Two weeks ago, we celebrated
Teacher Appreciation Week (TAW) at Hudson's Mother's Day Out program. What a fun week!
It was the week of Easter so my fabulous/ wonderful/ amazing co-chair Laurie and I (really, I could go on and on and on about how fab it was to have someone so energetic and fun to work with! Thank you, Laurie!!) worked in a "Spring into the best of xxxxx (city name)" theme to capitalize on all the fun spring/easter decorations and all the different aspects of our wonderful city.
Our MDO program runs Mon-Thurs so we had four days to plan for. We had breakfast, lunch, and dessert for the teachers each day, daily small gifts, and a larger gift on Thursday.
We wanted to celebrate our teachers in every way possible, so we started the week with a cake! Nothing says "celebrate" better than a cake, right?I baked this Sausage & Egg Casserole...
(thanks Ashleigh for introducing me to this yummy recipe!)...and we added individual servings of canteloupe for a sweet & savory breakfast.And then....Time for gifts!
We had the teachers draw numbers and play a version of the popular "white elephant" game...they could pick an unwrapped gift or "steal" someone else's gift that had already been opened. Except everyone played nice and no one stole a gift ;)
They picked based on the description on the tags, such as "Cinderella has nothing on me!" (a full house cleaning donated by a local housekeeper), "Bring on the movie star treatment!" (haircut & styling donated by a local beauty salon), "Splash into Summer" (plush towel, fancy suntan lotion, magazine, etc.) and so on.
Lunch on Day 1 was from a local family restaurant...think chicken salad sandwiches and yummy chef salads...and one of the parents made the dessert.
We flip-flopped days 1 and 2 to accomodate the delivery of our banner.Day 2 was all about shouting from the rooftops and letting the world know how much we appreciated our teachers with a fun banner and mugs...The View, anyone? Truth is I wasn't sure about the mugs when it was first suggested but they LOVED it!!
I think we have lots of coffee drinkers ;)
When we were taking their picture in front of the banner, one of the teachers commented she felt like she was walking the red carpet....hmmm, maybe next year we'll add an actual red carpet to those front steps!! HA! Lunch was from a locally owned Steak House and dessert was a yummy chocolate bundt cake made by one of the parents.
Donuts & fresh fruit - yum!!! The parents were so wonderful to donate breakfast, fruit, & dessert each day - THANK YOU MDO PARENTS!!We gave the teachers rose bushes with blooms in a pretty pink shade, known as the "Knockout" variety. Thank you, Laurie for coming to my rescue and taking care of everything on this day!! Lunch was from a local fave...a grocery & market that has been around forever and is DELISH! I love that we were able to let the teachers select their lunches each day...that way we knew they'd love the food!
This was our last day and we had a homemade breakfast cake & fruit, Mexican fare for lunch, and a flan for dessert! It was also the day for the Tues/Thur kids to have their egg hunt, so our "big gift" couldn't have been more fitting... A bit cheesy but quite appropriate, wouldn't you say? their very own golden egg! A little something for each of them to use however they want...pampering, shopping, dinner, movies...gas money-HA!Four days of fun and yummy food to let the amazing ladies that take care of our littles know how much we love and appreciate them.
Cheryl, Brooke, Maria, Patti, & Rebekah - I hope you had as much fun as Laurie & I did planning TAW! Words can't adequately express how much it means to all of us to have such sweet, Christian ladies teaching our little ones. THANK YOU!!
the nitty gritty...
Last year I received lots of emails asking about our TAW and how we made it work so I tried to be as descriptive with the post this year.
If you're planning a week-long event and you're hoping to get maximum participation, I suggest making it as easy as possible for parents to participate.
For our program, we sent out a heartfelt letter with a labeled envelope 4 weeks in advance and asked that each family contribute $10 per child (families of children attending MDO 4 days instead of twice per week contributed $20 and several families contributed more which helped greatly). We sent email reminders to ensure we had maximum participation, which worked great.
For the lunches, we picked up menus from the local restaurants and had the teachers make their selections ahead of time, then called it in each morning and arranged pick-up and delivery. Knowing the cost of the lunches ahead of time helped us plan out our gifts.
We asked area businesses to donate certain items and in exchange we sent home their business brochures in the kids' backpacks. We also asked for parents to sign up to make breakfast and dessert and to donate fruit, paper goods and drinks, which really freed up the money we collected to use toward the catered lunches and gifts.
Don't be afraid to ask local businesses and restaurants to sponsor your TAW - most LOVE the idea of giving something other than the always requested gift certificate for the school silent auction!!
Initially we planned to give each teacher a Visa/MC gift card, but when I realized the activitation fee was $4.95 per card (thus wasting $25), I quickly switched gears and came up with "the golden egg" :)
And don't think just because yours is a small program this isn't doable. Our Mother's Day Out only has 36 families!