Teachers play an incredible role in shaping the lives of our children – they teach the younger members of our society lots of valuable information and life lessons. Teachers see the potential in every child and work hard to bring out the best in that child’s life and work selflessly to instill lifelong lessons in their students. Teacher Appreciation Week was created to show respect to these exceptional people, although their hard work should be acknowledged year-round.
When and What is Teacher Appreciation Week?
Understanding the importance of recognizing teachers for their extremely selfless work, Congress declared March 7, 1980 as National Teachers Day. The National Education Association continued to observe National Teacher Day on the first Tuesday of May, until 1984 when Teacher’s appreciation week was established by the National PTA. Now, this celebration takes place throughout the first week in May each year.
Thoughtful Gift Ideas to Gives for Teacher Appreciation Week
Dedicating so much of their time and effort, teachers deserve a lot of gratitude from children, parents, and other members of society. There are plenty of ways to acknowledge their hard work.
Thank You Gifts from Parents
- A Personal Story
One of the sincerest ways to let a teacher know how much you care is by giving them evidence of how they have impacted your child. A story about how something they learned in class translated to the real world can remind them just how impactful their job can be. As California teacher Jennifer Wolfe says, “For Teacher Appreciation Week, I’d love to know what they tell you about our class and their learning ‒ it would really make me smile.”
Handwritten notes or visits from former students talking about what they remember from their class, or how it has helped them in life, can be extremely heartwarming. “For teachers, seeing our students growing up and turning into happy humans is all the appreciation we need,” explains Wolfe.
- Volunteering Your Time
Teachers love having more time to get what needs to be done completed. Whether it’s an hour of your time to help them set up for a new craft, or help cleaning up once the day is over, more time in the day is one of the best gifts you can give. This extra time will allow them to make parent phone calls and set up better lesson plans for the coming weeks, helping them feel like a better teacher in the end.
- A Social Thank You
Showing your appreciation for your child’s teacher on social media can be a great way to give them a quick shout of gratitude. Not only will the teacher see the thoughtful note, but this will show kids how important their teachers are and that its okay to publicly thank them. This can be done on PTA Pinterest boards, Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram.
- Coffee & Tea Accessories
Such hard work warrants quite a bit of caffeine to keep moving. A monogrammed coffee mug can be a great addition to a teacher’s desk, making them feel special and appreciated. In addition, a cup warmer can help keep their cup of coffee or tea hot throughout the day. A gift card for a few cups of coffee can also be a great reminder of how much their hard work is appreciated.
- Journals & Writing Utensils
Teachers are always coming up with great ideas on how to teach their kids in new and innovative ways. A journal and pen may seem like a small token of thanks, but when they have lots of ideas roaming around in their heads, they need somewhere to keep all of them safe. A personalized notebook and pen can make a teacher feel special as they plan out your child’s next discoveries.
Thank You Gifts from the School Board & Administrators
Teacher’s Appreciation Week is a time to remind the teachers in our community how much we notice the long hours, and difficult, yet significant work they do. They aren’t looking for expensive, fancy gifts, they just want to know their hard work is truly making a difference in the world. Here we’ve rounded up a couple of ideas for fun items that you can give as gifts, personalized with your school’s name or mantra.