Putting a Different Spin on Teacher Appreciation week at Newark Middle School

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During Teacher Appreciation Week May 7-12th, Newark Middle School teachers and other staff were invited to participate in a cool, Survivor-style game event in which they could complete lots of fun challenges, accumulate points and win prizes.

Participants were asked to spin a virtual wheel on their school laptops or in the library, once a day during the three-day game event, to access a challenge and then complete it.

It was a fun way to celebrate teachers and their hard work and build community,” said Principal John Ginter.

Ginter said the “Survivor - We Appreciate YOU” game event idea came after 6th grade Social Studies teacher Lindsay Dibble and NMS Instructional Coach Lisa Eakins approached he and Assistant Principal Melanie Meyer with a way to make Teacher Appreciation Week extraordinary.

In an explanatory letter to staff, Ginter and Meyer explained “the goal for this 3-day event is for you to connect with our Middle School Staff-Community, smile, laugh and have fun as you earn fabulous prizes! We recognize how hard you work every day and you all deserve to find joy in each other.”

Kristen Harper, Family and Consumer Sciences teacher, won the grand prize of a $50 gift certificate to be used a local restaurant. She earned the most points - 140 - for putting Post-it notes with a kind message on them on every staff member’s car.

Eighteen other ‘big prizes’ given by landing on the category by a spin on the wheel were gift certificates for coffee, ice cream or class coverage for teachers by Ginter or Meyer. 350 other grab bag prizes like candy, pencils and pens, nail polish and more were also given away.

School Counselor Matt May, whose challenge was to notify a media outlet about the Teacher Appreciation Week game event, also received one of the big prizes to receive ice cream _ for just for completing his task, but getting the individual to come to the school to publicize the unique game event.

Hence, this story!

Eakins said NMS teachers and other staff really enjoyed the game event.

I think staff was excited to play because it was a different way to acknowledge and celebrate the hard work we do!”