Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)
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Organizing Teacher Appreciation Week (always the first full week of May) is a task that can be very fun and rewarding! Anyone that has experience with party planning can do this!
Here is a list of tasks you need to do prior to the event:
1. 2 months prior to the event, brainstorm a list of themes (at least 3-4) that you will present at a PTO meeting for the group to vote on. Request a budget of $200 to cover any expenses for food/ supplies that you may need to provide if certain days fall short on parent volunteers/ donors. Also request a budget of $400 so that you can plan on a small gift for each teacher/faculty member/staff member. You can get a list of everyone in the building from the main secretary. In the past we purchased gift cards from DQ for $5 each.
2. 1 to 2 months prior to the event, plan each day of the week of Teacher Appreciation out according to your theme and decide on what food items and other types of help you want parents to donate to school for each day. You need enough food to feed around 60 people each day. Some days can be breakfast foods, some days can be lunch foods. Once you decide on the menu, create a Volunteer Spot sign up and send it to the PTO president to email to all room parents. (make sure you include slots for people to help with set-up (9:30- 10:30 AM) and clean- up (1:30- 2:30 PM) each day, slots for paper products, and slots for drinks as well as food each day.) Also include slots for signs or posters to be made to hang in the teachers lounges/ on their classroom doors throughout the week. Mike Casper helped with this in the past.
Ex. Previously an Olympic theme was used. Monday was the Opening Ceremonies day, it was general lunch fare from countries around the world. Tuesday was Breakfast of Champions Day, and all sorts of breakfast goodies were provided. Wednesday was Competition Day. It was a carb- loading/ protein filled day. Thursday was Medal Ceremony Day. It was a celebratory/ dessert day that included chair massages from a parent that is a masseuse. Friday was Closing Ceremonies Day. It was general lunch fare from countries around the world again.
3. 1 to 2 months prior to the event, plan an activity for room parents to coordinate for all students in the classroom to collaborate on as a surprise for their teachers to be presented in some fashion during that week.
Ex. One year we did an Olympic theme. Each classroom created a special flag to represent their teacher and was secretly attached to teacher's doors Sunday evening. On Medal Ceremony day all teachers had medals attached to their doors. On Competition Day teachers got to take a quiz to see how well they knew each other. The winner won a gift certificate to the Greek.
4. At least 4 weeks prior to the week, every week send a reminder email with the link to the volunteer spot until all of the slots are filled.
5. During the week of the event, if possible, join the set- up and clean- up crews in the Teacher's Lounge and ensure everything is set up properly. And most importantly, enjoy the smiles and thank yous from all of the teachers that you have helped to celebrate!