If you found this post, you must be getting ready to plan an Appreciation Week at your school. YOU ARE AMAZING! Thank you for taking time out of your schedule to make the teachers and staff feel loved.
The primary focus of this post how to use SignUp Genius' TABBED forms to streamline your Appreciation Week preparations, but don't worry, there is more. Below, are additional posts with instructions walking you through coordinating the daily events, as well as free downloadable worksheets and checklists:
How to Plan an Appreciation Breakfast
How to Plan an Appreciation Lunch
How to Plan an Appreciation Popcorn or Snack Bar
How to Plan an Appreciation Dessert Bar
How to Plan an Appreciation Coffee Cart
Coordinating Coloring Sheets for Appreciation Week
These preparations are for the entire school staff, not individual classroom appreciation activities. For that, you will want to read our Room Parent's Guide to Teacher Appreciation Week.
Streamlining Your Sign Ups
Have you ever heard the saying, “Keeping your ducks in a row?” Creating tabbed sign ups for Appreciation Week using SignUp Genius does just that. Without them, instead of ducks in a row, you are going to end up with squirrels at a rave, eating Pixie Sticks. If you’ve coordinated week-long events before, you know what I am talking about.
Tabbed signs up rolled out the year I planned our "Best in the West" Appreciation Week, so I am going to use those sign ups as examples for you. I love that I can share ONE sign up link and give everyone access to sign ups for the entire week, organized with beautiful tabs. It makes my Type-A heart very happy.
In order to create a tabbed sign up like the one below, you will need to upgrade your SignUp Genius account to at least a Silver account. (I do this for the months of April and May, the only two months I utilize the tabbing feature.) When you have a Silver account, you also have the option of removing ads from five of your sign-ups. WHOO! I always choose to remove ads from the main “Welcome,” or in this case, “Howdy,” page, and other more frequented pages like the Coffee Sponsorship page.
Let’s start with the first Appreciation Week sign up – The “Howdy” page that explains our entire weeklong event. This is where I outline the happenings and instruct volunteers to sign up on the individual tabs. Each event gets its' own tab, and you can see them all at once. Handy, right?!
TIP: Most people are used to the non-tabbed SignUp Genius forms, so the tabs may throw them for a loop. And by "throw them for a loop" I mean they are going to try to sign up for activities on your "Welcome" page. On your "Welcome" sign up, create one item to sign up for and make the name "Sign up using the tabs up above," with a quantity of one. Sign up for it yourself so that nobody else can. This will point everyone in the right direction.
Coordinating with Room Parents
Appreciation Week has many components working together and independently. Room Parents are one of them. At my daughters' elementary school, the Hospitality Committee coordinated the school-wide appreciation events, and the Room Parents handled the classroom appreciation.
Sometimes the head Room Parent is not the one organizing Teacher Appreciation for the class. Depending on the class, it could be a group of Co-Room Parents dividing the duties, or a parent who volunteered specifically to coordinate Teacher Appreciation for the class at the beginning of the year. You never know.
This year, I upped my game and created a second tabbed sign-up just for classroom Teacher Appreciation. In past years, communication had been challenging. There are a lot of cooks in the kitchen during Appreciation Week, and with so many emails going back and forth, information was getting lost, not sent to the right person... you get the idea. Not that I needed to know exactly what everyone had planned, but I need to know that each classroom had something planned. Instead of massive email threads to all the parents coordinating classroom appreciation, I created this lovely.
I sent this sign up to all of the parents that signed up to volunteer in the classrooms in any capacity. With so many classrooms, I had no idea who would be handling Teacher Appreciation on their end. The tabbed sign up allowed them to talk amongst themselves (without me being cc’d on dozens and dozens of emails) and decide who would do what.
Most importantly, it allowed me to quickly and easily touch base and send reminders to specific volunteers. For instance, when coloring sheets were ready, I emailed (via SignUp Genius) everyone who volunteered to distribute the coloring sheets, letting them know that they could be picked up in the mail room. Same for when the “Wanted” posters were ready to be hung up. SO handy!
Go forth and create tabbed sign-ups, my friends!