This comes to us from Cindy Cromwell, a principal in the Kelso School District. If you registered for our Virtual Summer Conference, be sure to watch her course, A Commitment to Supporting the "Whole" Staff
on our learning management system.
Like many of you, my students are returning back to in person learning and I love it. This however, has brought a total different level of anxiety and stress to staff, students, and families. Which means it is critical that we, as leaders in our school,
do something this month of modified “madness” to bring joy into our schools. March lends itself naturally to great opportunities of celebration to love on your staff between college basketball March Madness (Go Zags!), St. Patrick’s
Day, or a few other exciting days I have included in this newsletter. I hope you can find one or two ideas to implement and utilize with your team.
Please know I love seeing your creativity and appreciate when you tag me in your celebrations on twitter @sholtys. March is going to be an AWESOME month. Have fun and remember to take care of you. Peace and love, Cindy.
March Days of Celebration
March 1 – “National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day” (not fair to those of us with peanut issues but….). Provide staff with a buffet of peanut butter products (peanut butter cookies, nutter butter cookies, peanut
butter cups). Or you could give staff an individual Jiff To Go Peanut Butter cup with their choice of a chocolate bar, apple, pretzel or banana to dip into their cup. Place a little sticker that says “to help charge your batteries when you are
on the go.”
March 2 – Dr. Seuss’s Birthday and Read Across America Day. Put a poster up on the wall in the staff room and encourage staff to write what they are currently reading and the audience it is written for. Cindy Note: I am currently
reading “Principaled The Educators Survival Guide” by Kate Barker, Kourtney Ferrua, and Rachel George. It is a must read for all principals!!
March 2 is also “National Egg McMuffin Day.” We all have a McDonalds nearby. Go ahead and surprise a few random staff with breakfast.
March 3 – “World Wildlife Day.” Have you heard of the game show “Name that Tune?” Blend the show and this day of celebration. Play different animal sounds and have staff and students guess what animal makes
the sound. Example–a mooing sound for a cow. You could do this with students during transition times or pop on to class zooms for trivia time with the principal.
March 4 – “National Grammar Day.” Create a paragraph with various typos and misuse of punctuation. Provide a copy to each staff member and have them mark the errors and make the corrections on the paper. They can turn
it back in to you for a prize or entry into a drawing.
March 5 – “National Day of Unplugging.” This is a Friday and I want to encourage you to make this a weekend celebration. Encourage your staff and students to unplug ALL weekend. That means YOU too!! No weekend text or
emails to your staff–it can wait till Monday.
March 6 – (another Saturday but you could celebrate it on the 5th) “National Oreo Cookie Day.” The easiest one of the month!! Run to your neighborhood grocery store and purchase various flavors of Oreos. Leave them in
the staff room for a snack. Play “minute to win it Oreo style” at lunch time with students by having students tilt their head back and place one Oreo on it. They have one minute to get the cookie into their mouth and eat it with hands
behind their backs.
March 9 – “National Meatball Day.” Have you read “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” lately? It would be a great story to read to your students today or get those crock pots out!! Have appetizers of meatballs
for an afternoon snack for your staff. (Italian, Swedish, Teriyaki, Barbeque). If you have a Costco or Ikea near by stock up and throw them in the pot.
March 10 – “Mario Day.” Play the Mario theme all day during transitions and announcements. You could also have printed out mushrooms on red paper that you could use to either write compliments on for staff or pass out
as “I caught you practicing social distancing” tickets that could be entered in a drawing. Or if you have a Nintendo gaming device set up Mario Cart in the staff room for a staff competition.
March 10 is also “National Pack Your Lunch Day.” Turn your staff room or another place staff eat into a fun “restaurant” like atmosphere by using table clothes, fake candles, music, place settings, real utensils,
cloth napkins, and fresh flowers.
March 12 – “National Girl Scout Day.” A buffet of girl scout cookies provided for a morning pick me up. Have the coffee warm and available for staff to enjoy as they nibble.
