A great teacher keeps the students' attention. She challenges her students and encourages their success. Most people have one or two special teachers that they will always remember. When a teacher retires she leaves the classroom behind and moves into a new life stage. Celebrate a teacher's journey from first day in the classroom through the last with a memorable retirement party.
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Get the teacher in on some games. Give each guest and the teacher a pencil or pen and a sheet of paper. Ask the teacher to secretly write down what hobby he or she is going to take up after retirement. Ask each guest to write down their best guess at the teacher's post-retirement choice. The person choosing correctly or the closest to it receives a prize. For another game, create a bucket list. Ask each guest to write down something the teacher can accomplish before her last day of school; the funnier the better. Ideas are telling the teacher to dance with the principal or to come to school wearing a colourful wig. Ask each guest to write down one idea on a piece of paper and place the ideas into a plastic bucket. Present the bucket to the teacher with the directive that she must accomplish this list before the last day of teaching.
Ask each student in the teacher's class to write a short poem or a few favourite things about the teacher. During the retirement party, assign one or two people to read the poems and affirmations to the teacher. If the party takes place during school hours, allow the students to read the poetry themselves. Place the pages into a folder the teacher can keep.
Make a scrapbook for the retiring teacher and fill it with memories of his or her teaching career. Ask each guest to bring one or two photos of the teacher. Ideas for photographs include teacher award ceremonies, field trips and school events, or candid classroom snapshots. Supply one scrapbook page per guest; either white stock paper or designed scrapbook paper can be used. Give each guest scissors, glue and markers or any other craft supplies. Ask each guest to create a tribute page to the retiring teacher. When everyone has completed the page, add them to a large, prebound scrapbook and present it to the teacher at the end of the party.
Play or Skit
Recreate a cherished moment or let your imagination run wild for this activity. Group five to 10 guests together, depending on the size of the retirement party. Give each group 20 minutes to create a skit depicting a typical school day in the retiree's life. Incorporate a crazy field trip or a fun event in the teacher's professional life. Let the retiring teacher give an award to the "funniest" or "closest to a day-in-the-life-of" skit.
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