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.
I love the later sunsets, the blooming flowers (even though it brings out my husband's allergies), the birds in the morning, smell of fresh bark, and evenings on my deck. All of those signs of the changing season make me smile. However, April brings with it a new level of exhaustion for educators. Sprinkle in the constant changes due to the pandemic this year and well its a constant game of real life "FLOOR IS LAVA". I know you are fatigued and I want to recognize the FACT you are awesome. This is the month you need to not feel guilty about shutting down your phone for an evening or weekend. Go for a walk, turn the music up a bit louder on your drive to and from work, get a massage, or treat yourself to some me time. April is when we are starting to see the finish line for this school year so fill YOUR bucket because you can't take care of others if you don't have anything to give from. I hope you find this edition of my newsletter with very simple ideas to help bring laughter and joy to your work. Feel free to reach out to me if I can do anything to support your work or be a sounding board for ideas. You got this.
April's Day To Celebrate
April 1 - as noted above Major League Baseball Opening Day. Take the opportunity and turn a table in your staff room or treat cart into a baseball concession stand.
April 2 - (caution on this one) National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day-Purchase Smucker UnCrustables (they are individual wrapped) add a sticker that says "We All Go Together Like Peanut Butter and Jelly." Or for a non-peanut food treat have student choral responses be Jelly. Principal says peanut butter and students respond back with Jelly as an attention getter.
April 5 - National Deep Dish Pizza Day. Check with your local pizza restaurants and see if they would be willing to donate a few pizzas to honor your staff. Either treat staff to a pizza lunch or utilize them as prizes for a drawing for dinner.
April 7 - National Walking Day. This would be a great week to do a walking step challenge with your staff. Exercise is so very important in maintaining our mental health that you could easily play off this day. OR encourage staff and students to go for a walk today. Have staff take selfies and upload to your school social media account to celebrate.
April 9 - National Name Yourself Day. Put up pictures of staff in the hallway with a new name for each one based on the super hero they admire, a favorite celebrity, a super power they wish they had, or a trait they believe is critical to a persons success.
April12 - National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day. Ask your PTO or school booster group to make grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch today.
April 13 - National Make Lunch Count Day. Provide staff a list of relaxing activities they could do at lunchtime either individually or with their class.
April 13 - is also National Scrabble Day. Set out a few Scrabble boards in the staff room for staff to use or write out your school name and mascot such as "Kelso Virtual Academy Chargers" on a piece of paper and hand it out to your staff. Give staff a set amount of time to create as many words from the phrase.
April 14 - National Gardening Day. This could be an awesome theme for your Teacher Appreciation Week also. As an idea--"We grow great learners at Loowit High School (fill in your school)." Provide a basket of seeds for your staff with a note of thanks for helping grow students or a tiny (cheap) fuscia start with plant stake.
April 15 - National High Five Day. Greet everyone with a virtual high five today and add some dance moves to your celebration. Purchase little hand clappers from oriental trade, dollar tree, or a party store for staff with a note to say here is a high five of appreciation.
April 15 - is Also National Laundry Day. Purchase Shout Wipes with a sticker or note that says I want to shout out to the world how thankful I am for you. (Shout Wipes are a must have in the Cromwell Household)
April 16 - National Librarian Day. A personal note of thanks would go a long way today.
April 16 - is also National Wear Pajamas to Work Day. (Easy one here folks but I would encourage you to remind staff about appropriateness just because.....Note: I am commenting for a principal friend)
April 19 - National Garlic Day. Give everyone a bulb of garlic and a pack of tic tacs with a note "I will always have you covered." Or create a poster in the staff room where staff could share favorite things to use garlic in and for.
April 21 - Administrative Professional Day (see above)
April 21 - National Tea Day. A tea buffet to greet everyone in the morning with some breakfast pastries. Add a few signs that say "We are brewing up a successful year. Thank you".
April 22 - Earth Day. You got this one. But it is also National Jelly Bean Day and I love Jelly Bellies. Have a game of Beanboozled available for staff or a beautiful colorful jar of jelly beans available today. Note: there are also small packs of Jelly Bellies available.
April 23 - National Picnic Day. (See notes above)
April 26 - National Pretzel Day. Pretzels in the staff room or handed out in your treat cart with a note "Everywhere I turn I see great things happening in your classroom/school."
April 28 - National Superhero Day. Turn lanyards into superhero badges with superhero names, emblems, or a special power they have OR pass out capes (purchased online) to all of the Superheroes you work with.
April 29 - International Dance Day. Play dance music every chance you get today to lighten up the mood and get people moving--guaranteed to put smiles on everyone's face.
April 30 - National Raisin Day. Create a buffet of different types of raisin products (plain, chocolate covered, yogurt covered, oatmeal raisin cookies, etc) Add signs that say "We are 'raisin' up great leaders at (your school)."