Ready. Set. “Thanks!”
Updated: Apr 30
Teacher Appreciation Week is May 3 through May 7. How are you planning to #thankateacher?
I am so grateful for my school.
Our teachers have provided a connection to the community and a sense of normalcy for my kids (and for me) this school year that was desperately needed. Despite the many challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, educators have worked tirelessly to ensure every student has the tools needed to continue to learn and grow in a safe environment. I know it wasn’t easy, because I had a front-row seat to a lot of it, during remote instruction.
If ever there was a year when teachers deserve some extra appreciation, it is most certainly this one.
Most schools do not currently allow parents in the building, and some teachers are 100% remote, so it’s not as easy as in past years to share fun treats during teacher appreciation week. But there is still plenty you can do from afar to show your teachers some gratitude. Check out this list of some of my favorite ideas (and websites) that will surely get your creative #thankateacher juices flowing.
1. Thank-you notes. I’ve looked at scores of survey comments from teachers, and by far, the most common remark is that teachers LOVE getting personal thank-you notes. A heartfelt note of thanks from a parent means a lot to teachers, and many of them keep special little notes from their students for years to come. If you need help getting started, try this site with 50 complete thank-you note samples. Send the note into school with your child, or mail it to the teacher’s home.
2. Store or restaurant gift cards. Another top-rated item by teachers is store gift cards. You may want to package them up with a cute greeting card (or include it with your thank-you note) to make it extra festive. Coffee shop cards are a favorite, and I found this super cute “Thanks a Latte” free printable gift card holder that you might like to use.
3. School swag. Turns out teachers love to show off their school spirit. Consider buying school swag for your teachers, or give them a gift certificate to the school store.
4. Food. Let’s face it, everybody loves food, needs food and is excited to try more food. Find out what your teacher’s favorite food is and buy it for them. Pre-packaged items are safest in our current COVID-19 world. Wrap it up with a pretty bow, like they did here with the mini-pie gifts, and you’ve got a yummy inexpensive gift you know your teacher will enjoy.
5. Raffle prizes. Organizing a raffle with a few fun prizes is a great way to include everyone (remote and in-person) in the spirit of celebration. Several parents (or the school Parent Teacher Organization) might want to go in together on this and then use an app like Pickster to pick names randomly for the prizes.
6. Thank-you gift tags. If you already have a gift and you want to attach a cute, customized printed gift tag, check out these free teacher thank-you card templates on Canva. You can find many more examples on Pinterest if you need additional ideas.
7. Candy poem. For the teachers with a sweet tooth, you and your child will love putting together a care package of snacks to go along with this candy poem posted on PTO Today.
8. Special gifts. Do you know your teacher loves flowers or collects porcelain pigs?? Send a special item to school with your child that you know the teacher will appreciate (or deliver it to their home). If you need help finding out their hobbies and likes, you can use my “All About You” teacher questionnaire (download below) to gather ideas. Or you might consider giving a gift card to teacherspayteachers.com to help support teachers around the world.
9. Classroom supply gifts. Teachers love practical gifts, and they’re constantly spending their own money on classroom supplies, so help stock them up on some essentials. You can always add a cute card to the gift – maybe you buy hand sanitizers in bulk with a “we’re in good hands with you!” note, or a basket of Elmer’s with a “you’re the glue that holds us all together!” note attached.
10. “I love my teacher because” notes or videos. Have each student fill out this cute printable “I love my teacher because” note and bring it to class during teacher appreciation week. Or one parent can collect them, print them and bind them together in a book. Regardless of how you present it, the teacher will love getting direct positive feedback from the students.
11. Personalized teacher sign. You can find some adorable custom teacher signs/name plates like this one on Etsy. Just be sure to order early enough to allow time for shipping. These are especially good gifts for first-year teachers, since they’re less likely to have one already.
12. Use technology. An electronic greeting card (American greetings has some cute teacher ones here) or an e-gift card (Amazon or food-delivery ecards are always appreciated) or a funny Jib-Jab video featuring your child and the teacher are all easy ways to reach out to teachers while maintaining social distance.
It doesn’t really matter what you do, just do *something* to help them feel the love.
The first week of May 2021 should be one continuous gratitude party, with teachers and school staff on the receiving end of non-stop thank-you’s and gifts. Teachers should be SHOWERED with praise and appreciation for sticking with our kids through such an emotional and bizarre school year.
They absolutely deserve it.
I know there are tons of other ideas out there -- I’d love to hear what you’re planning for your teachers?
Here's the teacher questionnaire:
We're doing thank-you notes this year, along with these Target gift cards and custom-labeled Extra gum packs: