistakenly assumed they only made black and white copies, but oh no! They print posters, sheets of stickers, labels, color copies, you name it… And all of it is gorgeous, fast, and extremely affordable. The posters were a HUGE hit with the students. In fact, when I was taking them down at the end of the week a little boy said to me, “Why are you taking the posters down? You aren’t a superhero! You are a villan!” For me that was the ultimate compliment. I am so happy everyone enjoyed the superhero theme as much as I did.
A few days before Staff Appreciation Week: The Friday before SAW, the students were sent home with “I Think You Are Super Because…” pictures to color for their teacher. On Monday, the students presented the pictures and notes to their teachers, and the room moms came in and put them on the classroom doors along with the 8×10 superhero photo.
TIP: Send the pictures home on Wednesday or Thursday. My original thought was that sending them home on Friday would give the students less opportunity to loose the pictures, but no. We had a few teachers absent on Thursday and Friday and their subs didn’t send the pictures home with the students. I had parents frantically emailing me on Sunday night asking what to do.
We had extra “I Think You Are Super 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.
Now that the groundwork was laid, I focused on the activities for the week, each one being Superhero 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 EPIC daily events for your school!
All of the Superhero printables I created for this event can be purchased here.