Whether it's Teacher Appreciation Week or you want to send some love and gratitude to your child's teacher, these creative teacher appreciation ideas are sure to be a hit!
Although many of us focus on the cute cards and sweet gifts during Teacher Appreciation Week, teacher well-being has never been more important.
At a time when teachers are more stretched than ever, and so many are walking away from the profession altogether, it is so important that we are prioritising the mental well-being of teachers.
Teachers need to feel seen, heard and valued. They need to find, or re-discover, the joy in teaching... which is most likely why they became a teacher in the first place!
It is so important that teacher well-being doesn't become tokenistic- whittled down to a special day or week. It should be ongoing and holistic so that it becomes embedded into the very fabric of a school and its culture.
With all that said, some special days or weeks can be a lot of fun too! Here are some of my favourite ways to celebrate teachers any time of the year.
Creative Teacher Appreciation Ideas
Teaching is such hard work! Whether you're trying to find a unique gift for a teacher you love or want to help your school staff feel appreciated, these ideas can help!
Some items below are more suitable for administrators to organize (like staff well-being week), while others could be run by parents or school staff. I'm sure you'll find plenty of great ideas to help teachers feel appreciated!
1. Staff Well-Being Week
This is one of my favourite ways to improve staff morale! Basically, we dedicate one week to having fun with each other and sharing our appreciation for their hard work.
We cancel meetings (yes, really!), lavish teachers with delicious snacks and yummy meals, play games, and more.
It's a nice way to take a little of the pressure off a stressful work situation and have some fun.
Learn how to implement a staff well-being week at your school.
2. Staff Dress Up Days
Dress-up days are a great way to connect with your teammates and do something a little fun!
There are so many themed dress-up days, and you even invite students to join in for a school-wide morale builder.
- 80s day
- Pyjama day
- Double denim
- Mismatch (wacky tacky) day
Get more fun school dress up ideas here!
3. "Kindness" buddies
This is one of the best ways to build morale at your school! Once you pair teachers, they send each other little notes and surprises for an entire week or the whole school year.
It feels incredible to be seen by your peers. Since it also feels great to give to others, this practice is an excellent option for all schools!
Learn more about kindness buddies here.
4. Teacher Potluck
During Teacher Appreciation Week (or any time of the year), you can rally other parents to put on a delicious potluck! It's so lovely to enjoy a home-cooked meal in the middle of the day and know your kids' families are thinking of you.
Even dropping off a fruit tray or box of cookies can be lovely, so it doesn't have to be over the top.
5. Give acts of service
These are some of the best gifts because you can use your strengths and support your favourite teacher at the same time.
Offer to help make copies or organise files, decorate a bulletin board, or organise a chaotic pile of manipulatives. I've also seen parents offer to hang lights or lead an art project.
You'd be surprised at how often these little things make a huge difference. Since they're targeted toward what the teacher needs, it helps them feel seen and appreciated!
6. Teacher Appreciation Breakfast
Unlike the potluck, which is usually set up in the staffroom during the day, a thank-you brunch can be a whole event!
It can be held at the school or off campus at a local restaurant or event space. The goal is to allow teachers to relax and unwind while being served or accompanied by people who appreciate their work.
For a little extra touch, bring some inexpensive teacher gifts from below or decorate with flowers or small plants they can take home later.
If you can raise some funds for gift cards to a local business, those would great great as a raffle prize!
7. Ice Cream Social
What a fun & easy teacher gift! Set up a few different flavours of ice cream, add a bar with all the toppings, and invite the teachers to enjoy.This free printable gift tag is the perfect accessory for this fun party!
13 Best Teacher Appreciation Gifts
These fun teacher appreciation gift ideas will make it easy for you to thank your kid's teachers for their hard work! There are options across every budget, including DIY gifts and items you can purchase. You're sure to find great ideas to mark the end of the school year in style!
1. Handwritten note
This truly has to be at the top of the list because, despite all of the adorable and unique teacher gift ideas out there, this thoughtful gift truly means the most.
A simple heartfelt note will show your kids' teachers that you really appreciate them. Sometimes you'll notice something they didn't know about themselves, or they'll recognise just how much of an impact they really had on your child.
I promise you that every teacher has a little box of messages like these that buoy them through the hard days. They're much more important than you'd ever imagine!
