Does your school have a Sunshine Committee? Or another way to help spread happiness to your staff throughout the year? I have always loved the Sunshine Committee at my school and have always appreciated and enjoyed the little ways they try to boost morale in our school.
I did not exactly volunteer to be in charge of the committee this year, but I was somehow made co-chair. It's a big job and so I was a little scared at first, but then I realized how much fun this would be and I've enjoyed helping to lead this committee so far.
Some of you might be wondering what a Sunshine Committee really is so I thought I'd explain it a little bit.
We all know about "Teacher Burnout" and we all know how hard it can sometimes be to make it through the entire school year. I usually start out the year with a lot of passion and enthusiasm in August, then after Christmas break, usually January to March, I start feeling worn-out and over-worked. Know the feeling? Well, the Sunshine Committee is just a little way to help teachers stay happy and positive throughout the year. We plan socials, organize treat days, and give little appreciation gifts throughout the school year. Over the years, this committee has definitely helped me feel appreciated and loved throughout the year.
Here's a list of ideas of fun things you could do. We don't use all of these ideas; I just wanted to provide you with a list of possible ideas for the entire school year.
This printable is available in my Sunshine Committee Ideas pack for FREE! Download it from my TPT Store:
Here's how it works at my school:
At the beginning of the year, teachers are asked to give a $35 "donation" to the committee. This donation gives us the budget that we need to do kind deeds throughout the year.
We buy gifts for all bridal showers, baby showers, and when people experience the death of a close loved one.
We do meals for the staff twice a year. We usually provide the main dish and paper products for the Christmas Party (the side dishes are usually potluck style) and we always do a full catered meal at the end of year banquet. We usually organize some sort of Thanksgiving meal too. I think last year we did potluck soups and our committee provided the paper products.
We usually try to find little times throughout the year to put treats in the faculty room. It could be doughnuts the day after parent teacher conferences or themed treats for a holiday. I think this year I want to do a soda party with a variety of flavored syrups just for fun on a Friday afternoon when everyone could use a little pick-me-up.
As a way to say thank you to everyone for paying their Sunshine dues, I made these little bags of sunshine. We did Worthers (although any gold/yellow item would work), and included a coupon for an extra 30 min of prep. All teachers have to do is take the coupon to the office and schedule a time when an administrator can take the class for 30 minutes. That gives our principal and vice principal an opportunity to go into the classrooms and work directly with a group of students. They'll just take their favorite read aloud story with them and read, which means that the teachers won't have to provide sub plans.
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This week, our committee is putting on a Pumpkin Party. (I got this idea from one of our Facebook followers who commented on my Facebook post a few weeks back.) Just to celebrate fall, we've asked everyone to bring (if they want) some kind of food item that has pumpkin as an ingredient. It could also be anything that looks like a pumpkin or really anything that is orange. I'm excited to see what everyone will come up with. I will purchase pumpkin plates and we'll decorate the teacher's lounge orange and black and leave the decorations up until after Halloween.
In the past our school's Sunshine Committee has done some sort of Biggest Loser Competition for anyone who wants to participate. We usually ask people to donate $5 to a pot, then we commit to certain goals, and have daily points for exercising, drinking water, avoiding soda, etc. At the end of the competition the money goes to people who met their goal. I'm not sure how the competition will look this year, but we'll probably start something up in January to encourage teachers to be healthy for the new year.
I think I'll end this post here and maybe continue with some more ideas another day. As you can see, having a Sunshine Committee could be a huge benefit to any school. Teaching is a wonderful and rewarding job, but sometimes it's the little things can help us have more fun in the workplace.
I would LOVE to hear any other great ideas that you have!
Please leave a comment and let me know if your school has a Sunshine Committee and what you do to help boost morale at your school. For those of you who don't already have something like this, would you consider starting one at your school?