School Teacher Retirement Centerpiece Ideas


Centerpieces can play a big role in setting the mood for an event, leaving a lasting impression on guests. When creating centerpieces for a teacher retirement celebration, there are several designs to choose from, limited only by your supplies and creativity.

Teacher Theme

  • What better way to remember a retiree's profession than to create a teacher-themed centerpiece? Take a large plate and fill the bottom with gravel or decorative stones. In the middle of the stones place number-shaped candles showing how many years the honoree was a teacher. Arrange a box of chalk, a ruler, a protractor, an eraser, crayons and any other teacher-related objects around the candles. Sprinkle plastic magnetic letters throughout the display.

Apple Centerpiece

  • Many people associate apples with teachers and you can use this time-tested motif to create an interesting centerpiece. Fill a large, wide-mouth, clear glass vase with apples. Use all red apples or a mixture of several different color apples for variety. Stick flowers in the center of each vase, supported by the apples. White flowers make a good contrast to either red or green, so consider using calla lilies, white carnations or white roses. As there is no water in the vase, place the flowers in at the last minute.

Summer Theme

  • Since most teachers retire at the end of the school year, think about fashioning a beach-themed centerpiece. Fill a clear, glass centerpiece with sand and place a white candle in the center. Surround the candle with gray, pink or white seashells. Twist a raffia ribbon and blue satin ribbon together and tie a sand dollar or starfish to the candle holder. Around the outside, place brightly colored pieces of coral.

Subject Theme

  • Make a centerpiece that reflects the teacher's subject matter by using an unusual flower container. For instance, if the retiring teacher taught physical education, cut the tops off of old basketballs, footballs or soccer balls. Fill the cutout balls with dirt and flowers. Other ideas for non-traditional planters include cake pans for home economics teachers, hollowed-out books for English or reading teachers and beakers for science teachers. Surround the planters with smaller items related to the subject.

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  • Photo Credit autumn arrangement image by Liz Van Steenburgh from
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