Teacher’s Day: How to show your appreciation

Teacher Appreciation Day is May 8, and we know parents are always looking for special ways to recognize their children’s teachers. So we went to the experts and asked them what would make their day extra special!

“With ages I teach, I’d just be happy with a card, sign or verbal thank you. But a treat or gift card to coffee shop is awesome!!! It’s nice to be thanked or to be reminded that I’ve made a difference or had some impact in the child’s day/year/life/etc. I like coffee and at the HS level, we hardly ever get thank you’s of any kinds or treats, so that would be something fun (and relatively cheap/simple from families end).” – Laura Hensley, grades 8-12, Art, Mound Westonka High School, Mound, MN

“I’d like my parents & students to show me they appreciate me by giving me handmade pictures put together in a book.” – Michelle Thiele, Kindergarten, Hamilton Bicentennial Elementary School, Cuddlebackville, NY

“I would love for my students and parents to thank me for all I do with a simple hug and thank you. A Build- a-Bear with a heart warmed and kissed by them would be great to have, as it would remind me from day to day that I am appreciated. My students brighten my day when I’m down and the parents that are active in their students’ lives gives me the encouragement to keep going even when I feel like I can’t go any further.” – Teralyn Butler, Career & Technical teacher, Dillard High School, Fort Lauderdale, FL

“As a teacher I find the gifts that I like the most are gifts that my kids made for me or gifts that I can use in my classroom. For me its not about the gift but about knowing that your parents and their children understand the sacrfice you give and that they show their appreciation even just a card that says Thank You is enough.” – Brittani Hickey, teacher at ALCCC in Oconomowoc, WI

“For Teacher Appreciation Day, I would love to receive cards or letters from my students and their parents describing something they have learned, some way they have grown or improved in my classroom, or a special memory of something that made a difference in their lives. It would mean a lot to me to know that I have done something positive with my students that will contribute to their success as they grow up. I also love Build a Bear. Some of my furry friends and their clothes are in my classroom. My students enjoy playing with them from time to time, and my favorite sits on my desk. A gift card to our local BABW would be a really thoughtful, personal way for students and their parents to say “thank you”. It would demonstrate a thoughtfulness for my personal interests, and it would give me a chance to have fun making a special friend in memory of this class.” – Tracy Robert, Intermediate Special Education Teacher, Grades 3-5, May Ann Binford Elementary, Albuquerque, NM

“I would LOVE for parents and students to appreciate me with a cute bear holding some packages of plain and peanut M & M’s and maybe  gift cards to Carrabbas or Olive Garden or for a massage or to Ross or JC Penneys for Teacher Appreciation Week.  I pour my heart and soul into my students doing my best to make learning about music as fun as possible.  I try to make them laugh and explore sides of music they’ve never heard of before because my goal is to instill a love for the Arts in them at the earliest age possible.  I’ve been teaching 23 years and this would be a GREAT gift to receive during Teacher Appreciate Week!:)  I LOVE what I do and can’t wait to get to school each day to see my students – they are AWESOME!” – Cherylann Bellavia, Lutz Preparatory School, Lutz, FL

“My students come from difficult life situations…so what I ask for them is simply to continue their education with success to make a better life for themselves, to realize that there are many opportunities available to them.” – Tama Price, 2nd grade, Sue Cleveland Elementary School

“I would love to have my students/parents show appreciation by making or giving me something that is really personal to me. I often share personal stories with my first graders in order to show them how to make personal connections. For example one of my favorite cookies to make are the peanut butter with chocolate kisses in the center, I would love for someone to bring me some they made and say “we made these because we know they are your favorite”. That would show me that they really have taken the time to get to know me as a person. A simple thank you for helping my child is enough to brighten the most dim day, I would love to hear that from my parents and students:-) I would also get a kick out of seeing what BAB a student would make and how they would dress it to represent Mrs. Robinson!” – LaTisha Robinson, 1st grade, New Carrollton, MD

“The way I would like to be appreciated is by a simple “thank you for all you do!” My job is wonderful and rewarding in many ways. I have really come to appreciate every teacher I’ve had in my educational life. They are amazing people who go far and beyond the expectations of the public. Thank you!” – Ms. Salazar, 2nd grade, Los Ranchitos Elementary, Tucson, AZ

“Seeing my students’ achievements is enough for me.  A thank you goes a long way too.” – Andrea, 6th grade special education, Cranbury School, Cranbury, NJ

“I just feel appreciated when students are respectful and responsible and work as hard as I do in preparing the classes. I love to see them using what they learned in class in their daily life and just be grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow. I feel appreciated when parents volunteer at our school and take time to participate in school activities and the PTA.” – Carina Coria, Spanish teacher, Hillcrest Jr. High, Murray, UT

“My teacher Miss Young is one of the nicest teachers I have ever had. She never yelled even the tiniest bit. She corrects us in a nice way. I never want to leave 4th grade because of her. She acts like a kid sometimes. Anyways she should be appreciated by everyone pitching in some money for her to go to a nice place. