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What Teachers Really Want During Teacher Appreciation Week

Teachers and school staff play a central role in imparting knowledge and helping students understand their strengths, passion, and interests. Many teachers join the profession because they are passionate about teaching and making a difference in a child's life. Still, being a teacher is hard. 

The burden is made lighter when fellow educators, the community, and students appreciate teachers' work; it validates their work and fosters engagement, renewing their passion for the job.

One of the ways that the government recognizes teachers' contribution to society is through Teacher Appreciation Week. As part of celebrating teachers and school staff, you can stand out by learning exactly what teachers want during teacher appreciation week.


A gift is a good place to start if you are looking for an excellent way to recognize a teacher during Teacher Appreciation Week. You may feel like a simple gift understates your appreciation, given that giving gifts to people during special occasions is common practice. But, the truth is, everyone likes and enjoys a thoughtful gift.

Some gift ideas for teachers' appreciation week include: 

  • Custom name plaque
  • Assorted stationery
  • Themed teacher gifts
  • Flowers and a vase
  • A new water tumbler
  • Gift cards

School Supplies

Some schools and teachers are dealing with a dwindling budget and growing number of students while maintaining proper teaching standards. For such teachers, nothing beats easing their burden by offering school supplies. Having adequate and suitable supplies makes teaching easier; meanwhile, children will feel emotionally and physically cared for when teachers are not distracted by a lack of supplies. 

Possible supplies to give include:

  • Pens and pencils
  • Books
  • Folders
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Tissue

You may gift supplies that benefit the whole classroom or just for the teacher or staff member. Either way, they will be appreciative. 

Positive Feedback from Parents and Guardians

Teachers ultimately want to know they make a difference in students' lives. There is no better way to demonstrate recognition during Teacher Appreciation Week than to let them know they matter. 

Teachers spend a lot of time organizing, teaching, and ensuring students are cared for during school hours. Then there are the after-school hours teachers are not even paid for! When students and parents express their gratitude for teachers and staff, it reignites their commitment to being better teachers.

Often teachers and staff only hear from parents and guardians when there is an issue, providing positive feedback to counteract the barrage of negative interactions. An email and even a quick note can make all the difference for a teacher.

Thank You Notes from Current and Former Students

Teachers spend years educating thousands of students to be tomorrow's leaders. It would be a great honor to learn how they impacted students' lives years after leaving the classroom. For Teacher Appreciation Week, email a former teacher and let them know what you appreciate the most about their work. 

Current students can also share personal notes detailing what they enjoy the most about their teachers' lessons or attitudes toward teaching. These notes help motivate teachers and boost their confidence. Young students can still show appreciation by coloring pictures or recording a short video message.

Personalized Thank You Note for Administration

Every employee likes to receive positive feedback from their boss; the same is true of teachers. Often teachers and school staff are limited in their interaction with the school administration, and a simple thank you note can go a long way to feeling truly appreciated in the workplace. 

As a bonus, the admin staff could include a school t-shirt, sweatshirt, or water bottle with the school logo.

Time Off from the Stressors of the Job

For Teacher Appreciation week, having some time to relax and enjoy dinner would make any teacher's day. If you can, take some chores off the hands of a teacher as a token of appreciation. This way, the teacher can have a spa day, lunch with friends, dinner with family, or just a day to themselves to stay in and enjoy a movie.

While this may seem like a tall order, the task may be achievable if a group of parents or community members got together. 

Final Thoughts

What matters most during Teacher Appreciation Week is that your gift or message comes from the heart. A true show of appreciation for our teachers and school staff can make a difference for our educators and their desire to keep teaching our future.

Written by Steve Ndar
Education World Contributor
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