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Teacher's Luncheon

Hosting a Teacher's appreciation luncheon for retired educators in your retirement community at the beginning of the school year is a great activity to offer which brings together residents with similar backgrounds. I host this particular luncheon every couple of years, and it is always a success. I invite the retired educators from my community to bring along a memento from their days at work and share it with the group. I hold this lunch in our private dining room because it fits about 40 people nicely, and due to time constraints, I find this is as big of a groups as I’d like to have.

I used apples as my theme for the afternoon. For decorations, I use a few paper products that can be found at most party supply stores and then made my own center pieces. For the center pieces, I kept it simple. I used glass vases and added an assortment of apples, a wooden ruler and some pencils to it. I also made name tags with a themed border around the edge for all those who attended. The menu had an apple theme to it also. It included a Waldorf salad and apple pie for dessert.

The residents did bring mementos and had a lot to share! I learned that teachers are very comfortable being at the head of the class.... and I found it necessary to stop a few people from going on too long. Their stories were amazing. I learned that one man, who never speaks much in the community, was an educator in the same county that I grew up in! We spoke for a while afterwards and I know that it made us both feel more connected to each other. 

Some other ideas that I might try next time are to invite the residents to participate in the following:

  • Naming state capitals and/or presidents,
  • Ask them to add fractions or answer geography questions.
  • Have an Art Class where each person gets a piece of paper and crayon and then turn out the light. Instruct them all to draw the same thing. When the lights come on see how well they did. 
  • Have a quick Spelling Bee by picking a few words to spell that might be hard for them or easy words that must be spelled backwards in a very short time. 
  • Have the residents match Definitions of odd words.
  • Gum is not allowed in class, but maybe you can have a Bubble Blowing Contest.

Prizes can include pencils or stickers. See the Activities Director's Store for more ideas!

This was a great opportunity for the residents in my CCRC to get to know one another and I'm sure that it would be good for yours also. This, of course, can be done for other professions.... you just need to understand who lives in your community first to be successful. Maybe you can learn that information from your sales staff if you don't know. Give this kind of program a try and I'm sure that you will go to the head of the class with your residents!

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