A Week of Teacher Appreciation Ideas

In the course of one day, our children’s teachers are not only their educators; they are their cheerleaders, their defenders, their nurse, their coach, their psychologists, their activists and their friend. Most importantly, teachers are our children’s mentors and role models; the person who has the potential to be one of the most influential individuals in our child’s lives.

One thing’s for sure: Teachers deserve mountains of appreciation. 

Most schools have one week a year, typically in the spring, when the students and parents can shower our teachers and school staff members with adoration and thanksgiving. Teacher Appreciation Week is a fun time to get kids involved with expressing gratitude. Some schools assign a theme to each day of the week so that everyone is consistent, such as bring a flower for your teacher on Monday and a candy treat on Tuesday. In that vane, we’ve come up with a week-long list of ideas to acknowledge the hard work of our wonderful teachers, all of which you can tailor to how simple or detailed you’d like your gifts to be.

MONDAY: Focus on Flowers

Flowers are super easy because even a single bloom is pretty enough for a thoughtful gift, yet it can be as extravagant as you’d like. Here are a few great ideas that we love:

Thanks for Helping Me Grow

Fill a watering can or any other cute flower container with beautiful blooms. Make a little sign that reads “Thanks for Helping Me Grow” and attach it to a stick or wooden ruler and place it in the plant. 

Seeds of Knowledge

Attach a packet of wildflower or vegetable seeds to a pair of garden gloves. Tie a bow around it with a note that reads “Teachers Plant Seeds of Knowledge”. This is such an adorable yet inexpensive, simple gift; perfect for a last-minute idea to give to many people at school.

Fingerprints Flowerpot

A great way to involve the whole class for a group gift is to have each child stamp their fingerprint or hand print on a pot and decorate it. This takes a little more thought and work, but the end result can be a gift that the teacher will cherish for a lifetime. Don’t forget to fill it with a pretty plant or flower.

Tuesday: Gotta Have Gift Cards

Gift cards are such a popular choice because it lets the receiver pick out what they’d like or need, however it can seem a tad impersonal at times. Here are some ideas to help put some thoughtfulness into gifting a gift card.

  • School Supply Store: This may be the crème de la crème of gift cards for a school teacher because there is always a need for classroom supplies, yet never enough in the budget to allow for all that might be needed. A gift card to a school supply store will help save the teacher from spending his or her own money to get what is desired for a perfect classroom.
  • Craft Store: Similar to the school supply store, a craft store is a great option for a gift card for your child’s teacher. A craft store is like a candy store for a teacher, with endless choices for fun activities for your teacher to use in the classroom. A gift card to a school supply store or to a craft store is really, in turn, a gift back to your own child.
  • Coffee Shop: Stopping by a coffee shop on the way to work is a treat that few can afford on a teacher’s salary. Give your favorite teacher the chance to have a special start to their day by allowing them the chance to indulge. Add on a few extra dollars to throw in a muffin for good measure. This card can be presented in a mug or with a bag of coffee tied with a ribbon and a tag that reads “Thanks a LATTE for Being my Teacher”.
  • Restaurant: Wine and dine your teacher by footing the bill for their lunch or dinner. Play detective to find out his or her favorite restaurants or kinds of food. 
  • Movie: A gift card to a movie theatre is a great way to help your teacher wind down after a busy school week. Want to make it more affordable? Purchase a gift to RedBox, allowing him or her to drop by on the way home from school to rent a movie. Tie this gift card around a bag of popcorn or a box of movie theatre candy for a sweet presentation.

Wednesday: Cards from the Heart

Have your child express their gratitude by putting pen to paper, writing a letter to their teachers highlighting what they love most about them. For the younger aged child, they can draw a picture of themselves with their teacher and you can assist with the writing.

Another sweet idea is to spell out the teacher’s name vertically on the left side of a piece of paper and use the letters to describe what makes them special.

M.  Makes me laugh
R.   Reads to us
S.    Sings silly songs
S.   Smart and spectacular
M.  Makes me feel special
I.    Is awesome
T.   Tells great stories
H.  Helps me with my schoolwork

This personalized message can be presented on a clip board. To make the board extra blingy, you can bedazzle it by simply hot gluing jewels and crystals to the metal clip. This will give your teacher a one-of-a-kind piece of art that she will cherish for years to come.

THURSDAY: A Case for Classroom Supplies

Ask any teacher and she (or he) will tell you that there is always a need for classroom supplies. From Sharpies to Post-it Notes, the needs are endless. Set one day of Teacher Appreciation Week aside to devote to stocking up on classroom necessities. Here is a list of items your child’s teacher would love to have an overflow of
  • Pencils
  • Glue sticks
  • Scotch tape
  • Notebook and construction paper (depending on what grade it’s for)
  • Clorox wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Boxes of Kleenex
  • Paper towels
  • Crayons and markers
Want an awesome way to present the supplies while showcasing your craftiness? Make a supply cake out of these items.  Think diaper cake-meets-crayons. We found a perfect example here. You just can’t get any cuter than this. 

FRIDAY: Radical Relaxation

Help your teacher de-stress by treating him or her to gifts that enhance relaxation. One thoughtful idea is to have all the students in the class bring in items to add to a weekend bag.

If it’s spring or summertime, think lounging poolside: Throw some supplies such as magazines, books, towels, sunscreen, sunglasses and candy in a tote. Add in a cup and some tea bags for an ideal day in the sun.

For more of a winter kit, put together some hot cocoa or tea with a mug and some magazines or books so your teacher can relax fireside. You could even throw in some slippers or a blanket to keep your teacher feeling extra cozy.

Be sure to remember the supporting staff of the school too: The front office staff who serve the role of secretary, school nurse, greeter and deliverer. The custodians, who work feverishly to keep the school clean and safe. The principal and vice principals, who hold the faculty and staff together, as well as act as Chief Champions for our Children. It takes a village to run a successful, well-rounded school, so let’s be sure to praise all the hands and hearts who contribute to our child’s futures.

How does your child’s school celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week? Let us know if we left any must-give gift off our list. We’d particularly love to hear from teachers and see what they most like receiving.

For more ways to get your kids in the giving spirit, check out Fostering Grateful Children in a Me, Me, Me World.

Photo Credits: Melissa Wistehuff

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Melissa Wistehuff

Melissa lives in North Carolina with her husband, three children and two cats. When she is not acting as a taxi driver or roaming the aisles of Target, she enjoys hot tea, spending time with girlfriends and family movie nights. She is constantly on the search for all things good, as showcased on her website. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter .

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