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Teacher Appreciation Week

May is an excellent time to celebrate our teachers. We’re rapidly approaching the end of the school year. Our teachers and students have spent a lot of time together! Teachers have worked hard all year to educate and prepare students for the future. While the fruits of their labor will be realized when their students go on to do great things, it’s also always nice to let them know how much we appreciate their hard work.

Teacher Appreciation Week

When is Teacher Appreciation Week? 

Teacher Appreciation Week is celebrated the first full week of May. That’s not to say that we can’t appreciate our teachers throughout the year, but it is pretty special to devote an entire week to the celebration. That gives an opportunity for schools, school boards, principals, support staff, parents, and students, to share their thanks for the contributions that teachers make to their success.

What is Teacher Appreciation Week?

The answer is simple - It’s an entire week long opportunity to show teachers just how much they are valued by their community! Are you unsure what to do for Teacher Appreciation Week? We’ve rounded up some ideas for what to do to celebrate, and - if you want to give them a gift - what to give teachers for teacher appreciation.

Teacher Appreciation Video

Naturally, the first in our list of teacher appreciation ideas is making a Group Video from Memento!  You can easily get together with the other parents to come up with video ideas for Teacher Appreciation Week. Some of our ideas, based on our experiences as both students and parents, are:

woman watching video of child

Favorite Things

Ask your child to think of their favorite lesson they’ve learned from their teacher, or the favorite part of the way their teacher helps them learn, a favorite memory from class or a favorite thing that their teacher says. 

Thank You

Speaking from your perspective as parents, wish the teacher a Happy Teacher Appreciation Week, pass on messages of support and gratitude, and thank them for something specific that their child has learned, or some what they you’ve seen your child grow and under their guidance.

Best Memories

Former students - those who have graduated out of the teacher’s class - may also want to share thank you messages for teachers that have inspired them, that have given them the special guidance, advice, or attention that made a significant difference in their life.

Unsure what to say in a video thank you to teachers? We’ve found some inspiration for you. Try including a well-known quote in your teacher appreciation messages! 

10 of Our Favorite Teacher Appreciation Quotes:

  1. “Education is improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.” - Margaret Wright Edelman
  2. “Education is not the filling of a pot, but the lighting of a fire.” - W.B. Yeats
  3. “Teachers affect eternity; no one can tell where their influence stops.” - Henry Brooks Adams
  4. “The function of education is to teach one to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.” - Martin Luther King Jr.
  5. “Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is better.” - Bob Talbert
  6. "Nine-tenths of education is encouragement." - Anatole France
  7. “Treat people as if they were the way they ought to be and you help them become what they are capable of becoming.” - Goethe
  8. "The best teachers are those who show you where to look but don’t tell you what to see." - Alexandra K. Trenfor
  9. “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” - Malala Yousafzai
  10. "Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today." - Malcolm X

Teacher Appreciation Gifts

Perhaps you’d like to give the Teacher a gift - either on its own, or to accompany a group video. As always, our absolute best advice is to try to make a gift for a teacher as personalized as possible. Plus, before you buy anything, it’s great if you have the ability to check in with others in the community to make sure you aren’t all giving the teacher the same thing! Is there such a thing as too much chocolate though? I don’t think so, but others might have different opinions! 

Here are some of our top suggestions for teacher gifts:

Gift Cards - If you’re looking for teacher appreciation week gift ideas, gift cards are an excellent go-to solution. They’re a great choice when you aren’t sure of someone’s interests, or if - like many of us - your child has spent most of the year learning remotely. Teachers can pick out their favorite wine, or chocolates, with gift cards to specialty wine or grocery stores. If you know a little bit about the teacher, you can get them more specific - a gift card from a home reno store, for those teachers who like a little DIY; or maybe a gift card to a masseuse, manicurist, or a spa; or you can support your local small business! Local businesses and restaurants often support schools in many ways, so purchasing a gift card from one of them is a great way to complete that circle of giving. 

plant with world's best teacher sign

Flowers or Plants - A bouquet of beautiful seasonal flowers can be a lovely surprise - though the lifespan of cut flowers can be quite short. A potted plant is always a lovely alternative! Depending on the pot, a plant is something that they can hang in their classroom and nurture over time, or bring home for their porch, or even to plant in their garden. Depending on the plant, you may even be able to replant trimmings so it can become the gift that keeps on giving!

Personalized Stationery or Classroom stuff - Teachers go through a lot of stationery! Practical, personalized stationery or gifts they can use in the classroom are great teacher appreciation week ideas. Personalization also helps prevent their items from going walk-about into other people’s desks! 

Journal or a Good Book - If you know your teacher’s taste in books, literature can be a great gift!  You may also gift them books for the classroom, or even your favorite book! Journals or planners are also often useful gifts in the same way that stationery can be.

A Handmade Gift from their Student - Handmade gifts are so heartfelt and always appreciated. If your child wants to spend the time and effort to create something special for their teacher, give them your help and guidance. Perhaps it’s a photo frame to display on their desk. Or a painting that you can help them frame. Encourage them to make a homemade card to give with the gift that has a thank you teachers quote inside. It’s definitely the thought that counts.

several bottles of wine

Wine - Unlike plants, it’s nearly impossible to give someone too much wine! If you know the teacher’s preference, try to choose the type that they prefer - white, red, rosé, dry, sparkling. There are so many options - try to pick the one that you know they’ll love. 

A Thank You Note - A heartfelt, handwritten card of thanks can go a long way! For the greatest impact, your thank you teacher messages should always include specific examples of what they’ve done to positively impact your child - so that there’s genuine thoughtfulness in the gift and sincere appreciation for all that they do!

Teacher appreciation gifts don’t have to be saved for Teacher Appreciation Week! Recognizing the hard work that our teachers do is a year-round activity! You can also send a “thank you teachers” note or group video at Christmas, or during a heavy marking period where they’re often working very long days and weekends. If you know a teacher who is going through a hard time, or having a particularly stressful day, sharing your appreciation and gratitude might just make all the difference in the world for them!