10 Ways to #ThankATeacher During Teacher Appreciation Week

By Cherry Thompson & Catherine Guimaraes

Teachers are truly Out of This World. Having been an educator, and now a parent, I’m keenly aware of the daily effort that goes into waking up before the sun five days a week, conjuring up enormous energy to bring joy and positivity to kids, and designing and facilitating engaging and meaningful lessons.

There is so much to thank teachers for! Letting them know how you feel this week and throughout the course of the school year truly goes a long way to making them feel appreciated and supported.

In this spirit, we have curated some projects and ideas for elevating and celebrating our teachers!

  1. Say Thank You, Teacher Free printables like this one are great ways to help student pause and express gratitude for their teacher in a meaningful way. You can create your own version or even put together a keepsake booklet for the teacher to hold onto. As a parent/caregiver, you can create a form and email it out to families or hand out physical sheets–all you need is to collect them and then voila, you’ll have a book of thanks to give your teacher. I used to hold onto nice notes (that I still have) from students to energize me.
  2. Take on a Teacher’s “Do Now”These quick activities help students transition into the school day, establish a sense of routine and refresh what they’re learning.
  3. Hand out “Rocket Fuel” Keep your teachers reaching for the stars with coffee and other treats.
  4. Watch this Documentary About the New Teacher Experience The more you understand how teachers experience their daily work and demands, the more you can be supportive, empathetic and partner with them in supporting your students throughout the school year.
  5. Decorate their Door – Students can come in early or stay after-school to decorate their teachers’ door and express their thanks. Think about including an envelope for “Gotcha” cards—these small cards basically are a way of saying, we “gotcha” you doing something great.
  6. Remember Presentation Goes a Long Way! Take a small gift and pump up its impact with a creative, message on the gift tag. Teachers can always appreciate a thoughtful, fun pun.
  7. Gift them Carry-all Bag Teachers always have new materials, student work, and their own things to bring to school. Give them a really large bag to hold it all!
  8. Keep them Hydrated – Teachers are on their feet and moving around all day long. Give them a cup to keep them cool or warm throughout the year.
  9. Summer Set-up – As the end of the year approaches, teachers are working on report cards, next year’s rosters, summer school prep, and end of the year programs. What teachers are not doing is stocking up on fun items to help them kick back and relax. Putting a few items in a Summer Starter Kit is a great way to help a teacher get a jump start on their summer. 
  10. The Gift of Time- The end of the year generally brings lots of culminating events. Volunteering your time to support field days, class parties, end-of-the-year programs, and room clean-up is a great way to show your appreciation for the time and care your teachers have put into your students all year. There are usually some formalities to be aware of when volunteering, but it’ll be worth the effort!

Since 1984, National PTA has designated one week in May as a special time to honor the men and women who lend their passion and skills to educating our children. Learn more at PTA.org/ThankATeacher.

Cherry Thompson & Catherine Guimaraes are authors for the Teaching Channel, a thriving online community where teachers can watch, share, and learn diverse techniques to help every student grow.

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