7 Ways to Show Your Appreciation to Teachers

Teacher Appreciation Week is the first full week of May

April 28, 2023

 How can we thank teachers for helping us through so much during the school year? 

Heartfelt and thoughtful gifts feel like the way to go this National Teacher Appreciation Week.

Here are five simple ideas to show your appreciation for your child's teacher:

1. A thank-you note

Teachers love to hear what your child has to say from their heart. Here's a fun printable to make it easy for your child to write a letter. You can write one too. Go one step further and write one to the principal too, explaining why you believe your child's teacher is exceptional. Use specific examples of how the teacher has influenced your child’s learning. Who doesn’t like to look great in front of their boss?

2. A gift card to a local restaurant or coffee shop

A gift card is always a great gift!

3. Items for their classrooms

Whiteboard markers, erasers, scissors, pencils, sharpeners, decorative pieces, hand soap … all will be appreciated. Ask your teacher for a wish list or check Amazon to see if one is already started there! Teachers often spend their own money on school supplies, so this is an opportunity to help them in a practical way that they'll appreciate.

4. A basket of their favorite snacks

Find out what your child's teacher loves to snack on and make them a nice basket filled with their favorite treats!

5. A beach bag

Summer break is near, so it's the perfect time to prepare for the beach! Get a nice beach towel, some sunblock, flip flops and a good book and put them in a beach bag! These items will surely get put to use and offer a nice twist to the usual teacher appreciation gifts.

6. Pitch in with others for a big gift

It can be embarrassing for a teacher to receive a gift that has a high price tag; but not if it comes from the entire class. Coordinate with all the parents in the class to donate toward one bigger gift from the entire class.  A spa day gift card. A gift card for dinner and hotel in the city for the teacher and spouse. Tickets or membership to a favorite attraction.

7. A Classroom Book

For younger grades, buy a book for the classroom and have your child write inside the cover, “Donated to [teacher’s name] class by [child’s name], [year].”  This is a great way for a teacher to build up her/his library of classroom books.

Thank you to all the teachers!

A Few Gifts To Avoid:

I have several teachers in my family and I asked them to share what gifts they would suggest parents avoid getting for a teacher. They prefaced their suggestions with the comment, “Teachers like to know they are appreciated so all gifts are appreciated. But if we had to suggest some things to stay away from….”

1. Coffee cups (and knick knacks). I read somewhere that this is the #1 gift given to teachers. My cousin, a teacher, said in her 10 years of teaching she has received well over 50 coffee mugs. What would you do with 50 coffee mugs?

2. Anything scented. Scent is such a personal thing; both the scent itself and the strength of the scent. This means no bath salts, no candles, no lotions, etc. unless you know it's a teacher's favorite.

3. Baked goods. Unless you know for a fact that the teacher enjoys what you’re thinking of making/buying, don’t do it! 

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