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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Planning a Year of Staff Morale Activities

Administrators and Sunshine Committee members work hard to help boost staff morale throughout the whole year. But usually, this is not the only responsibility on their plate. As the former head of our own Sunshine Committee, I vividly remember the days of juggling those duties along with my own classroom commitments, not to mention a personal life! One day I realized that I should approach planning staff morale activities the same way that I approach classroom planning... With an annual framework! If you're ready to simplify your staff morale activities, while still ensuring everyone feels appreciated, I know you'll enjoy today's post. 

Plan a whole year of fun staff morale activities for your teachers and staff members to remind them how special they are all year long!

Planning a Year of Staff Morale Activities is a Game Changer

We all lead busy lives with many commitments and priorities. This doesn't mean that we don't want to show up for school staff though! There's nothing worse than having the best intentions for an amazing staff morale booster, and then lacking the time or energy to put it in place. At least for me anyway, this always really bummed me out! 
When you plan for staff morale activities to celebrate your incredible staff all year long it's a win-win for everyone involved.

When I started planning a year of staff morale activities at once, it changed everything for me! Just as I did in my classroom, taking some time to plan out the high-level overview for staff morale gave me so much peace. I could easily glance at the months ahead, budget accordingly, and prepare activities in my spare time. Overall, it really helped me feel as though I had a handle on things! 

Another great benefit to this tactic is that you can look at your whole plan for the year and ensure it feels balanced. If you're working to include ALL staff members and not only teachers, this is an important component to consider. The yearlong planning approach was a game changer for me, and I'm betting it will be for you too! 

How to Get Started Planning a Year of Staff Morale Activities 

So where do we even begin?! So glad you asked friend. I promise this won't be complicated. In fact, I have pulled together a year's worth of staff morale activities and ideas that you can easily implement in your school. Take a peek at my annual plan to draw inspiration as you map out your own!

September Back to School Yard Sale 

This time of year is crazy busy and everyone is going a million miles a minute. If I did my planning early enough, I liked to get these activities prepped in the summertime so that I was not trying to juggle too much during this hectic month. 

Get your teachers off on the right foot with a September back to school yard sale to kick off your staff morale activities.
My favorite thing to use in September is the Back to School Teacher Yard Sale. This is perfect to plan when teachers are setting up their classrooms. The idea behind this resource is that teachers will put out things they no longer need, or don't plan to use for other teachers to snag. It's a great way to clean out the classrooms, the storage closet, or the bookroom, and give old materials a new life! 

Inside my resource, you'll find signs, sign-up sheets, and more. These items will help to make facilitating this process simple and easy. Just print the pages you need and you're on your way to hosting your very own teacher yard sale!

Another great idea to plan on for September is a good old-fashioned fridge stock-up! Simply stock up the fridge with a variety of beverages and let teachers know they can grab a cold drink while they unpack and set up their classrooms. This simple gesture is always greatly appreciated as staff work hard to get set up for the new year! If you want done-for-you resources to help with this, check out this resource. 

October Staff Pumpkin Decorating

Make your October staff morale activities super fun with a staff pumpkin decorating contest!
By October, we were always ready for a little fun in our staff meetings. Back to School season has mellowed out and Halloween is just around the corner. So why not host a Pumpkin Decorating Contest with your staff? This is such a fun idea and as an added bonus, the pumpkins double as a fun decoration as well! 

For this idea, staff will each decorate a pumpkin and label it with a number. The pumpkin will be submitted for judging, where everyone votes on their favorite. Then prizes are awarded to winners! Inside the resource, you'll find everything you need to make this activity happen! There are instructions for use, signs, lists of suggested supplies, pumpkin tags to label them for judging, voting ballots, and even suggested prizes! 

This is the perfect way to celebrate fall and facilitate some team-building among your staff! 

November Staff Gratitude Jar 

November is one of my favorite months both at home and at school! The themes of thankfulness and gratitude speak to my heart and I was always looking for ways to incorporate them into our staff morale activities. A gratitude jar is a perfect way to do so!

November is gratitude month and you can use staff morale activities like this November staff gratitude jar to get everyone involved.
With this resource, you can choose to use a real jar or create a gratitude notebook. The idea for the real jar is that staff will jot down notes of appreciation to other staff members and leave them in the jar. This can be done throughout the month or for a set number of days.

As the jar fills up, the notes can be displayed on a bulletin board. Or, they can also be read aloud during a staff meeting or dropped into specific staff mailboxes. It's a great way to celebrate staff members throughout the month of November

For the notebook option, staff will write their notes on pages of a bound book. This book can be passed around for staff to read through and contribute to, or set in a central location for teachers to browse. Either way, this is a great way to recognize staff members and keep the focus on things we're thankful for! 

Festive Cocoa Bar for December 

Warm your staff's hearts with this sweet staff morale activity, a festive cocoa bar.
December is another month that always feels a little bit crazy in a school. Teachers are working hard to close out their lessons before the break, there are holiday productions, and everyone is preparing for holidays with their families. Because of this, I like to keep it simple and fun for December with a Hot Cocoa Bar. 

This is one of my favorite ideas for staff appreciation in the winter because it's just so cozy! Inside my resource, I include a recipe for slow-cooker hot cocoa, shopping lists, announcement posters, and more. It will make planning this event super simple and easy. Another great thing about this idea is that staff can come and go to grab their cocoa as they have time. This is really handy for the holidays when everyone has a crazy schedule. 

If you love the idea of staff snack bars, be sure to check out this post as well. It's filled with all of my best ideas for facilitating staff snack bars of all kinds! 

