Support staff members deserve much thanks and appreciation for their hard work and commitment to the students they serve. Bus drivers, crossing guards, school nurses, food service staff, custodians and others deserve a pat on the back for all they do.

Go beyond teacher recognition by providing meaningful thanks to those in support roles. Several support staff recognition ideas to show the love are explored, here:

H2: Ways to recognize employees

  • Host a thank you breakfast or luncheon: Thank you breakfasts or luncheons can be great ways to recognize employees. Use this time as an opportunity to recognize the commitment and dedication of support staff. Send them on their way with a gift of thanks like an apron, vest or T-shirt imprinted with the message: “Valued member of the <insert school name> team!”
  • Hold regular prize draws: Enter support personnel into prize draws for staff appreciation gifts. Ask parents and alumni for donated sports tickets, theatre tickets, hotel vouchers, dinner certificates and the like. Present these items in school logo’d mugs or tumblers for a perfect presentation.
  • Remember the holidays: Remember support staff on birthdays, work anniversaries, major holidays and during annual appreciation days or weeks. We may not have an “official” day for everyone here in Canada, but we can take a cue from our American neighbours and observe some of their designated days for shout-outs, including National School Bus Safety Week, Crossing Guard Recognition Week, Nurses Week, School Lunch Hero Day and National Custodial Worker’s Recognition Day. A handwritten note of thanks accompanied by a school logo’d lapel pin  are nice ways to show you care!
  • Put ‘em in the spotlight: Feature valued support staff in weekly or monthly spotlights on bulletin boards, in newsletters and on your school’s website. Include a brief support staff bio, outline roles and responsibilities and brag about why your featured staff member is one of a kind!
  • Crowdsource: Ask parents to share stories or anecdotes about their favourite support staff. In class, have students draw pictures, make thank you’s or write letters to or about those who make the school go ‘round. Place these in a scrapbook and present to staff at an all school assembly or event.

We hope these staff recognition ideas have inspired you to give thanks, not just to teachers, but to those in supporting roles, too. No matter how you do it, whether with staff appreciation gifts or a few handwritten words of thanks, be sure to show your school’s support personnel the love!

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