The dollar stores are indispensable allies in the hunt for teacher appreciation ideas. We buy our staff two gifts a year that we try to keep in the $5 or under range. Coffee mugs, plastic apples, portfolios, pens have been our recent purchases and we do one at either the start of school or at the winter break and the other at Teacher Appreciation week in May. Here’s a list of some things we have done but you can come up with your own just as easily:
- A small mirror with the note, “You are looking at a very special person.”
- A pencil with the note, “Thank you for helping us write our future.”
- Little Nestle Crunch Bars with the note, “Thanks for your help at crunch time.”
- Small bags of miniature marshmallows with the note, “Because there are times when we just get tired.”
- Plastic glove popcorn hands with the note, “Thanks for lending a hand on…” Works with hands cut out of construction paper as well.
- Pill bottles from a pharmacy filled with M & M candies with labels made by our council with each color M & M having a different remedy such as: red=relaxation, blue=fun.
- A coupon for a free Student Council car wash done right after school and we use our students good at schmoozing to talk to the teachers while their car is being washed.
- Our teacher day ends 20 minutes after students are dismissed. So on snowy days, we get ten or twelve students who invade the teacher parking lot and brush off their snow and leave a note, “You have been brushed off by a member of Student Council.”
- In October we got the little candies that look like pumpkins and attached the note, “Thank you for helping us harvest our potential.”
- We have also used ghost suckers made out of Tootsie Pops and Kleenex, with the note, “Don’t have a ghost of a chance without you.”
- Use a longish narrow bead and a piece of pipe cleaner to fashion a brush that resembles a little toilet brush (pipe cleaner shaped into a circle and inserted into the bead which serves as a handle) with the note, “Belly button brush to help you relax when you are stressed.”
- Do this on the teacher workday before the start of school, at semester break or at the end of school. Have students report to the Student Activities Room to help teachers rearrange, carry, clean, put up bulletin boards, etc. Teachers can call or visit Student Activities to get student assistance with their needs.
- Small erasers that look like light bulbs with the note, “Thanks for helping us turn on our light.”
- Mars chocolate bars with the note, “You are out of this world!”
Our program also provides a monthly newsletter to staff, keeping them updated on our activities in the Congress Chronicle which allows us to thank chaperones, etc., after events. We do a monthly staff appreciation project as well that is smaller and cheaper and this is where we utilize our creative people, as well as candy bars and trinkets purchased at the dollar store.
From the hall of ideas on Michigan State Student Council site