How to Plan a Retirement Party for a Teacher

As a teacher, not only have I participated in retirement parties, I have been involved in planning a couple. Every teacher deserves praise for his or her important job, but especially teachers who are retiring. How does one plan and give a retirement party? It is no easy task.

Steps to Giving a Teacher Retirement Party

A party can not take place if there is no venue. Some parties take place at the school, while others take place at outdoor venues or community centers. I have even been to one that was given at a friend's house. However, the best place to hold a retirement party is at school. This way, the most people will attend. The principal will need to be contacted in order to set a time and place for the party. Often, having a party after school works best, as all teachers can attend. Also, an after-school party will allow other family and friends to attend.

Decide on the theme. Also, decide on which colors are best to decorate with. Parties can run the gamut--from an apple for a teachers theme to a hobby that the teacher is interested in. Once this information is gathered, you can decide what balloons, decorations and accessories you will need for the party.

No party is complete without refreshments. Some retirement parties are complete meals, but most are served with party foods. It is good to know something about the teacher's tastes when planning the foods. Of course, your budget is important to know. Some schools provide a budget for parties, and others are put on by the people sponsoring the party. Finger sandwiches, chips and dip and cake are always good staples to have. The most important party food is the cake, so make sure you choose a store that can create a cake that is appropriate. Remember to consider how many people will be attending the party, and plan food accordingly.

Decide which types of games you will play or what other sort of entertainment you will have. The party I gave had a Caribbean theme, as the teacher wanted to travel the world. Caribbean or island music was provided, along with Caribbean-themed games. We played " How Low Can You Go?" with a traditional pole. All retirement parties I have attended had a collection of pictures of the teacher over the years. Some have slide show presentations.

Gifts are important. Some teachers request gifts; others do not. Some request that a donation be made to a charity. A very nice addition is to have a small tree near the present table. Have close-pins to clip money to. The tree thus becomes a money tree. It is important to post someone near the money tree, because a money tree can become bare rather quickly after money is taken. It is best to keep the gifts to a low value. My Caribbean-themed retirement party had a maximum of $25 for gift values. I gave my guests suggestions of what to give the teacher. She enjoyed reading, needed vacation items and loved jazz music. It is often best to give suggestions.

Be sure to have a serving and clean-up committee. If not, you will be doing all the work by yourself. It is also helpful to assign a specific job to each person assisting.