We know that the best, most incredible administrators are a part of our Principal Life Facebook group. We’ve known that for years. However, what we didn’t know was the many amazing ways that these principals celebrate their teachers. This month especially, it seems as though administrators and school leaders around the country have been taking time to stop and really show their teachers how much their hard work and dedication are appreciated.
Here are a few of the amazing ways that principals are celebrating their teachers:
They celebrate their teachers with sweets.
Who wouldn’t love a surprise cookie cake in the middle of their day? Principal Meleia Bridenstine of Brookwood Elementary in Dalton, Georgia, celebrates her staff in December with sweets and treats galore, one of which involves this surprise treat.
Stacy Bottoms, principal at Crystal Hill Elementary in North Little Rock, Arkansas, also celebrates her staff by providing sweets. She has cookies made by a local bakery, The Cake Engineer. What a great way to partner with a local business!
Other principals have told us that they celebrate their teachers with an ice cream bar, cupcakes, or a candy bar. Y-U-M. Check out Keith Allshouse, principal of Sharpsburg Elementary School in Sharpsburg, Maryland, as he dishes out sweet treats for his staff.
They celebrate their teachers with caffeine.
Check out our Principal Life Facebook group for tons of photos of incredible coffee bars. Some principals really go the extra mile for their staff because they know educators love—and need—caffeine!
Celebrating teachers with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate at any time of the day is an easy way to let them know you appreciate them. Sometimes the coffee bars are set up in the teachers’ lounge, and sometimes principals put coffee bars on carts and deliver drinks door to door!
They celebrate their teachers by encouraging balance.
Principal Beth Messler of Saugatuck Elementary School in Westport, Connecticut, shared a “balance bar” with her staff. Simply, a balance bar is a cart filled with a healthy balance of refreshments and snacks for staff.
The idea is that the cart is pushed around the school, offering whatever educators need at the time: something sweet, something healthy, or a balance of both!
Messler’s idea was even extended when her staff put together balance bars for neighboring schools. Messler said, “My staff felt so good after our balance-bar cart that they decided to create a similar cart, as a gesture of kindness, for a couple of our schools that have dealt with many transitions this year due to extraordinary circumstances. Teachers at these schools were overwhelmed by the kindness that their fellow teachers, from another school, showed them. We didn’t just bring good vibes, but we modeled how adults take care of each other.”
They celebrate their teachers with humor.
Many schools host ugly holiday sweater days to celebrate their staff by encouraging some laughs and creative expression. Other schools, like Meleia Bridenstine’s, encourage staff to wear wild holiday socks, too. She even gifts her staff with socks to wear the next day!
Check out what principal Anita Lomeli of Commonwealth Elementary School, in Fullerton, California, gave teachers this year! Fun socks and Smart Water. Talk about a clever way of celebrating teachers!
Very few things are funnier than your principal’s face on an elf’s body. And when we saw the elf scavenger hunt that Keith Allshouse does for his staff, we were in stitches. We’ll take this elf instead of the Elf on the Shelf any day of the week, and we just know teachers would enjoy laughing as they hunt for the elves around their school!
Hosting a teacher turkey-leg contest is yet another way to celebrate hardworking educators with humor. We love how principal Jerry Anderson gave his teachers a reason to laugh as they competed in a teacher turkey-leg contest before Thanksgiving. Hilarious. Find photos in our Principal Life Facebook group!
Principal Kathy Paimi in Helena, Alabama, keeps her staff smiling for much of December with these small gifts. We love the play on words and how this principal takes the time to celebrate her staff!
They celebrate their teachers with lunch.
Teachers love to be fed. There’s nothing better than not having to take the time to pack your lunch, especially for busy teachers. Part of Meleia Bridenstine’s December staff celebration involves treating everyone to lunch, which is a school-wide fave.
Principal Edward Cosentino of Clemens Crossing Elementary School in Columbia, Maryland, actually makes lunch for his staff as part of the countdown to winter break. He dresses the part, too, as an elf-reindeer who makes a mean grilled cheese and soup!
It doesn’t matter if the lunch is catered or made to order. Providing hardworking staff with lunch is appreciated anytime of the year.
They celebrate their teachers with the gift of time.
Not only does principal Eric Preston give his staff of 70+ jars of homemade jam, but he also gifts the 32 classroom teachers with something else: time. In the spring, Kynoch Elementary School teachers can cash in their teacher-time-out coupon, which allows them to schedule a 30-minute block of time for Preston to cover their class. We can only imagine how his teachers appreciate this!
Other principals provide teachers with duty-free coupons, which can be cashed in on a day they want to skip their duty. Honestly, there’s nothing better than the gift of time for a job where you often feel two steps behind!
They celebrate their teachers with handmade gifts.
Jessica Dwyer, principal of Holy Name of Jesus School in New Orleans, Louisiana, makes thoughtful gifts for her staff. She said, “I just got tiles from Lowe’s for super cheap, printed 4×4 pictures of two of our logos through Walgreens with a coupon code, and then used Mod Podge to stick & seal. It’s been pretty easy and not costly at all.” These tiles may not be expensive, but they sure look great—and they show her staff how much she cares.
Farmin Stidwell Elementary assistant principal Elizabeth Dalessio makes super-cute ornaments for her staff. This Sandpoint, Idaho, administrator actually handmakes 100 ornaments! She says, “I bought clear label paper and printed [the school logo on it] … I spent less than $50 to make 100.” Way to go, Elizabeth! Thanks for the idea!
No matter how you celebrate teachers, remember this: Teachers are worth celebrating.
Tell us more about how you celebrate your teachers by sharing in the Principal Life Facebook group! We’d love to hear your ideas!
Plus, check out the most popular gift cards for teachers.