The system administrator who serves your school or district keeps the hardware, software, network, and infrastructure running so you don’t have to. These tech wizards sometimes have a thankless job because when everything goes well, it’s easy to forget how much hard work they’re doing behind the scenes. When there are no fires to put out, everyone’s computer is running at top speed, and the printers are free of jams, they don’t always get the pat on the back that they richly deserve. Luckily, there’s a day each year when you can take the time to thank your system admin for all the hard work they do to keep your school not just functioning, but thriving!
The 18th annual System Administrator Appreciation falls this year on July 28. That gives you plenty of time to come up with the perfect way to thank the tech savvy admins in your life and show them you appreciate them 365 days a year. If you’re stuck coming up with the perfect token of appreciation, here are a few ideas to consider.
A Thoughtful Card
Showing your appreciation doesn’t have to be a big to-do. Even a simple card signed by as many educators as possible can go a long way. Hearing nice notes from so many of the people they serve will bring a smile to your system admin’s face. Any thoughtful, gracious card will do, or you can find one designed just for system administrators here. If you’re reading this on July 28, and there’s no time to buy a card and organize its signing, you can still send a funny e-card.
If a card just isn’t enough to recognize your system admin’s true rock star status, consider a larger token of your appreciation. How about a funny t-shirt? If they like tech gadgets both on and off the clock, ThinkGeek has a great selection of toys for techies. And, of course, when you’re not sure what to get, a gift card always gets the job done.
Delicious Baked Goods
It’s hard not to feel appreciated when someone bakes you cookies or brownies. Or if there aren’t any bakers in your school, there’s no shame in store-bought. If someone in your school is incredibly ambitious, here are some pretty spectacular cakes to attempt. And, of course, there’s my personal favorite: the Rubik’s cube cake.
Party It Up!
Cards and gifts are nice, but if you’ve got the time and resources, bringing everyone together for a little in-person appreciation time can’t be beat. (Plus, it gives you the opportunity to give that Rubik’s cube cake you spent the last eight hours constructing a proper audience!). Break out the balloons and maybe bring in lunch. The size and scale of the party isn’t so important as giving people the opportunity to express their words of gratitude in person.
Make Their Job a Little Easier
Remember, appreciating your sys admin really shouldn’t happen one day a year. You can help them appreciate you as much as you appreciate them by listening to their advice and being patient. You can also give them a “survival kit” with things like coffee, candy, a stress ball, and an ergonomic keyboard or mouse.
I hope you’ll consider one of these ideas for July 28th. If you have another great idea for how you plan to shower your system admin with appreciation next week, let us know in the comments below. And don’t forget to tell the admins in your life about TCEA’s System Administrator and Technical Support Conference happening this October. It will provide them everything they need to keep current on the latest trends and solutions in the IT world.