Teacher Appreciation Tea Party

In high school, I belonged to a club called Future Teachers of America. Each autumn we held a tea for all the teachers in the district. Back then we had three elementary schools and a junior-senior high school. And almost every teacher attended our tea. It was quite the event.

This tea party theme is a way to honor teachers; there are so many in our lives. Perhaps a group of mothers would like to get to know the teachers at their children’s school. A tea would be the perfect venue. Consider too the various teachers we have at our churches, everyone from the minister to the choir director to the kids’ Bible teachers. Many of us take continuing education or hobby classes ourselves. Say thank you to your teachers with tea.

Wouldn’t it be nice for a teacher to go to her school mailbox and find a pretty invitation for tea there? Do use the available mail system to avoid having to collect home addresses. No doubt some teachers prefer to keep those private.

There is no doubt a room available at the school or church or community building that you can use for your tea. Don’t expect to use a school cafeteria kitchen as they have pretty strict health and safety rules that they must follow. But a church kitchen or one attached to a community center would allow you the use of an oven, sink and fridge.

Set the tea for right after school or classes. Don’t expect the teachers to drive home and then back again. They are too busy for that. Depending on the number of teachers and hostesses, you might want to invite just the teachers from one grade or you could invite the entire school. Don’t forget that male teachers like tea time too.

You won’t be able to do a lot of decorating for this tea party because of the setting. Do have a little flower arrangement on each table and use a tablecloth. While it is possible you might be able to borrow dishes from the kitchen, I recommend using pretty paper plates and napkins. They are much more festive and will be a nice change from every day cafeteria dishes.

Since this tea party honors teachers, use apples in your decorations. A big bowl of shinny red apples on the serving table will look pretty and can be eaten. Tie a glittery ribbon around each apple stem. You might use apples too as place card holders on the guest tables. Or use cored out apples to hold candles.

In talking with teachers, I’ve learned that they love to receive gift cards to office supply stores. This allows them to buy something they can really use for their classroom, they aren’t fattening and teachers really don’t need more mugs. So for favors, I’d give gift cards enclosed in pretty little envelopes that have been decorated by hand. If that’s out of the budget, make up rosebud corsages/boutonieres in your school colors, if appropriate. Or give a little nylon net pouch filled with candied almonds or some other candy.

You will want music at your tea party. If a sound system isn’t available, use a boom box. Play upbeat, happy music; this isn’t the time for heavy classical music. (Unless you’re honoring music teachers.) If your tea is for teachers at church, gospel music or Christian rock might be nice.

Coming up tomorrow: A cooperative tea party menu that can be divided among all the hostess/helpers.