2. School supplies
Although teacher funding looks different around the globe, many teachers spend a significant amount of money out of pocket on school supplies.
From dry-erase markers to sticky notes to giant boxes of tissues, these are easy practical gifts which teachers will always appreciate.
P.S. Teachers sometimes have strong opinions about the best pens, but these ones are universally loved. We also love fancy paper clips or binder clips!
3. A Subscription to The Hive
The Hive is an online teacher planner & platform that makes it easy to keep track of all their schedules, assignments, and activities in one place!
It's meant for all elementary teachers but is especially perfect for primary grades as it has tons of literacy tools built in.
A gift like this will help your special teacher have a much more organised & calming year of teaching!
Join The Hive today!
4. Teacher Planner
Most teachers love planners! There's something so lovely about a fresh planner or notebook.
The only tricky thing is that everyone likes to organise their work differently, so some people love a paper planner, while others prefer a digital teacher planner like The Hive.
Do a little investigating and surprise your school teacher with either the planner of their dreams (or a gift card so they can choose their own).
5. Gift Cards
Gift cards are genuinely one-size-fits-all. Especially since everyone has different preferences, finding the perfect gift can be challenging.
If you choose a gift card to a local store or restaurant, they can choose something that fits their specific needs and preferences. Gift cards are always a great gift idea!
You might like to use these free templates:
6. Monogrammed tote bags
There's something so thoughtful about customised, practical gifts! Since many teachers have to lug papers and work to and from school every day, having a sturdy, well-made bag that can withstand the wear and tear is really nice.
Plus, the monogram with the teacher's name is a nice personal touch. This is such a useful gift, and they'll use it forever!
7. Homemade Gifts
If you have a skill or talent, use it to make a custom gift!
If you're a florist, make a custom flower arrangement.
Into wood carving? Make a custom wall hanging with the teacher's name.
If you're a baker, whip up a batch of your favourite cookies or macarons for a special sweet treat.
We're always in awe of these different talents, and it feels so lovely to know that our families cared enough to work on a project for us out of their own homes.
Teachers love plants! They're great for adding a little life to the classroom or plant in your yard.
If you know your child's teacher loves to garden, you can bring plant starts for their garden or clippings of your favourite houseplants.
9. Handmade Cards
These teacher appreciation week cards are easy to print and go!
Add one to a bag of your teacher's favourite things, like some chocolates and a gift card for candy, and you're good to go.
10. Build their library
Most teachers love books and always look for new and special titles to add to their classroom library.
You could also gift one of your child's favourite books and have them add a special message to their favourite teacher.
11. Customised Chocolate Bars & Candy
With a custom-printed label, you can turn an ordinary chocolate bar into a sweet gesture of appreciation.
I've got a bunch of cute gift tags you can use to doll up their favourite sweet treat for a sweet momento.
- Chill pills: This is such a cute idea & it's a great back-to-school gift for those tough moments! Add some candy to a mason jar and apply the free printable tag.
- Out of this Twirl-d: They'll appreciate the pun but love the chocolate bar more!
- Freddo teacher gift: If your teacher is unforgettable, this is the perfect punny gift!
12. Frame a Kindness Quote
How sweet would it be to decorate a classroom with thoughtful quotes!
These kindness quotes really help foster a warm, inviting classroom.
It'd be lovely to get some of these quotes handwritten by kids or nicely printed by parents.
They'd make the perfect legacy of kindness to share with a special teacher!
13. Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card
I might be biased, but there are a ton of wonderful instructional materials on TPT!
For teacher appreciation day, give your favourite teacher a little extra spending money to help them find materials to take their teaching to the next level.
Of course, you'll want to direct them to the Mrs Leaning Bee shop for amazing evidence-based teaching materials and beautiful decor! :-)
Don't forget the support staff!
Although teachers certainly deserve lots of praise and love, don't forget the school secretaries, custodial staff, and other staff members. They all play a vital role in helping your school run smoothly. A little gratitude makes a world of difference!
Whichever of these creative teacher appreciation ideas you choose, your teachers will appreciate the thought and effort.
Remember to sprinkle these moments of gratitude throughout the school year to remind them just how much their work matters. A little gratitude goes a long way!