As a busy principal, it's difficult to keep everything straight - including staff appreciations! Check out our SHOP for the Principal's Social Media Calendar, Complete Toolkit, and more.
Every summer, principals also use the following tools to schedule and plan ONE YEAR of staff morale boosters.
It's simple! What you'll need:
Adopted school year calendar
Social Media Calendar like this one
Dedicated planner like this one
Staff Survey like this one
A helper! Ex. A Secretary, your Dean of Students, someone who can help ~ they serve as an accountability partner and someone to help make sure everything is in order.
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Love it or hate it ~ nothing is more true for me as a school principal. Whether we’re talking about continuous improvement or staff appreciations, this is SO true. Here’s what I do. Each summer in July or August, I grab my favorite planner, a couple of helpful school calendars, and get planful about staff appreciations. On my Principal’s Social Media Calendar, I have mapped out all of the BIG appreciation days and weeks! This includes:
Administrative Assistant’s Day
Teacher Appreciation Week
Classified Staff Appreciation Week
School Bus Safety Week
Mentor and Volunteer Appreciation Month
And SO much more (check out some sample pages here)
When I know my dates, I pen them into my planner. (I know that some school districts honor these appreciations at different times ~ be sure to double-check with your Communications Director if necessary.) Then I start penciling in ideas around these particular dates. (Check out these ideas for inspiration!)
Small staff appreciation tokens (check out some instant downloads here)
Color-themed snack bar (blue in January for Winter, Orange in October for Fall ~ the options are limitless)
Buy them their favorite snack or drink
Give the Gift of Time - let them leave right after students one day, or cover their class with no questions asked.
Duty relief for a day
Special wreath or award in their classroom
Drive-through coffee & breakfast for bus drivers
Chair massages by an LMT
Whiteboard or classroom angels who magically deep clean overnight
______ of the Month (choose your theme)
In order to make appreciation days/weeks meaningful, I also need information about my teammates! At the beginning of each school year, I send out a small survey to my teammates, asking their favorite beverages, snacks and what makes their day. You can design this however you like! Send it as a Google Form and refer to the answers all year.
Check out the survey questions that I send to my staff each August! You can easily copy this Google Doc and make it your own ~ plus you’ll receive free offers, discounts, and other great ideas straight to your Inbox.
Finally, it’s time to schedule your staff and teacher morale boosters! I use pencil to put my ideas in my planner, and check my appreciation schedule every single week. Now, we all know that it can take a ton of time and energy to show appreciation! That’s why it’s important to have an accountability partner ~ in my case, it’s my head secretary and my Dean of Students. We talk about upcoming appreciations every Monday. That way if we need volunteer helpers or Teacher’s Assistants to help with packaging, signs, or more, we have some time to make it happen.
There’s no amount of appreciation to truly capture how we feel about our staff, but these little tokens sure help.
Share your other ideas below for great staff morale boosters!