Teachers across the United States are thought to be sitting back and relaxing their summer vacations away. Many of my friends are teachers and I know they work hard all year long. Below is an excerpt from an interview I conducted with one of my friends who is teacher in regards to her summer work.
As a teacher I realize that I am considered lucky to have my summers off each year. I also know that it is vital that teachers have the months of July and August to recharge and recuperate from the school year. Many teachers do not spend their entire summers relaxing poolside, but spend their time reflecting on the past school year and finding ways to be more effective in the fall. Further, many districts offer countless professional development opportunities for teachers to enroll in throughout the summer months. I know that I spent the first few summers I was a teacher taking graduate classes to obtain my master’s degree. The past few summers I have spent time working on various school wide campaigns for my school. This year I have chosen to promote Red Ribbon Week in my school. This week, which takes place every October, promotes awareness of the dangers of alcohol, tobacco, and drug use in children and teens.
If you’re a teacher looking for a fun, interesting way to bring a sense of community and togetherness to your school, starting a campaign is the way to go. Below are some tips that have helped me make my previous campaigns a success in my school.
- Choose a cause wisely.
Take a look at your student population and find an organization or cause that you think your students will buy into. One year I choose to do a Lyme Disease Walk-a-thon because we recently learned that one of our students had been diagnosed with the disease. Since the students knew someone struggling with the disease they really got into the walk and all the fundraising and activities surrounding it. It’s a good idea to talk to students and other staff members about ideas.
- 2. Plan.
Now that you’ve chosen your cause, it’s time to plan everything out. Your event should start with a kick off or pep rally where students and staff members can learn about the cause and get pumped up about the activities. Letters should also be sent home to parents so they stay informed and involved in your efforts.
- 3. Class Captains
Talk to fellow teachers and staff members and choose student class captains to help in disseminating information to their classmates. You should pick students that are outgoing and friendly with everyone. Involving students is a great way to keep the momentum going and keep everyone engaged throughout the campaign.
- 4. Main Event
Your campaign should include a main event that takes place at the end of your campaign or awareness week. In the past I have done walk-a-thons, plays, talent shows, and relays. This event is your moneymaker. It is through this event that you will raise money for the cause you are supporting. Choose something that will get most students, teachers, and staff members involved.
- 5. Promote!
Have students make signs to post throughout the school promoting the event. Disperse pins and ribbons that correlate with your cause and bombard students with information through morning and afternoon announcements.
My most important tip is to not be afraid to ask for help and work with your colleagues and students to help make your event a success. This is a great opportunity to get everyone involved in doing something wonderful. I am looking forward to putting my Red Ribbon Week campaign together and I know my school will receive it well.
About the Author
Mercedes Potter is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. She interviews with an educator in this post to find ways to positively encourage children. Follow her @CedesPotter.