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When it comes to teacher appreciation, many parents are racking their brains to come up with a good idea to celebrate the one week of the year when teachers get all the recognition for their hard work.

After all, they play a significant role in raising our children, providing them with the education, skills, and socialization they need to succeed in life, on top of everything we offer at home. Whether you’re the proud parent of a kindergartener or a high school student looking to find the perfect idea for your favorite teacher, we’ve got you covered.

These ten excellent ways to celebrate teacher appreciation week will be the perfect way to give back a little love to those hard-working teachers in your life. Read on to find out more:

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1. Give a meaningful gift

For teachers, every appreciation week will bring them countless gifts that aren’t actually all that meaningful. Whether it’s a generic ‘thank you teacher’ mug or one of the numerous cards available with a quick scribble inside, there isn’t much meaning put into that present. Instead, work with your child to find a meaningful gift their teacher will love instead of something they could have received from other students. Whether it’s a new cactus to replace one that looks worn out on their windowsill, or a new edition of their favorite book, choosing a meaningful gift will show how much you care.

2. Write a heartfelt letter

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but words can mean a lot to teachers. Helping younger children write their names and draw a picture alongside a sweet note from you as their parent can be a wonderful gift for appreciation week. Older children and teenagers can create a letter themselves. Make sure it’s personal and relevant to what they’ve learned or achieved in class. A mug might last a semester, but a hand-written, heartfelt letter will stay with that teacher for life.

3. Create something different

In a similar vein to writing an excellent heartfelt letter for a teacher, helping your child to create something they can give to them that’s personal is just as beautiful. Don’t think big; instead, make something small that the teacher can keep around the classroom without worrying about it being broken or too big to fit. Air-drying clay is an excellent choice for this. Maybe their teacher has a favorite animal, a beloved book character, or even a class pet. Creating that as a gift can be an excellent way to be creative and help your child appreciate their teacher more.

4. Work with other students for a greater gift

Want to go big? For students looking to purchase something significant for teacher appreciation week, banding together as a group – or a whole class – offers that opportunity. Instead of lots of little gifts, one meaningful gift is an excellent way to show how appreciative you are without anyone breaking the bank.

5. Create a ‘Thank You’ book

Similarly to working together to purchase a gift, a class ‘thank you’ book is an excellent way to collect appreciation from all students and present it as one thoughtful gift. Handmade books created from a scrapbook, or even a neatly-created online thank you book, are perfect for teachers – as they can easily keep them in the classroom. Filled with pictures, letters, and drawings, a thank-you book can be the perfect reminder or something a teacher can look back on for years.

6. Go with cash or card

Unfortunately, teaching isn’t one of the professions that pay big bucks. In addition to the hours spent in the classroom, teachers spend stretches of unpaid overtime preparing each day and purchasing resources for their class. While it may seem a little crass, most teachers would appreciate the gift of a card or cash they can use to treat themselves. Some ideas include:

  • Coffee shops
  • Restaurants
  • Local Stores
  • Spas

These could be excellent ideas to show appreciation and offer them a little ‘me’ time outside their busy classroom. It’s Always Autumn even has some fun ways to hand out those cards in a less clinical fashion.

7. Design something related to their work

Perhaps your child has spent much of the year talking about Romeo and Juliet, or you know their teacher has a particular love for dogs or cats. Creating a themed gift can be a great, personal way to show your appreciation, from creating a hand-drawn cover for a brand-new copy of their favorite in-class book to giving them a plush of their absolute favorite animal, complete with a custom adoption certificate made by hand. Stick to a theme they love, and you’ll surely be on to a winner.

8. Don’t leave the thanks to the parents

Teachers are the ones that are there for our children throughout the school day, but it’s just as crucial for the administration of a school to be thankful towards their staff as it is for us to be grateful to our children’s educators. Whether it’s a special lunch, an announcement in school, or a gift for every teacher, administrators should remember to reward their employees for all their hard work throughout the year.

9. Pick up something tasty that lasts

It can be tempting to immediately go to cake and cookies when it comes to perishable gifts, but opting for foodstuff that lasts a little longer is the best call for teaching appreciation day. Not only does this mean that the food will last, but it can even be used in the classroom later in the year. Bags of individually-wrapped candy or chocolates are always the right choice when sharing the love around a little.

10. Help deck out their classroom

Whether it’s clubbing together to split the cost of a new activity table, giving a stationary store gift card, or simply providing a fund for classroom supplies for use by the teacher, showing your appreciation can be as easy as covering some of those costs. With many teachers using their cash to pay for supplies in the classroom, this investment will be most welcome – and it shows you care about what they do and how they do it.

What is the most meaningful way to celebrate teacher appreciation day? Perhaps you’ve brought the perfect gift, or you have the best idea for what you’re getting your child’s teacher.