Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Secret Pal: Keeping Morale Going All Year Long

It's that time of year again! Back to school!
The time of year when teachers are excited and eager to start a new year. Well, most teachers. I hope.
Unfortunately, the new-ness of the school year doesn't take long to wear off. We are into routines and curriculum in just a few days and it's back to the "school-daze".

As teachers we spend much of our time making sure that our kids have everything they need, especially emotional needs. But we have emotional needs too!! Sometimes we need someone to ask how our day was, give words of encouragement, or just let us know they were thinking of us.
Cue Secret Pal!

I started Secret Pal at my school last year. I wanted to be able to encourage other teachers and staff at my school and to get encouragement as well.

At the beginning of the school year, each teacher who wishes to participate signs up. Secret Pal should always be voluntary! Once everyone has signed up, I put a survey in their school mailbox. The survey asks simple questions about some of their favorite things: color, snack food, restaurant, ect. I make sure that I number each survey and tell everyone NOT to put their name on the survey as these will go to their secret pal.

I create a log of each teacher who is participating and their survey number and put it into a binder. I also keep a copy of their survey in the same binder. Next, I mix up the surveys and redistribute them into participate's mailboxes, making sure no one gets their own! If any participant loses their SP survey during the year, a new copy can be made from the binder. Now that each teacher/staff member has a secret pal, the fun begins!!

Each month all participants are notified of the monthly theme. I try to make them fun, but general enough it will be easy to find a gift to go along. Secret Pals are asked to give a thoughtful gift between $5-$10 and include a note each month.
I know several pals gave extra little gifts throughout the month.

(I'd also love to hear some of your ideas for monthly themes! These are just a few of my ideas, but I know you guys are super creative :))

This worked well at my school and it was a great way to keep morale up, especially during those tough months (October!? April!?). This also gave several teachers/staff members from different grade levels and areas of our school to get to know each other better.

Let me know what you guys think? Is this something that is already done at your school? Is it something YOU could start?

Sunday, August 2, 2015


Guess who's back, back again?! Stephanie's back, tell a friend! (seriously, go tell people.)

Okay guys...I have been MIA since NOVEMBER due to some unfortunate personal reasons. If you didn't miss me #itsokay, but it is good to be back and I cannot believe that B2S season is already among us!

To get back into this bloggy business I am linking up with the Fab Farley for Currently August.

Listening: I'm in bed. I'm supposed to be asleep in bed. My fan is on. My pup is snoring. I'm awake in bed. Insomnia at its finest, people.

Loving: I finally took some time to pull out my Silhouette Cameo, dust it off, and put it to use. I monogrammed a new water bottle, which I hope will help me drink more water during the school day and I personalized a new school clipboard for me and one for a friend. 

I found these clipboards at Wal-Mart. They open so you can store papers and pens on the inside - NEAT-O!

Thinking: I'm thinking about my never ending to-do list. I just added like four things to my list in my phone, seriously. The madness has begun.

Wanting: OMG the TPT B2S sale starts tomorrow today and I'm super excited. Check-out, aisle two!

Needing: I said I was going to go to bed before midnight and try to get back into a routine since I have one week of summer left. Welp, obviously that didn't happen...

B2S RAK: I'm in charge of Secret Pal at my school, which I guess makes it not-so-random, but I love giving a little something special to my secret pal each month. It really builds community among our faculty and staff, and the themes always keep it interesting and fun!! I already have August's gift wrapped and ready to go!

If you haven't linked up for this month's CURRENTLY yet, what are ya' waiting for?