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Principal Ideas
Volume #50


Just think of Principal Ideas as a virtual show-and-tell for principals. Each week in the coming school year we'll present four or five new principal-tested ideas. Send in your idea today! See the sidebar to learn how to be part of Principal Ideas.

Join the Fun --
Share an Idea!

The ideas presented in this article come from the Education World archive and from principals just like you. Since these principals have been kind enough to "show and tell" an idea, now it's your turn! Share an idea you've used to
- Celebrate Students
- Plan a Special Event
- Welcome Students Back to School
- Make Graduation Day Special
- Liven Up Your A.M. Announcements
- Motivate Teachers
- Involve Parents
- Raise Money
- Plan an Effective Staff Meeting
- Get Some Good PR for Your School
or any other topic of interest to principals.

Send your idea today to principalideas@
Be sure to include your name, your school name, and your school address because if we post your idea in Principal Ideas, we'll send you an Education World mug!

Were Wild About Our Teachers

For Teacher Appreciation Week last year we used the theme Were Wild About Our Teachers. Each day we selected a different animal to represent the celebration we would have for them. We did the following:

  • Lions Lunch -- We provided a catered BBQ lunch.
  • Purr Like a Tiger -- Massages were provided by a nearby chiropractic office; hands and feet were pampered by a local Warm Spirit representative.
  • Bears Breakfast -- Breakfast was provided by school administrators.
  • Monkeys Favorite -- Banana splits were prepared and served by the office staff.
  • Panda Party -- The panda is our school mascot; teachers received a panda school bag, pen, and notepad.

Thanks for this idea go to Dr. Bonnie Barrett, Florence Parsons Pre-Kindergarten School, Garland, Texas

Monday Morning Highlights

My weekly newsletter for staff is called Monday Morning Highlights. In this brief newsletter, I spotlight an employee of the week. In addition, I share good news about staff members and their families. Everyone looks forward to Monday Morning Highlights. I find that the staff comes to me to provide info about themselves and their families to include. The newsletter really helps motivate our staff and give a sense of family to us all. We have been doing this newsletter for more than five years.
Thanks for this idea go to Laura Collins, HIPPY Director, Montgomery (Alabama) Public Schools

Academic Pep Rally

Once a month, I host an Academic Pep Rally for the entire elementary school. The pep rally begins with cheers for our school, faculty, and staff. Teachers submit Outstanding Student awards and we call those students forward for recognition. Attached to each students award is a coupon to eat lunch at The Principals Table in the school cafeteria. I also acknowledge other achievements such as winners of spelling bees, art show awards, science fairs In addition, I bring my Teacher Treasure Box to the pep rally. Two or three teachers are recognized each month for outstanding service to our school. The students love when their teacher is called to come forward to choose a treasure. This day is especially fun for faculty and staff because they are allowed to wear jeans and school T-shirts instead of dressing according to our regular professional dress code.
Thanks for this idea go to Lisa K. Huff, Liberty Christian School, Anderson, Indiana

Boost Test Attendance

At the start of our testing week in March, we give each student a cut-out green shamrock. Students write their names on their shamrocks. Each test day that a student shows up and tries hard, he or she is given a sticker to add to their shamrock. At the end of the testing week, all students who have filled their shamrocks with a complete set of stickers (a sticker for each testing day) can drop those shamrocks into a box located in front of the auditorium. One of the shamrocks is drawn for a grand prize. All the students with full shamrocks share in what is in a Surprise Box. That box might be filled with pencils, trinkets, or other small prizes.
Thanks for this idea go to Irene Lemieux, Selser Elementary School, Chicopee, Massachusetts

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