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How do you say thanks to an outstanding teacher?
Today is the first day of National Teacher Appreciation Week (which runs from May 2–6 this year; Teacher Appreciation Day is tomorrow, May 3!), a great opportunity to show that special teacher—whether they be a friend, your former teacher, or your child’s favorite—just how much their dedication means to you and your family.
To help you #thankateacher, we asked current teachers what gifts and shows of gratitude have been the most meaningful to them in the past. Here’s what we found out!
Letters and notes The majority of the responses we received seemed to favor letters, thank-you notes, poems, etc., leading us to believe these are the most thoughtful gifts teachers receive, especially from their current students!
“A hand-written note is the way to go. A sincere thanks, with specifics, always brings me to tears. I keep every one of these notes in a binder so when I am having a hard day, I can read them and renew myself.”
“My best gifts have been handwritten cards. I have a few saved that are full of writing and deeply heartfelt. Knowing I made a profound difference for these families makes teaching (and all of the silly tasks and testing that go along with it now) still worth it.”
Stay in touch “Just hearing how my students are doing has always been my favorite. Knowing that they navigate the world successfully, using the lessons and growth we experienced in class to guide their decisions, their interactions, and their journeys (sometimes while still in school with me, sometimes much later) is the most amazing gift a teacher can receive.”
“When I see former students and they tell me of their accomplishments or stay in touch with me and keep me informed, it lets me know that I have been a positive influence in their lives. I am very happy and proud to know that; it gives me a feeling of great joy and pride.”
Shower with flowers“Our school has a ‘bring your teacher a flower day.’ The kids come to class and just hand me a flower in the morning and my vase fills up. It is extremely precious. It’s my favorite day that week!”
Artwork “I love when students share their artwork with me. It’s always fun to see their other talents!”
Personalize it “It sounds strange, but I had a student give me a sock full of corn. You microwave it and use it as a compress. She knew I had terrible migraines, and it’s still my number one go-to when I feel one coming on. She said it was to relieve some of the stress they gave me!”
“I had a student bring me a Starbucks travel cup for my coffee. She picked it out and used her own money. I teach in a high-poverty inner-city school. She said she knew I loved Starbucks and my paper cups don’t keep my coffee warm for long. I know what she spent on it, and what she could have bought herself. She chose to get me this, just because. That literally brought me to tears!”
“A candle with a picture of me and a student dancing on the last day of school that read, ‘Teachers light the way for others.’ I still hold onto it!”
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