Many options for teacher appreciation ideas. Including different teacher luncheon ideas, gift ideas, and more!
I love showing the teachers at our elementary school how much we appreciate all they do. I was PTA Teacher Appreciation co-coordinator for three years and found out that the thing teachers appreciate most is food!
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Providing breakfast or lunch in the teacher’s lounge was always a huge hit. Instead of putting on one event during teacher appreciation week, we spread out events and had one every 6 weeks or so.
We set the dates, what grades we’d ask for help, and teacher luncheon ideas at the beginning of the year so we didn’t have to scramble during the year. This helped so much!
Teacher Luncheon Ideas
There are so many great teacher appreciation lunch ideas and let me tell you, the teachers love them all! At every event, we did try to have a vegetarian or allergy free option so that all teachers and staff could enjoy something.
Almost every event, included food which was donated by a specific grade. We would send a flyer home a few weeks before to all, say 1st-grade families, telling them we needed help with showering the teachers with love and food.
At first, we had a list and had them email us with what they wanted to bring which ended up getting tough and items wouldn’t be spread out.
We then switched to using a sign-up link, we liked coral-beachresortsharjah.com and SignUpGenius, which you can customize and list everything you need and how many people can sign up for that specific item.
It is so easy to use and it even sends out reminders the day before and after it’s easy to send thank you messages to all the parents that helped donate to the teacher appreciation luncheons.
We posted the website on the flyer that went in Friday Folders and then also sent it out in emails and even put on our Facebook page if extra help was needed.
The luncheon during teacher appreciation week was usually catered with the money we saved over the year from having parents donate the food. Since all of the classes do small things during Teacher’s week, we didn’t want to overwhelm them.
Local restuarants are usually pretty good about giving you a deal on a catered meal for teachers and staff. Just call and ask for the manager or owner. It’s really great if they drop it off too!
Here are some teacher luncheon ideas we have hosted over the past years:
- Lovin’ From the Oven (baked goods and fruit! We also got some donated items from a local bread store)
- Fall Feast – chili, cornbread, salad, soups. Lots of pumpkin/Thanksgiving decorations
- Food on the Go – during conference week – coffee, granola bars, fruit, string cheese, bagged nuts
- Healthy Yummy Feast – salad bar, fruits, veggie side dishes (we did this around the holidays)
- Sandwich platters and Salads – This is an easy one if you have some extra money and can just buy them from Costco or a local grocery store.
- Baked Potato Bar and Chili – baked potatoes are easy to keep warm in crockpots or wrapped in foil. Then all the fixings… sour cream, cheese, bacon bits, onions, cornbread, and a few different Chilis (one vegetarian).
- Coffee and Treats – we took coffee orders from all the teachers and passed them out in the morning. We gave them 5 choices and used my Keurig and some other parents made some gourmet drinks.
- Mexican Fiesta – enchiladas, tortilla soup, taco bar, taco salad
- Around the World Food – parents can make any ethnic food. It’s best to have them attach a recipe so that staff knows what’s in the food and also if they’d like to make the recipe later!
- One Bite Wonders – appetizers/tapas
- Hop on Pop Popcorn Bar (around Dr. Seuss’ birthday) – made 3-4 different types of popcorn
- BBQ Feast – can either have volunteers come and cook right before the teacher’s lunch or cater in from a barbeque place.
- Soups and Salads – all different kinds of both! Soups can be kept warm in crockpots.
- Comfort Foods – lots of casseroles, pies, warm drinks in crockpots
- Pancake Breakfast – different parents can make batches of pancakes and wrap them in foil to bring in. Sausage and bacon can be kept in crockpots. Fruit, juice, donuts, etc.
- Desserts and Treats – homemade or store bought. Can also add some healthy treats and fruit in there!
- Bring a massage therapist in and have teachers sign up for 15-20 minute massages. We had one that donated his time.
- Teacher Gifts – one year I was able to get enough items donated to give one to every teacher. We pulled names out of a hat and a few winners were announced over the intercom every day of the week and the kids loved it. I got a lot of autographed books from authors donated. I went on websites of authors I knew and emailed them and it was amazing how many sent books for teachers. I also got some local restaurant gift cards, museum tickets, jewelry, and coffee all donated!!
If you need more inspiration make sure to check out my guide of teacher appreciation ideas where I have the results of a survey I sent out to teachers on what gifts they really want!
I also have some easy and cute teacher Valentine gift ideas to use anytime.
What other teacher appreciation food ideas have you done??
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