10 Easy Ways to Show Your Teacher BIG LOVE for Teacher Appreciation Week

When teacher appreciation week rolls around every May, it is the pick-me-up that most every teacher is craving – whether they realize it or not!  Teaching is often called “a work of heart” or “heart work”, and until I became a teacher myself I didn’t fully understand what that meant.  I have yet to meet a teacher who leaves the building at 3:15 and actually leaves all of their ‘work’ there.  They may leave a stack of papers to grade, or a desk that looks like a cyclone hit it – but their heart is FULL of care and concern –  for all of the hearts they are caring for. It is not a M-F 9 to 5 job that you can clock in and out of…and the idea that teachers have leisurely summers off…is a myth!

Do you have a soon-to-be kindergartener?  Do you teach kindergarten?  Do you know someone who does?  If so – you have got to check out my FREE DOWNLOAD, 10 Things Your Kindergarten Teacher Really Wants You To Know Before They Go. “I laughed through the entire thing – and shouted ‘YES!’ in agreement!  I want to make this a MUST READ for all of my incoming parents!” – Kindergarten Teacher

What is Teacher Appreciation?

Look at the definition of what it means to have “appreciation”:

ap·pre·ci·a·tion

/əˌprēSHēˈāSHən/ :  recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something.  

And now, look at synonyms for “appreciation”

Synonyms:  Valuing.  Respect.  Prizing.  Cherishing.  Treasuring.  Regard.  High Esteem.  

It’s interesting to think of saying, “I value you, teacher” – or “I respect you, teacher”.  Here are some facts about teaching that you don’t REALLY understand until you teach.  

  • You do not make a lot of money.  This is REALLY hard if you are single, or a single income family.
  • You spend a lot of your own money – even if you have great parent and school support.
  • You are a kid wrangler, a judge for what I call “kid court”, a mediator, a counselor, a nurse, a dentist (pulling teeth is my party trick! ;), a comedian, a cheerleader, a friend, and then when you get all of that under control for a minute – you get to teach.
  • We spend our summers planning our rooms, doing professional development that is often required, and working other jobs – to support our teaching habit 

SO…when teachers hear things from parents like, “I value you and what you are doing for my child” – it puts gas in our teacher tanks.  When we hear, “I recognize how hard you are working to grow my child in so many ways, and our family holds you in high esteem.”  MIC.  DROP. 

So, what can you do for teacher appreciation week that will be EASY for you – but still show a LOT of love to your teacher?  Let’s face it – YOU have a LOT going on too!  Here are some examples of things I’ve been lucky enough to receive over my years of teaching kindergarten – maybe they can spark a new idea for you or let you know you are on the right path!

How Can I Say “Thank You” To My Teacher?

Teacher Gifts You Can Make
  1. There is nothing quite like a hand-written note from a child or parent – especially when it says something so fun like, “You Rok Miy Hort”.  Also equally as awesome, is when a parent with a flair for the creative gets involved and helps bring a child’s thoughts to life!  Ask your child to describe their teacher, what their favorite part of the year has been, a funny memory they have, or something similar – and then challenge them to create, write, or draw something that will make their teacher smile from ear to ear!  (Spoiler alertWE WILL!  I have SO many special notes/pictures saved that I have big dreams of putting in large keepsake books.  Never underestimate how much teachers appreciate this appreciation!)  Also – I’m known as my married name, “Mrs. Scott” at my current school.  I didn’t steal someone else’s notes!  

2. Taking it one step further than a teacher appreciation card or note – how about a booklet?  This was one of my favorite things EVER.  I was fortunate enough to spend an entire year as an “aspiring teacher” for my student teaching.  I split my time between a kindergarten and a 2nd grade class.  I fell in LOVE with those kids.  The 2nd graders each wrote a special note to me – and it is one of my most cherished possessions.  If your child’s class has a room-mom, it’s super easy to have each parent print out a template OR use blank paper, and either come up with a prompt for each child like, “I love my teacher because_____”  OR just have them each draw a portrait of their teacher!  Assemble them all and hole-punch the pages into a book and tie with yarn – TA-DAH!  Old school awesome!  IF you wanted to get fancy – bind together, have kinkos spiral bind it together, or heck, staple it!  Your teacher will love it.  (I mean…that portrait of me on the front is CLASSIC!!)  You could do the same thing with just your child! 

Teacher Gifts You Can Make

3. No big surprise here….but I’ve never been upset when I’ve been given some gorgeous flowers!  It’s especially sweet when they’ve really tried to pay attention to what flowers I love the most – I have a thing for “fat flowers!”  Peonies, hydrangeas, and garden grown bunches make me swoon.  Your teacher may have a ‘favorites’ list on file with PTO or by a room parent, or your child may even know!