January Snowflake Hunt 

Liven up January with a staff morale activity that will get everyone up and moving like this January snowflake hunt.
If you're looking for a fun and simple activity that you can have staff use throughout the month of January, you'll love this idea! In this Snowflake Hunt activity, all staff members are given a snowflake at the beginning of the day. It's a good idea to use something small like a snowflake table scatter, so they can be discreetly tucked in a pocket. 

As the day goes on, staff members will ask each other if they have a snowflake. If they do, they must give it to the person who asked. That person cannot immediately ask for that particular snowflake back once it is given away. The goal is to end the day with the most snowflakes!

In my experience, this activity infuses a little fun into what's usually a bit of a dreary month. Staff love "stealing" snowflakes from each other as the day goes on. 

February Love Letter File 

Spread the love with staff morale activities like this February love letter file every staff member will treasure as a keepsake for years to come.
I love February because it's such a bright spot in the dead of winter! Valentine's Day activities aren't just for the kids! Here is a fun idea you can use to motivate and inspire your staff during the month of February. 

Consider having a staff "Make it-Take it" session and create a Love Letter File during a staff meeting, to collect student notes, cards, and letters. When I was still in the classroom, I loved getting student notes. But if you don't have a place for them, they can pile up or get lost really quickly! Teachers are notorious for not wanting to throw things away and with a Love Letter File, they won't have to! 

They can easily tuck all of the cards and letters inside the file and place it in their desk drawer. Then, on those especially tough days, they can pull out the file for a bit of encouragement and inspiration. This is such a great way to keep track of treasured keepsakes! 

March Rock Paper Scissors Challenge 

This rock paper scissors challenge is a great way to get in on the St.Patrick's day fun as you continue your year of staff morale activities.
Who doesn't love a good game of rock, paper, scissors?! Use this March Rock Paper Scissors Challenge to boost staff morale! To use this  best selling resource, you'll purchase some fun, St. Patrick's Day necklaces like these. You'll need one for each staff member. 

To play, if staff come across another staff member in the hall, they challenge them to a game of rock, paper, scissors. The winner gets to keep the other person's necklace. At the end of the day, the person with the most necklaces wins! 

I love this activity because the staff really get into it! It doesn't take much time to prep, costs very little to facilitate and it's just plain fun! If you love this idea as much as I do, be sure to check out this Bundle of Rock, Paper, Scissors Challenges for a whole year of fun! 

April Easter Egg Prizes 

An April Easter egg prize is a great staff morale activity that's fun and easy to pull off.
Looking for a fun game to inspire your staff in the spring? This Easter Egg Prizes Resource is the perfect way to kick off your April staff meeting! Simply grab an old easter basket and some plastic, colorful eggs. Print off the pre-printed prompts and tuck one inside each egg. Pass the basket around and allow each staff member to choose an egg. The prizes include things like:
  • wear jeans on the day of your choice 
  • early dismissal with class coverage 
  • scratch off ticket 
  • prime parking spot
  • pizza lunch and more! 
This activity is great because you can pick and choose which activities will work best for your staff and your staff appreciation budget. Many of the prize ideas inside the download are free or low-cost, so you can make this game work perfectly for your school! 

May/June Jar of Sunshine 

End your year of staff morale activities with a jar of sunshine full of positive notes for your staff to appreciate all summer long.
This next idea on my list is perfect for the end of the year! Try making a Jar of Sunshine for each staff member in your school to show them how much they are appreciated. You can even get parents or the PTO involved to help make them.

This resource includes small slips of paper that other staff members will fill out with a positive note for each of their team members. It can be a positive interaction they had, a fun memory, or really anything to make that staff member smile. 

After everyone has filled out a slip, collect them and place them in the jars for each person. There are also jar toppers and ideas to decorate them included. Then, on the last day, pass them out for each staff member to keep and read through. There are also options specifically for staff who are retiring. No matter how you use these, I know your staff will love them!

For more end-of-the-year staff appreciation ideas, be sure to read this post for simple ideas you'll love!

Simplify Your Year of Planning 

So what do you think friend? Aren't these staff morale activities fun?! I know that once you get started planning your staff appreciation games and activities for the year, you'll be hooked! This removed such a heavy mental burden for me and made it actually FUN again to participate! 

Simplify your year of planning with this incredible full year bundle of staff morale activities.

If you'd like to use these Staff Morale activities with your students, I made it super simple and easy! Inside this bundle, you'll find a whole year of staff morale activities! I've done the planning for you, so all you need to do is print and go! 

Keep the Celebrations Going!

Looking for even more fun and easy ways to celebrate and show appreciation to staff? Be sure to grab my FREE Staff Morale Catalog to help you easily plan your year of events! Inside this catalog, you'll be able to flip through and get inspiration for every holiday, season, and event you can think of! It's the perfect companion to your annual planning process! 

My advice would be to grab a calendar as you flip through the catalog and plot out when you plan to use these activities. Then, count back 3 weeks from each date and put a reminder on your calendar to prep the items you need. This will allow you to essentially conduct your staff morale activities on autopilot! I promise you'll love how simple and easy this process becomes. Have fun planning! 

Save This Post 

Be sure to pin this post on Pinterest to keep these ideas and resources top of mind as you begin to plan your year of staff morale activities!

Looking for ways to up your staff morale all year long? Use these staff moral activities which feature sweet and fun staff activities and prizes you can use throughout the entire school year. It's a great way to show your staff how much you appreciate all of their hard work each and every month of the school year. #tarynsuniquelearning #planningayearofstaffmoraleactivities #staffmoraleactivities #staffmorale

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