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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?


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