When workers feel valued and appreciated, they tend to perform better. That’s why, with the new school year about to ramp up, school administrators and support staff might be searching for some back-to-school ideas for teachers that express exactly how much the teachers’ work is valued.

With many educators spending their free time drawing up lesson plans and buying classroom supplies (sometimes with their own money), setting out some ways to thank teachers can help keep them motivated and get your school year off to a positive start. A special event that celebrates teachers is one idea that does just that.

Keep reading to discover some fun “Thank You, Teacher” event ideas and find out how you can organize an amazing teacher appreciation event.

1. Plan a fundraiser event

One way you can raise money for teachers and their classrooms is by hosting a fundraiser. You can sell tickets to a community event and use the funds to purchase supplies.

Check with your teachers for a list of desired school supplies. Common supplies in need can include:

  • Pens and pencils of all sizes and shapes, including colors and markers
  • Electric pencil sharpeners and erasers
  • Glues and pastes
  • Scissors, paper clips, and staplers
  • Desk organizers
  • Notebooks and binders
  • Protractors and rulers
  • Reams of paper

Depending on the needs, choose an event where you’re raising money, collecting tangible donations, or a combination of both.

You can get your entire community involved. Ask a local meeting hall to host the event. Invite a local restaurant to provide (or greatly discount) the food. Local businesses might want to contribute to the fundraiser or supply drive, too — remember to publicly thank and promote them. You can also ask parents to help set up, serve, and clean up, or even get the kids involved.

Here are two fundraiser events that everyone in your community will love:

Autumn Break Carnival

Turn the school gym into a “harvest” festival decorated with pumpkins and dried corncobs. A team of volunteers can help run various games and activities for students and their families to enjoy. You can also encourage attendees to make a school supply donation at the event.

Trivia Night

Have participants test out their brain power with a fun game of trivia. They can break into teams — or register as teams — and have a volunteer host and ask questions based on a theme. To raise even more money, consider selling food and drink tickets.

In addition, you can have teams compete to gather the most school supplies before the event, and whichever team collects the most wins free food and drinks.

2. Host a teacher appreciation gift-making workshop

There’s something extra special about thanking a teacher with a hand-crafted gift. However, not everyone is skilled in the arts-and-crafts department. So, why not organize a workshop that will allow parents and students to learn crafts and create beautiful gifts to appreciate teachers?

You can contact a retired art teacher or have a super artsy volunteer teach the workshop. Or ask your most creative parent or staff member to take the helm. If they’re not experts, so much the better. The point is to create something that’s handcrafted as a show of appreciation, and often, the imperfections can be what makes something memorable.

Next, scream from the rooftop that you’re hosting a teacher appreciation gift workshop. (Okay, don’t actually climb on a roof, but promote the event using Eventbrite Boost, our all-in-one event marketing platform.) After you do that, you’ll probably have tons of people buzzing about your event, so use our RSVP tool to help you manage invitees.

What will attendees’ gifts look like at the end of the event? Check out a few creative thank you ideas for teachers:

Star Teacher Gift Box

Have participants give teachers the star treatment with this star-shaped box full of goodies. This is an easy project that crafters of any skill level can tackle.

Portrait of Appreciation

Set up some easels and watercolors and let parents and students paint portraits of their teachers. A collection of such personal impressions can be a keepsake your teachers will value for years.

3. Organize a set-up party

Teachers are faced with the arduous task of unpacking and packing twice a year — at the beginning and end of the school year. And you might be looking for different ways to say thank you to a teacher.

Take some of this load off by facilitating a set-up event — gathering volunteers, creating an event, and having people register. You can also include an option to make a small donation — this will help cover any additional cleaning and organizational supplies.

Set-up operations can sometimes take a few days, so spread out the tasks. Make cleaning and sanitization the tasks on one day, and setting up and decorating on another. Our platform allows you to create tickets for different days and volunteer roles.