March 14 – It’s a Sunday however, it is “National Pi Day” so treat everyone to pie as they head out the door on the 13th. (Either individual or a full size one depending upon the number of staff you have.)
March 15 – “Ides of March.” Hello Shakespeare. End all of your conversations and announcements today by saying “et tu Brute?”
March 16 – “National Panda Day” and “National Artichoke Day.” Have a variety of drawings today with prizes being jars of Artichokes or a gift card from Panda Express.
March 17 – “St. Patrick’s Day.” Here is a fun idea. Go to the website: Just Candy and order the collection of green only candy. Put the green candy in glass jars to pretty them up (can be purchased at the dollar
tree). Other ideas include guess how many pieces of candy are in the jar or how many ounces the corned beef weighs. (Purchase a couple and combine the weight-closest guesses wins the corned beef)
March 18 – “Absolutely Incredible Kid Day.” I LOVE this DAY. This is a fabulous day to ham up with your students and let them know this very special day was created to celebrate them.
March 19 – “National Let’s Laugh Day.” A day of “dad” jokes, riddles, and my favorite knock, knock jokes. Share a few fun videos as part of your morning connection to start off the day with a few laughs.
A side note: the most popular type of video that makes almost adults smile is a video of a baby laughing–try it.
March 20 – (I know it is a Saturday) but make sure you celebrate “International Day of Happiness.” Do something today for yourself to bring happiness into your life. Principal’s spend so much time giving to others
that it is important for us to carve out time and intentionally fill our own bucket. Today is your day to do it.
March 22 – “World Water Day.” Everyone gets a bottle of water and they can choose from various mixtures and flavorings to add such as lemonade, Hawaiian punch, spark, or tea. Basically anything you can find in the powdered
March 23 – “National Meteorological Day.” Do you have a snack wagon of some kind? This is a perfect day to bust it out. Have baskets labeled with different climates and a snack to represent the climate or biome. Tundra
would have nuts or berry treats, grassland would have chips, rainforest should have gummy worms (sour and plain), artic is an ice cream treat.
March 25 – “National Waffle Day.” Two very different ideas on this one. The first is waffle cones and staff could choose which flavor of ice cream they would like in it. Or my son’s idea is to provide staff with
boxes of Eggo Waffles. Add a note about their “Eggcellent dedication to Eggucation” and you have a winner.
March 26 – “National Spinach Day.” Provide staff with packs of spinach seeds or other green leafy vegetables staff can plant in their garden. Add a note about growing great learners and you have this day nailed!
March 29 – National Smoke and Mirrors Day." Find a stack of post-its and write positive phrases, quotes, or notes of inspiration on ALL of them. Put a couple post it notes on EVERY mirror in the school prior to students and staff
March 31 – “National Crayon Day” and also more importantly my momma’s birthday!! On this very special day purchase a few adult stress relieving coloring books. (There are some great ones on line) Place the books
and crayons in the staff room for staff to color and have a coloring competition. Students can vote on their favorite for a winner.
A Little March Madness Anyone?
Even if you never played basketball you can find a way to have some fun with your staff in celebration of this collegiate sporting event. (Go Zags!) Ask staff to choose a team to cheer for and after each win they earn a special treat or prize. These treats
can be a coffee, candy bar, or a fruit snack. Those who pick the winning team can earn class coverage from the principal. (I pick Gonzaga)
OR have you thought about having a basketball shooting competition? EVERY school has a basketball hoop so this one will work for you! Set up a 1 point mark (closest to the basket), a 2 point shot area, a 3 point shot area, (Don’t use the actual
3 point area be a bit closer to encourage risk taking) and a 4 point shot area (this one should be the 3 point line). Each participant gets 5 basketballs to shoot from any of the range areas. For each basket the make they earn the points associated
with the range area (maximum of 20 points). Set up prizes either based on most points or point range such as 15+ earns prize Z, 10+ points earn prize Y, etc.
There are a lot of other ideas you could use to encourage some fun throughout March Madness.