5 Ways to Thank Your Child’s Teacher All Year Long

5 Ways to Thank Your Child’s Teacher All Year Long {Teacher Appreciation Week}

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week at our school and several others around town, and many other local schools will be observing in the coming weeks. In years past, Teacher’s Appreciation Week has caught me off-guard as I rushed around frantically to buy and wrap acceptable gifts and get them to school in one piece. I mean, do busy moms really need one more thing to do? I think not.

But this school year, it feels different. Maybe it’s because my oldest has had some behavioral challenges, but his teachers have been so patient with him. Or maybe it’s because my baby is now in preschool and is so comfortable around his teachers. Whatever the reason, the fact that we only set aside one week out of the school year to celebrate teachers just doesn’t seem to be enough to me. Teachers do so much for our kids, it seems like we should be doing more for them!

As I was contemplating what to buy my sons’ teachers this year, I reached out to my friends, many of them teachers themselves, for advice. And while they helped me figure out what to buy as this year’s gifts (school supplies that the teachers had specifically requested), they also helped me compile a list of five ways you can thank your child’s teacher, all year-round.

teacher appreciation week

1. Write a handwritten note from the heart.

Almost every teacher I talked to said that handwritten notes, both from students and from parents, are among their most treasured gifts. Many teachers hold on to all the notes they receive and re-read them over the years. “I kept every note that students or parents gave me. It helped so much on days that I needed encouragement to pull them out and read them,” said my friend Carol, who taught 4H for years.

2. Make a scrapbook.

My friend Kim teaches kindergarten, and one year she received a special gift from a parent – a scrapbook of her class! The mom used photos that she had taken throughout the year to make a special keepsake for Kim. She even managed to get the kids to write personal notes in the book. Granted, this gift idea would take a lot of pre-planning and coordination to pull off, but it would be a treasured momento for sure.

3. Send school supplies, just because.

School budgets are tight, and many teachers end up spending money out of their own pockets to buy much needed supplies for their classes, not to mention special extras like art supplies for holiday crafts. Sending in Clorox wipes, boxes of Kleenex or Expo markers throughout the year can help your teacher keep her class fully-stocked, without breaking her own personal bank account.

4. Lend a hand.

Many teachers work before school, after school, in the evenings and on the weekends to prepare their lesson plans and pull together classroom supplies. That’s why an extra pair of hands is always appreciated. “This year I’ve had my first ‘copy mom,'” my friend Jennifer, who teaches at a local elementary school, told me. “Having her come to school once a week to make my copies for the following week has been SO helpful!”

5. Encourage your kids to show their gratitude.

Nothing can encourage a teacher like a heart-felt thanks from a student, especially one who may have been struggling in school that year. My friend Ralph, who is now an administrator but previously taught middle school and high school, recalled one such special moment from his early years of teaching. “We were leaving an intervention meeting for a kid who was really doing badly, but something I’ll always remember is her asking me for a hug and telling me, “Thanks for sticking up for me.'”

So there you have it – five ways you can share the love throughout the school year. I’m curious, what are you doing this year for Teacher Appreciation Week? Have you found some special ways to support your child’s teacher? Please comment below!

Karen is a California native who moved to Baton Rouge about three years ago for her husband's job. She loves Louisiana and the only thing she misses about living out west is In-N-Out burgers. Karen has two toddler boys and two teenaged stepsons. Before becoming a stay-at-home mom, Karen was a Senior Communications Manager for a software company. She earned her Bachelors degree from (don't hold it against her) the University of Southern California, where she graduated Cum Laude. In addition to spending time with her family, Karen enjoys writing, pretending she's good at making crafts and running.


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