Once the event is over, you can encourage attendees to register for future volunteer opportunities. Just go to your dashboard and navigate to the “email attendees” tab. Easy!

4. Host an after-school social mixer

Teachers are usually super busy, and they might not have much time to mingle with their colleagues or with teachers from other schools in the area. An after-school mixer at a local park or gathering place is a great way to say thank you to teachers and staff.

To get an idea of how much food and drink you’ll need, have invitees reserve their spot with our RSVP tool. Next, partner with a local restaurant to provide food and beverages for the event.

Have volunteers — preferably the same group from your set-up party — help put up decorations and design fancy food and beverage bars.

Check out these creative snack bar ideas:

Ultimate Nacho Bar

Teachers will appreciate this fully stocked nacho bar complete with the works, like salsa, guacamole, peppers, cheese, or even mango.

Popcorn Party Bar

Who doesn’t love popcorn, especially when you can flavor it with cheesy salts, caramel drizzles, and chocolate sprinkles? Pair popcorn with a movie for a fun mixer.

5. Host a teacher appreciation luncheon

Teachers are especially busy at the beginning of the school year. While a fancy luncheon can be one option, you might also prefer to honor their time by offering more grab-and-go options. Or gather your teachers by department or grade level, and have meals delivered to a selected classroom — it’s also a great way to get your teachers to mix and mingle and build a stronger team.

You’ll likely want to collect registrations so you will know how to plan. Once invitees have registered for your event, you can communicate with them and keep them updated. For instance, Eventbrite Boost allows you to send automated email reminders to attendees — and gives you personalized event marketing recommendations.

Individuals and businesses in your community may want to join in the fun, too. Invite a local restaurant to provide boxed lunches, and businesses can bring appreciation gifts for each staff member. Remember to give a shout-out to community members who participated. Parents can help set up, serve, and clean up.

To help your planning go even smoother, we’ve given you two luncheon themes to consider.

Spa Day Theme

Let’s face it, teachers could use a little (or a lot of) relaxation. So ask a local spa to come in and do massages and facials. While teachers may be busy, our guess is that they’ll squeeze in some time for some quality pampering.

Superhero Theme

Teachers are the real superheroes, after all. Have volunteers make posters that list all teachers’ superpowers — like patience. Or it could be specific to one person — like Mrs. Jones’ superpower is getting kids excited about math.

6. Plan ongoing “lunch and learn” opportunities

Although teachers’ days are packed, they still look for ways to foster their love for learning. So why not give them the chance to become students themselves? You can offer classes over lunch to provide this opportunity.

A yoga workshop is the perfect teacher appreciation gesture. Reach out to local yoga instructors and have them teach a 30-minute class. Or find a local calligrapher and set up paper and pens for calligraphy lessons. You can also collaborate with a local deli to provide sandwiches and other sides.

7. Offer a teacher appreciation field trip

Teachers get excited about field trips, too! Look for local opportunities that can help area teachers to learn and unwind. Maybe it’s a trip to an artisanal cheese shop or a trip to a local museum. Before you begin planning an educational adventure, have invitees RSVP online. That way you’ll know how many people are interested.

After you’ve planned a successful field trip, keep them informed about upcoming teacher appreciation field trips with Eventbrite Boost.

To give you some inspiration, we’ve included two teacher appreciation field trip ideas.

Culinary Class

Gather teachers for a cooking class. Partner with local restaurants and ask if they’re willing to host a culinary lesson. Attendees will even be able to enjoy a nice meal after their class.

Nature Hike

Nature hikes are an inexpensive way to bring teacher appreciation outdoors. Contact a local hiking organization or call a ranger station in the area you want to hike. A ranger will have all you need to know about trail conditions and hikes for all skill levels.

Try these thank you ideas for teachers

Learning how to host a back-to-school event requires little more than doing it. And sometimes nothing says thank you like a kind gesture. The acts of generosity featured today could make an impact on a teacher’s life. If you’re still feeling the spirit of gratitude, check out how our tools can help you organize a back-to-school event.

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