Looking for resources to elevate the celebrations in your school, team, department or office? Our toolkit curates links and resources to empower you to approach your next celebration strategically.
Ideas from AACPS
We asked AACPS principals, teachers, and school system leaders to share how they celebrate students and staff in their school or office:
- “Refrigerator Door” Display: Showcase and celebrate students’ work and share academic and social achievements on a public display in your school’s hallway or lobby.
- School-wide “Congratulations to...” Signs: Post signs throughout a school or office to celebrate a student or staff member who has reached a milestone or made a specific accomplishment.
- Group Service Project: Bring students or staff together to plant a garden, join a community event, or volunteer to support a charitable cause.
- Awards Ceremony: Host a school-wide ceremony to award superlatives and other recognitions to teachers and staff. Be sure to include to include student testimony!
- Social Media Shout-Outs: Use a school/school-system hashtag to celebrate celebrations, accomplishments, and events on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- "What AACPS is saying about Our Team": Keep track of positive messages you and your managers receive about your office or a member of your team to share in newsletters or at department-wide meetings. Click here to see how the Department of Facilities highlights this information in their newsletters.
- Celebration Choice: Create a menu of options and let students and staff choose how to celebrate after they’ve reached an achievement.
- Staff Legacy Book: Celebrate an employee’s retirement with a photo or memory book; ask the employee to sign that book and include it in the library.
- Celebration/Kudos Wall: Dedicate a space in the front office or teacher’s lounge for staff to share professional and personal accomplishments for themselves and other colleagues.
- Pass the Notebook: Write a message of positivity or gratitude for a colleague in a notebook and leave the book for the colleague to find and read. Then, that person writes a new message for another member of the team and passes the book on to the next person.
- P.R.I.D.E Award—Recognize staff members who have exhibited an aspect of your school/office’ vision, mission, or motto. Ask those staff member to pass on the awards (small trophy, stuffed animal, etc.) to other colleagues at the next meeting.
Classroom Celebrations, Events & Non-food Rewards
Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). Celebration & rewards: Classroom celebrations, events, and non-food rewards. CDC Healthy Schools. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/npao/celebrations_rewards.htm
Culturally Responsive Holidays and Religious Celebrations
Lundgren, C., Lundy-Ponce, G. (n.d.) Culturally responsive instruction for holiday and religious celebrations. Retrieved from http://www.colorincolorado.org/article/culturally-responsive-instruction-holiday-and-religious-celebrations
Inclusive Celebration Activities Guide
Ideas to Get You Started
Lunch, E. (2018). 10 ways teachers/principals can celebrate student success. Sadlier School. Retrieved from https://www.sadlier.com/school/ela-blog/5-ways-to-celebrate-student-success
Peterson, K. (2016.) Multiple strategies to celebrate success and recognize staff. Kickboard. Retrieved from https://www.kickboardforschools.com/blog/post/use-multiple-strategies-to-celebrate-success-and-recognize-staff-at-the-end
Impraise. (n.d.) How to recognize and celebrate success at work. Impraise blog. Retrieved from https://blog.impraise.com/360-feedback/how-to-celebrate-success-as-a-team
Younghans, M. (2016). Recognizing student success: Creating a positive culture for students. National Association of Secondary School Principals. Retrieved from http://blog.nassp.org/2016/08/30/recognizing-student-success-creating-a-positive-culture-for-students/
Kuta, S. (2018). 17 awesome ways to celebrate the end of the school year. School Leaders Now. Retrieved from https://schoolleadersnow.weareteachers.com/end-school-rituals/
Literacy Collections for Every Holiday
Reading is Fundamental: Literacy Central offers themed collections of activities and resources including Hispanic Heritage Month, Native American Heritage Month, Veteran's Day, Women's History Month, and many more.
Reading is Fundamental. (2019). Literacy central: All resources. Retrieved from https://www.rif.org/literacy-central/search/type/collections
Making the Case to Celebrate
In our busy world, taking the time to celebrate can feel like a luxury we don't have; but recognizing the work of our students and colleagues is an important part of building a positive culture in our school or workplace. Here are a few short articles to remind you (and those you work with) why celebration is important.
Join the Celebrations
There are local and national celebrations throughout the year to recognize the people in our school systems. Align your celebration with these Special Dates to take advantage of pre-made templates, tools, and resources that can be easily adapted for your team.