Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Teacher Appreciation Week

Coloring in a thank you card for a teacher at school. (Photos by Jasmin Thankachen)

Teacher appreciation: ideas for expressing your thanks

Let's acknowledge the people who do this important and challenging work.

The end of the school year as well as  Teacher Appreciation Week in May are both great times to thank your child’s teacher for taking on the enormous task of tending to a classroom full of students. Whether online on in-person, teachers have been through a lot these past few years and continue to do an amazing job teaching and nurturing children. They deserve all the praise. Educating kids can be difficult and yet they do it with kindness, love and genuine interest.

Here are some ideas for how to show your appreciation. (Tip: Acknowledge educators throughout the year and not just during Teacher Appreciation Week.)

Find their favorites

I recently found out that our school keeps a form for each teacher that lists things that the teacher likes, dislikes, favorite colors, coffee, gift cards and even their biggest needs in the classroom. You can put together a basket or divvy up their favorites with other families in the class to give them something over the week. Ask your front office and see if something like this exists. If not, make one up for teachers to fill out for next year.

Teacher Appreciation DayWrite a note

Share your words of appreciation and support and let your teacher know that you care through a handwritten note from the parent and/or the child. Share a funny moment or a touching memory to make it even more personal. Are your kids too young to write or have a difficult time writing? Draw pictures and make cards at home. Most teachers save these notes/cards and read them year after year.

Buy a gift card

Know that your child’s teacher loves coffee or likes to shop at a favorite store? Maybe a favorite takeout place? Purchase a gift card or prepaid credit card. Email it to your teacher if you are in a remote-learning environment.

Make a wish (list) come true

Many teachers have wish lists for classroom supplies and books. Find out what they would like and make the purchase for them.

Get crafty!

There are so many cute ideas out there to show you that you care. Package flower seeds with a note that says, “Thank you for making me grow” or put together a teacher survival kit with some afternoon pick-me-up snacks and drinks. Have your kids design a part of the package and sign their names.

Plants and flowers

It’s spring and a lovely time to gift fresh tulips or potted plants. Put your own bouquet together or choose from an assortment at a local florist. Be sure to check in about any allergies.

Want to make it easy for a teacher who doesn’t have the greenest thumb? Think about gifting succulents or air plants in small terrariums.

Get baking or offer other treats

If you and your child love to cook, make a batch of your favorite cookies, quick bread, or chocolate-dipped strawberries to share. Check in with your teacher about allergies and how comfortable they are accepting food from families.

Create a basket

Baskets are fun to make and can offer the recipient lots of choices. Make a “relaxation basket” with soaps, bath bombs, masks, bubbles and more. Another fun idea is to make a picnic basket or a box of things they might not have tried, like snacks or candies from a different country.

Dinner = done!

After writing lesson plans and grading papers, having dinner taken care of would be a treat! Provide a meal-prep kit from your local grocery store, create one using your favorite recipe or buy from one of many meal and meal-kit delivery services.

Show off your (child’s) talents

Create a video with your child playing her favorite song for her teacher, write or recite a favorite poem or make up a play that will make your teacher laugh. Gather videos from classmates and create a performance montage!

Whatever you choose to do, offering words or actions of appreciation during Teacher Appreciation Week will go a long way to show how much you care. Have fun with it!


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About the Author

Jasmin Thankachen

Jasmin is the Associate Publisher at Seattle's Child and an Eastside mom of two boys. She enjoys parenting with lots of love and laughter. Co-Founder of PopUp StoryWalk, she also loves children's picture books, essay writing, and community stories.