Hello all!! Next week is my favorite week of the school year...Teacher Appreciation Week!!!!! I now say this as a parent, and not a teacher....and it's STILL my favorite week :) When I was in the classroom, I loved it just as much. I loved when the kids would come in carrying their little handwritten letters, notes, and thank you cards. They were always so excited to watch me read them and then hang them up in the classroom...just BEAMING with pride!!!! Of course, I didn't mind the unexpected treats either, but it was always the handwritten notes and letters that made me most excited...I mean, you can't put a price on sincerity!!!
All that to be said, now that I'm on the other side of things, I love Teacher Appreciation week for totally different reasons. I try to give back all year, but this is the one week of the school year where I'm really intentional about it. I love to be able to tangibly show our teachers how much I truly appreciate the love and time they give to my kids...all our kids...and I think it's so important to let them know how much they are valued. I know the sacrifices they make....I know the work and time they put in...and I am so beyond grateful for what they do. While gifts are never expected, I like to send little things throughout the week just to say "thanks". I thought it would be fun to talk about some things and round-up some of my favorite ideas today.
Parents, just remember that it doesn't take money to show your teachers you appreciate them, so by no means am I suggesting you go out and buy, buy, buy!
Here are some ideas that don't cost a thing....
* Email a letter of appreciation to the principal of your child's school and CC your child's teacher. Use the email as a way to "brag" on your child's teacher ...let his/her principal know how much you value the teacher. You can't imagine how much this means to teachers!!!
* Send a handwritten note of appreciation to your child's teacher. Y'all...I have hung onto these handwritten notes from parents since my first year of teaching 13 years ago!!!! They are GOLD!!!
* Spend a day volunteering in your child's classroom...an extra set of hands is ALWAYS appreciated.
* If you aren't able to physically volunteer at school, offer your time to volunteer at home...cutting, sorting, etc. I loved when parents offered to do this for me!!!
* Offer to cover your teacher's lunch duty for a day so that he/she can have a duty-free lunch! I know this isn't something parents can do at every campus, but I do know it's possible at some!!! It's worth a shot to check it out just in case :)
* Pray for them. Pray for them. And pray for them some more.
Here are a few ideas that cost a little, but are guaranteed to put a smile on your teacher's face :)
* Provide lunch for your child's teacher for a day. Make it yourself or pick something up from your teacher's favorite restaurant or fast food establishment. Grab their order the day before you plan on bringing it to them so that they don't come with a lunch the following day. There's nothing more glorious than knowing you don't have to pack a lunch in the morning :)
* Make dinner for your teacher and his/her family. Pack it up and drop it off at school so that he/she can take it home that night. More often than not, teachers work late and having a dinner already prepared is nothing short of amazing.
* Bring your child's teacher his/her favorite Sonic or Starbuck's drink...such a special treat! Always puts a little pep in their step :)
* Bake a batch of your teacher's favorite cookies for him/her....this was always my personal favorite!
* Donate to a charity in their name.
* Pay it forward with random acts of kindness in their honor.
Last year I had my teachers fill out THIS QUESTIONNAIRE
...and then used the info to pack a little baggie filled with some of their favorite things (snacks, drinks, candy, magazines). I printed the message on the baggies myself, but you could easily print out the gift tag below and attach it to a baggie instead.
And, of course, I've used a TON of "pinspired" ideas to gift not just during teacher appreciation week, but other times during the year as well. Here's a round-up of some of my favorites!!!!
Hand soap and printable gift tag from the ladies at Eighteen25. Teachers ALWAYS need hand soap or "hanitizer", LOL.
This Target gift card printable from Landeelu is, well, on target. Ha. Teachers love Target!
Teachers haul A LOT of stuff back and forth from school to home and back again. They can never have too many tote bags! This tote tag from Delightfully Noted is adorable!
Love the idea of a basket of sunshine from Nothing But Country!!! Although this is listed as an end-of-year gift, this would be great for Teacher Appreciation Week as well!!!
If you have a Nothing Bundt Cakes nearby, this would be perfect! Of course, a homemade bundt cake would be just as amazing. Just attach his sweet gift tag from Eighteen 25 to top it off!!
I absolutely LOVED getting potted plants from my parents. They all knew about my "black thumb" condition, so I would typically get plants that didn't require a lot of sunlight, water, or care, hahaha. I loved keeping plants in the classroom and some of them even came home with me to plant in our flower beds. I have one that keeps blooming every summer!!!
Of course, those are only a FEW ideas and some of my most favorite. You can find TONS more on Pinterest. SO many ideas...it'll kind of make your head hurt.
All this to be said, just remember that teachers aren't waiting with bated breath to get gifts next week. It's nothing we ever expect. The best gifts are those that come from the heart. Words of appreciation go a long, LONG way!!!!