Teacher Appreciation Week is the first full week in May. When I was teaching, I really appreciated the little gifts, gestures and words of kindness during this week. Here are eight thoughtful teacher appreciation week ideas. These small gestures will help you thank a teacher for all of their hard work.
# 1 A Flower From Each Child
It’s nice to ask kids to bring a flower (from a shop or their own yard) and assemble a beautiful flower bouquet. Put the flowers in a vase with a card to surprise the teacher.
# 2 A Week of Puns
During Teacher Appreciation Week, it’s fun to receive a small gift in your teacher’s box. Attach a funny pun note to the gift and you are bound to see some smiles. Here are a few ideas:
A Kind Bar: “You are so Kind”
Extra Gum: “Thanks for going the Extra mile”
Duck Crackers: “We’re so Ducky to Have You”
Tea: “You’re our cup of Tea”
Pencil and Sharpener: “You’re Sharp”
# 3 A Luncheon
After a morning of teaching kids and teens, educators are likely to have worked up an appetite. You can set up the teacher’s lounge with a tablecloth, floral centerpiece and a light lunch (like a sub sandwich) and salad. If your PTO/PTA is on a tighter budget, consider a cake or cupcakes.
# 4 A Card from the Class
Purchase a giant card and have students write a message and sign the card. You can also take a big poster board or create a photo card.
# 5 Gift Cards to a Teaching Supply Store
Most teachers I know purchase teaching supplies with their own money. Gift cards were always one of my favorite gifts. While some teachers like coffee, a gift card to a teaching supply store is something almost any teacher would use. They can use it to purchase things like board games, pocket charts and science experiement supplies that their school might not provide. Lakeshore Learning Center is one well-known store or get a gift card to your local teaching supply store.
# 6 A Really Great Book
I love books and I hope all teachers do. I have plenty of picture books, chapter books, anthologies and books of poetry that I treasure. When picking up a special book for a teacher, you might want to consider his or her grade level. Another idea is to pick up an anniversary edition or a treasury of poetry. A classic like The Giving Tree or a Caldecott honor book are two other ideas. You could also purchase a gift card to a local book store.
# 7 Something From Their Wish List
Many teachers have wish lists. Look for one of the more exciting items (fun stickers or art supplies) to purchase. At the beginning of the year, it’s a nice gesture to ask a teacher if there are any supplies he/she needs.
# 8 Help Out in the Classroom
One thing teachers need more of is time. Offer to volunteer in the classroom or prepare a project for the teacher at home. Laminating, putting up bulletin boards or helping the students are a few other ways to help.
These Teacher Appreciation Week ideas will help educators feel special. Of course, you can use these ideas any time throughout the year! On a final note, helping your kids with homework and making sure they are prepared for school are two of the best gifts a parent can give a teacher.
More from Melissa:
Teacher Turnover: Why Do Educators Leave?
Five Myths About Teachers
5 Characteristics of Good Elementary Schools (and How to Spot Bad Ones)