Teacher Appreciation Day Ideas

Instructor: Melinda Santos
Teachers occupy an important role in the lives of their students and contribute to the overall success of the schools in which they work. Use the ideas below to show your appreciation on Teacher Appreciation Day or any day of the year.

Activities for Teacher Appreciation Day

Much like Mother's and Father's Day, Teacher Appreciation Day allows students, parents and the larger community an opportunity to acknowledge the vital roles teachers play and celebrate their contributions and achievements. Because teachers are typically the planners and organizers of school-related activities, surprising them with fun events and acts of recognition on Teacher Appreciation Day provides a nice change of pace and helps solidify the message of appreciation intended for this day. The activities listed below can be coordinated by school administrative staff, principals, parents, students and/or a collaboration of all of the above.

Thank You Brunch

Invite teachers to an early morning or mid-afternoon appreciation brunch on Teacher Appreciation Day. Administrative staff and parents can work together to bring potluck dishes, as well as set up and clean up after the event. The brunch can have a theme, such as 'teachers are superheroes,' or fiesta, luau, etc. with corresponding food and decor. Provide a sign-up sheet, so everyone knows what to bring and to ensure an adequate supply of food, cutlery and decor.

Recognition Awards

Host a school assembly or a smaller-scale staff gathering on Teacher Appreciation Day to hand out awards recognizing teacher milestones and achievements, such as perfect attendance, most years with the school or district, the class with the highest test scores and so on. The awards can be simple certificates or trophies honoring the recipient, or gift cards and coupons for skipping bus duty, etc.

Letters to a Teacher

As a way for teachers to help honor and recognize other teachers, they can assign students the task of writing a letter to their favorite or most inspirational teacher (past or present). In the letter, students should include their name, when they were in that teacher's class and in what ways that teacher influenced and inspired them. Once completed, teachers can mail the letters to their intended recipients, so they receive them on Teacher Appreciation Day.

Teachers Make Us Great Bulletin Board

Using a bulletin board located in a high-traffic area within the school, create a large fill-in-the-blank list where students can write a sentence describing the ways teachers try to make their students great. Encourage students to fill in the list over the course of the day or week by mentioning it in the morning announcements and posting a sign on the board with simple instructions.

Spruce Up the Teacher's Lounge

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Day, purchase a much-needed or upgraded item for the teacher's lounge, such as a new coffee maker or microwave or a comfortable sofa. Surprise teachers in the morning with a cleaned lounge and the new item. You can also do a budget-friendly upgrade with a fresh coat of paint in a relaxing or energizing color and a few new pieces of artwork or decor.

Thank You Cards or Gifts

Principals or PTA members can send out an email asking parents to have students create thank you cards for their teacher(s) to bring to school on Teacher Appreciation Day. The email can also invite parents and students to make thoughtful yet budget-friendly gifts, although this should remain optional. Some easy and cost-effective teacher appreciation gifts include:

  • Coffee mugs or travel mugs embossed with the teacher's name
  • Potted plants for the classroom or teacher's desk
  • Gift cards for coffee, school supplies, etc.
  • Candy or treats

Give Teachers a Break

Couple the popularity of digital devices with online education, and let teachers sit back and let the electronic age take over for a day. Using lessons from the following courses that correspond to the day's lesson plan, teachers can engage students in something they enjoy anyway - watching videos - and make it educational and fun at the same time. Depending on the subject taught, have your teachers go through and identify a few lessons that can be used in class. Since each lesson comes with a short quiz, teachers can even let the lessons assess their students' understanding of the material. To encourage student participation, appoint one student per lesson to lead a discussion.

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