Teacher Appreciation Night
Recently our ward had a very memorable activity/service project. We asked the youth and primary kids to select school teachers to be invited to a Teacher Appreciation Night at the church, where we had a short program honoring each teacher and a reception. I was involved in all the planning, so I thought I would post a few ideas and resources on this website for those who want to try something similar in their wards. I encourage you to talk to your bishop, youth leaders, ward mission leader or activities people about doing so--everyone had a great experience, especially our guests.
SUMMARY OF RESOURCES (all are .PDF files)
Poem: "Tichurem Mifavoritidus"
Song: "A Tribute to Teachers (and Elvis)", ladies trio
Song: "Part of Me", for (young) womens choir
Teacher nomination form
Invitation and RSVP form
Certificate of Appreciation
Teacher introduction notes
Four months before the date of the event, we handed out nomination forms to all the youth and primary kids in the ward. We invited all the teachers that were turned in; each person was allowed to nominate only one teacher. We sent out invitations with RSVP forms and self-addressed, stamped envelopes to over 40 teachers and 26 said they would come. Most used the stamped envelope, others called in, and others needed to be contacted in person because they didn't RSVP.
As teachers came in the church they were greeted by a youth and escorted to a nametag table to meet their student and his/her family, eventually making their way into the chapel for the program. The emcee began the program (see emcee notes) by introducing the opening prayer and the humorous poem, "Tichurem Mifavoritidus." Then after a brief explanation of the purpose of the event, he first introduced an entertaining volunteer speaker who talked for only 5 minutes about some of his memorable teachers. Then came the song, "A Tribute to Teachers (and Elvis)," a light-hearted medley of Elvis songs with words expressing gratitude for teachers.
After the song, the teachers were honored individually by stating some facts about each teacher along with comments about the teacher from the nominating student. The youth and primary kids whose teachers couldn't come to the event were chosen to make the presentations--here are some sample presentation notes. The notes were obtained mostly from the RSVP forms and the nomination forms, but many kids were too brief on the nomination forms and needed to be contacted for more information after we knew their teacher would be coming. As the teacher's name was read at the end of his/her little tribute, the teacher and nominating student would stand, and one of several primary kids (whose teachers couldn't come) would walk to where the teacher was standing and deliver a certificate.
After the teacher presentations, the emcee gave a brief biography about our guest speaker, a dean at one of the local high schools. The speaker spoke for 7-10 minutes and was followed by another song, "Part of Me," a two-part number sung by the Young Women. After this was the closing prayer, and then the dividers were opened up so people could move into the gym.
We had some nice refreshments and a few tables with decorations for the reception. Two youth went around with Polaroid cameras to photograph each teacher and student. The photos were quickly mounted on simple yet elegant frames made by the young women and then returned to the teacher. Copies of the poem were made available.
Please contact me if you would like more information.