Teachers play a vital part in providing children with the foundations for their lives in the future. School offers a great deal of opportunity for students to develop and improve themselves beyond what they learn at home; both academically and socially. But when it comes to getting that recognition for contributing to the lives of the children we teach, it can sometimes feel a little lacking.

That’s why for many teachers, teacher appreciation day is an important event in the calendar; with students and parents showing how much we care about all we’ve done for their families.

But if you’re a parent that’s struggling to find the right gift or plan out the right message, teacher appreciation week can be something that you dread. This guide takes a closer look at what teachers do for our children in each stage of their education, and precisely what we should be thanking them for. Parenting might also be thankless at times – but by spreading the love around a little, we might get some back our way too.

Coming up with the right words and the perfect thank-you to express all teachers mean to your children doesn’t have to be complicated. With these ideas and insights, we provide you with some excellent examples of how you can thank your child’s favorite teacher without going overboard or being a little underwhelming. A card can mean a lot more than a generic present, especially if time and effort are put into creating something that has serious meanings. After all, one person can only have so many mugs or boxes of chocolate without it losing that sense of specialness.

Read on to discover what you should be writing (or encouraging your child to write) in a card or letter for teacher appreciation day:

Daycare and Preschool Teachers

While some parents don’t consider daycare staff teachers as such, they are still valuable sources of knowledge that your child learns from every single day. At preschool and daycare age, your child is developing quickly and becoming their own person. From learning to read and write to exercising those fine motor skills, it’s during this period that excellent teaching can make a difference.

Teaching isn’t just about book work, after all. It’s about providing children with the tools to grow and flourish both at home and in the classroom. Instilling them with enthusiasm and a passion for learning and exploring.

Here are a few examples of phrasing you could use when creating a well-meaning message for a daycare or preschool teacher:

  • Thank you for working hard to create an educational and fun environment for [CHILD]
  • I can leave [CHILD] with you each day knowing he will be safe and cared for – something that means so much to us as a family
  • The hard work you do isn’t unnoticed by us – we appreciate all you do for [CHILD] every day
  • Thank you for being there in the hard times and the happy times – it means a lot to us, and to [CHILD] in particular

Kindergarten Teachers

Once your child has entered ‘big school,’ their real education can begin. Kindergarten teachers are vital to that process, working hard to help children adapt to a classroom setting and enjoy learning in so many different ways. These teachers are the first port of call when it comes to managing early learning, and they support children in becoming more independent and understanding the world around them to a greater degree.

In short, Kindergarten teachers to far more than just teaching. At such an impressionable age, children are also taught morals, manners, and behavior in the classroom just as much as they are at home. A great teacher can help make that process smooth sailing, and your child will soon be growing up before your eyes.

Some great examples of what you could write to your child’s kindergarten teacher include:

  • Because of your efforts as such as wonderful kindergarten teacher, [CHILD] can’t wait to go to school every day. Thank you for giving our child the will to learn and the ability to enjoy the world that little bit more each day.
  • Thank you for the incredible patience and kindness you’ve shown towards [CHILD]. Under your supervision, they have flourished from a shy child into a confident kindergartener. We can’t thank you enough.
  • [CHILD] learns something new every day and comes home from class excited to learn more. Thanks to your input, our child is more enthusiastic about understanding the world than ever before.
  • You know it’s not just the children that need handholding – it’s the parents too. Thank you for all the support you’ve offered to our family, and to [CHILD] in particular.

Elementary Teachers

Your child is no longer your little one anymore; they’re now a fully fledged schoolkid. But when it comes to educating children on more than their A-B-Cs, elementary teachers have their work cut out to make sure all their students succeed and learn to love the subjects they teach. Notoriously overworked and underappreciated teachers, in particular, will love the opportunity to be thanked for all the hard work they do.

One advantage of older children is there’s no longer the requirement to create heartfelt letters by yourself. Instead, you can work with your child to create something significant their teachers will love.

Directly from the students they teach day-in, day-out. Here are just a few examples:

  • Thank you, [TEACHER], for taking the time to help me when I struggled in school. You are my favorite teacher, and I am happy I am in your class.
  • With your help, I have been able to learn more about [SUBJECT]. Because of you, this is now my favorite subject, and I am excited to learn more.
  • I have learned so much from you, [TEACHER]. Thank you for giving me time to learn about all the interesting things, and not too much of the boring stuff too!
  • You make being in school fun. Thank you for being the best teacher ever [TEACHER].

High School Teachers

The final phase of your child’s education, high school, is when everything comes to a head. This is when tests really matter, college is looming and everything gets a bit muddled thanks to a good dose of teenage hormones and angst. For many high school teachers, getting students to maintain an interest in a subject can be a challenge – but for those that succeed, the results can be more than rewarding.

At this point, students will have more than one teacher; with different educators for many subjects, teenagers get the chance to connect with subjects they’re truly enthusiastic about. For high school teachers that make the wider world a bit more interesting, extra praise and appreciation are well-deserved.

Here are a few examples of messages your teenager can write to show their appreciation to their favorite teachers:

  • Thanks to your passion and enthusiasm for [SUBJECT], I’ve fallen in love with it also. Thank you for inspiring me and encouraging me to better myself every day.
  • Thank you for supporting me through the good times and the bad. You’ve shown me that with motivation, I’m capable of anything. That’s down to you, [TEACHER].
  • Learning is rarely fun, but you make me actually enjoy the time in your classroom. Thank you, [TEACHER].
  • Thank you for believing in me. Thanks to you, I know I can succeed in life and do better than I ever thought possible.

The key thing when creating thank you messages is to make it personal. Something generic might be quick and easy, but it certainly doesn’t have the same heart as something you or your child truly means. Take a little extra time, and your thank-you note will say more than a million Best Teacher mugs. We’re sure of it.