4. Also a winner – find out what your teacher’s favorite drink or snack is and deliver it mid-day as a surprise!  I have a slight addiction to Sonic.  When a Route 44 diet lime-aide shows up…I might spontaneously burst into a happy dance, tears, or both!  During the pandemic when all things were virtual, I received the most WONDERFUL box of sweets!  I just received a text from a parent with a link to our local coffee shop’s menu.  It said,  “Pick your drink and breakfast – you will have a delivery waiting on you tomorrow morning!”  She said to be sure to ask my student teacher too – SO thoughtful!  One year I had a parent who sent in a box of my favorite Kind bars every few weeks – along with a sticky notes that read, “You are my favorite KIND of teacher”. Find out what your teacher likes – ask your child!

Sentimental Teacher Gifts

5. Anything that somehow captures the year’s class members and is a keepsake!  This particular year, each child put their thumbprint on the tree as an apple, and then put their name beside it.  I LOVE it.  A framed picture of the class with their names signed around the mat or on the back is also a favorite.

6. I have always loved receiving a special canvas, print, wooden sign, or even this PRECIOUS crosspoint! The “Ms. Bolls” signs have traveled with me as I moved schools and even got married.  I will ALWAYS keep them – they are so special to me!  Be sure you have your child’s name somewhere on the back with the school year and grade.  Teacher appreciation from parents is one of the highest compliments we as teachers receive.  Trust me when I say these gifts are always loved and proudly displayed.

Creative and Crafty Teacher Gifts

7. T-shirts, socks, and tumblers – OH MY!   This t-shirt was the sweetest – and these socks crack me up!  (Crazy sock day anyone?)  This tumbler says “Mrs. Scott – Mrs. Scote – Mrs. Scoot”…inside joke about the mispronunciations of my name – and I love it!  Think about your teacher – are they quirky?  Do they have a favorite sports team or color?  Find out and you won’t run out of ideas to perk up their day!  For personalized items – I say check out Etsy!  Something not pictured that I have loved in the past – notepads or stationary that is personalized.  The ideas are endless!

Appreciate Gifts No Teacher Can Resist

8. Got a crafty kid?  CRAFT AWAY!  Got a creative lego lover?  LEGO TIME!  Got a creative thinker?  CREATE!  The day I was gifted this little Lego Mrs. Scott was a happy day indeed!  The boy that made this for me was obsessed with Legos – they were his love language!  This little lady has sat perched on my shelf ever since – and has inspired a new version every year!  This pencil box was made by a future architect – and I cherish it!  The list of 10 things are hilarious and personal and a keeper for sure.  Think about what your child loves – and ask them what their idea of a perfect gift for their teacher would be.  I think of these kiddos every day I look at these – and smile BIG.

These earrings are MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE! This is NOT an ad…but I am telling you – GO NOW to www.gabyandgrace.com.  These earrings are not only beautifully crafted, but they are LIGHT-WEIGHT.  Like…..REALLY light-weight!  They are a small business and I am just in love with them!  CHECK. THEM.  OUT.  (Tell them I sent ya!)

10. Lastly…TAKE YOUR TEACHER AROUND THE WORLD! Ok…this one blew me away.  This would definitely take some planning and the participation of a whole class – but I can tell you your teacher will be gobsmacked and stay jaw-dropped with awe and wonder!  For the 5 days of teacher appreciation week I was greeted by items representing a different country – and each card that accompanied the days made me cry!  The little silver fortune cookie is now by my bed-side table and makes me smile every morning I wake up.  The cup and saucer is now my special “ice-cream eating” cup at home.  The french bread is no longer with us…but was delicious!  The pinata was filled with notes from my kids….and now sits on top of my large cabinet in my classroom.  As you can see the final day prepared me for any beach of my choosing!  The kids brought in the care packages each day and I think had as much fun as I did.  It would be a decision to organize and put together – but your teacher will NEVER forget it!

Hopefully you have MORE than enough ideas to show your teacher how much you appreciate them!  These ideas are super for this special week, but also for birthdays, Christmas, or any other reason you just want to send your teacher an out-of-the-blue smile!  Also important to note:  No teacher will EVER turn down a gift card to Amazon, Target, or Hobby Lobby!

As a kindergarten teacher, if I am given a leaf on the playground – I wear it in my hair.  If I am made a necklace from paperclips and pony beads – I wear it.  I have a bracelet that says “Mrs. Scott” that was made for me during virtual school – I have it on EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Trust me when I say to you…teachers do not do what they do for money, glory, or recognition.  BUT – to feel appreciated is to feel SEEN.  Seen by the people who are our WHY is the very thing that keeps us going.

I would LOVE to know favorite gifts that you’ve either given or received – share in the comments so we can all be inspired!  

Do you have a soon-to-be kindergartener?  Do you teach kindergarten?  Do you know someone who does?  If so – you have got to check out my FREE DOWNLOAD, 10 Things Your Kindergarten Teacher Really Wants You To Know Before They Go. “I laughed through the entire thing – and shouted ‘YES!’ in agreement!  I want to make this a MUST READ for all of my incoming parents!” – Kindergarten Teacher

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