Teachers do amazing work, but we all know that it truly takes a village to educate a child. Classroom teachers are able to be most successful with a strong administrative and support staff behind them. Whether it’s during Teacher Appreciation Week or simply in the final days of the school year, it’s important to make time to thank those who help us, and our students, to be our best. In taking the time to express your thanks together with your students, you will be cultivating a sense of gratitude and modeling the value of saying thank you. These are life lessons we hope our students will carry with them for years to come. I’m sharing a few of my favorite ways to show appreciation for school staff, administrators, and volunteers below.
Snap a Photo
Say thanks by saying cheese! Print one letter per page to spell out thank you. Then give students a little time to color and decorate. If you’d like, they can even write little messages of appreciation in the white space around the letters. Finally, gather the class together holding up the letters in order, and snap a photo. Print the photo and frame it for the recipient or simply attach it to a thoughtful email that expresses your gratitude. You can grab a free download of the printable letters shown above here.
Crown Them with Appreciation
Just hit print and divide these thank you crowns and a few packs of markers among your students to prep this gratitude sharing activity. Options are included for so many special roles – principal, custodian, school nurse, classroom volunteer, and more. Plus, there’s an editable crown included so you can create an option that is a perfect fit for anyone else you’d like to thank. My favorite feature is the headband printout with sentence stems that ask students to write down a special memory they have with the honoree or something they are thankful for. Don’t forget to take a photo when you deliver these!
Make a Class Book
Saying thanks doesn’t have to be a big production to make an impact. Simply give each student a blank sheet of paper and ask them to write and draw about why a staff member is special or appreciated. Gather up the completed pages, add a simple cover, and staple or bind them into a book your honoree is sure to love!
Write Thank-You Notes
You can tie this staff appreciation activity right to your writing standards! Review the parts of a friendly letter. Then, model writing a thank-you note together with your students. Brainstorm some key phrases you might use to say thanks on an anchor chart and they’ll be ready to write!
Planning on doing some spring planting with your class as part of a science unit on lifecycles or plant needs? Add a simple note of thanks to turn your science investigation into a staff appreciation gift! This gift is an especially meaningful choice because of the time and effort your students spent growing and caring for the plant. If you’ve got thyme on your mind, you can download a free thank-you note like the one pictured below here.
So, how will you and your students show appreciation for school staff? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!