Teacher Appreciation Day/Week

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by Cathy Abraham

Teacher Appreciation Week is a week long celebration in the United States observed the first full week in May. Teacher Appreciation Day is the Tuesday that falls during Teacher Appreciation Week. There are many ways that you can show appreciation to your staff.

Teacher Appreciation Ideas

  • Have a teacher Spa Day (with parent volunteers that do hair, nails, facials, massages, etc., if possible)
  • Put together a class-made thank you book
  • Give goody baskets (each child/family can bring in a small item)
  • Wash the teachers' cars in the parking lot
  • Frame teacher poem(s)
  • Appreciation plaques
  • Memory book/scrapbook with each child/family contributing a page
  • Certificates (appreciation, longevity, achievements, etc.)
  • Bulletin board with each teacher having a 'flower' /blank 'petals' for parents to write compliments on
  • Teacher pins or service-length pins
  • Have a breakfast or luncheon (with parents &/or children cooking)
  • Gifts or gift certificates (possibly donated by local businesses)
  • A home-cooked "take out" meal provided for each teacher's family
  • Books purchased for the classroom in honor of that teacher (with bookplate/dedication inside)
  • Send flowers
  • Bring in cake, cookies, or treats
  • Make-over of the staff lounge by parent volunteers (painting, new curtains, etc.)
  • Parent volunteers sign up to assist in the class each day of the week
  • Nomination for a teacher award (Disney's American Teacher Award, Scholastic, local PBS station-sponsored, etc.)
  • Personal thank-you notes or letters
  • Engraved professional nameplates or business cards
  • Posterboard for each teacher (with marker attached) for children and parents to write notes and sign
  • Buy or make corsages for each teacher
  • Create a bulletin board with "The Many Hats a Teacher Wears"
  • Bring in a massage therapist to do 15-minute "Chair Massages"
  • Have a "Hug a Teacher" Day
  • Write a Letter to the Editor of your newspaper
  • Ask local businesses to offer a discount on purchases to teachers in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week
  • Create a staff "kudos" board, where recent achievements are posted
  • Invite the mayor or a newspaper reporter to spend the day in a classroom; Ask the Mayor to Proclaim Teacher Appreciation Day
  • Contact the local newspaper and see if they are going to be running a special section of ads or stories saluting teachers; Send a press release
  • Do a dictation chart with children on what they like/love about their teacher, recording their comments (to be given to that staff member)
  • Give each child in the classroom a square of material to decorate, to be sewn together to make a classroom quilt
  • E-mail teachers a card or note
  • Make a thank you card that looks like a "report card", "grading" the teacher in several areas (Makes learning fun, etc.)
  • Have interested parents spearhead a committee to do all of the planning and decide on the events for Teacher Appreciation Week
  • Have a picnic, BBQ, or potluck
  • Have a day with a parent volunteer "Mr Fix It" at the teachers disposal to do any classroom or equipment repairs
  • Make a classroom children's fabric-painted handprint project (apron/ totebag/ t-shirt, sweatshirt, etc.) as a gift
  • Bring in bagels or donuts for breakfast
  • Have co-workers/parents write "Pats on the Back" (paper handprints) then tape them to the teachers' backs (to be read at the end of the day)
  • Have children plant a tree or a bush dedicated to the teaching staff
  • Have several local businesses "adopt" a teacher, displaying a picture of that teacher with notes and pictures from children and parents
  • Start or expand upon a fund for staff to attend workshops or conferences. Encourage parents to donate in a teacher's honor.
  • Make a teacher name plaque or small wall decoration with a phrase about teaching. Wooden apples and "chalkboards" can be purchased at craft stores, then painted and personalized.
  • Have each classroom create a "Wish List" of items to be donated
  • At the end of the week, put all of the names of the teachers in for a drawing for a larger prize item/gift, or have a "White Elephant" trade.
  • Have parents see if their employers sponsor grants for equipment or training of the childcare providers of employees
  • Put a poem about teaching in the center of a large piece of posterboard. Put a handprint of each child around it.
  • Make "Teacher Survival Kits" (A Rubberband: to remind you to be flexible; A Lifesaver: for all you do; Kisses: to remind you that you are loved; $1000 Bar: what you are really worth; An emery board: when things get a little rough; A penny: for your thoughts; A puzzle piece: without you, things are not complete; Trial-size Calgon: to "take you away"; A crayon: to color your day; Some marbles: to replace the ones you may have lost; A Mounds: for the mounds of stuff you teach; A gold star: you're a star, etc.)

Sources for Teacher Gifts

Teacher Appreciation E-cards

Fun Staff Recognition Gifts

  • Magnifying Glass - "The closer I look, the more learning I see in your classroom"; or "Thank you for looking for the best in each child"
  • Hand Mirror - "You're looking at an exceptional teacher"
  • Globe - "World's best story teller (transition queen, student teacher, event organizer, bulletin board-maker, story teller, etc.)
  • Triple photo frame - "Morning, noon and night, you are always at your best."; or "MORNING, NOON AND NIGHT, I can always count on you."
  • Kaleidoscope - "Thanks for staying flexible while our center is ever changing"
  • Prism - "Your teaching style has many facets"
  • Fun Dough - "Thanks for having such a FUN room!"
  • Nail File - "Thanks for making such a smooth transition into fall"
  • Movie Rental Gift Cards - "Your room is a hit with children"
  • Starbucks Gift Cards - "Your room is Star-Studded with great teaching ideas"
  • McDonald Gift Cards - "Your room is full of Super Sized Learning!"
  • Word Search Books - "Thanks for always searching for ways to improve your room, teaching style, etc."

More Staff Fun/"Pun" Treats

  • Peanuts - "We know this week was NUTTY, thanks for not crackin."
  • Lifesavers - "Your help with (fill in blank) was a real LIFESAVER."
  • Flipz Pretzels - "We really FLIPZ over your (fill in blank)."
  • Seed Packets - "Have a BLOOMIN good day."
  • Magnets - "Your (room, board etc.) is so ATTRACTIVE."
  • 100 Grand Candy Bar - "You're worth even more to us."
  • Mints - "You are worth a MINT to us."
  • Candles - "Thanks for LIGHTING UP the lives of the children."
  • Extra Gum - "Thanks for going the EXTRA mile."
  • Extra Gum - "You deserve an EXTRA break." Attach an extra 15 minute break coupon.
  • Potpourri - "Your room is SCENTsational."
  • Chocolate Eggs - "You are EGGstra special."
  • Chocolate Hearts - "You are the HEART of our program."
  • Milky Way Candy Bars - "You are out of this world."
  • Bowling Pass - "You BOWLED us over with your (fill in blank)."
  • Forget-me-knot seed packet - "You are an unforgettable teacher."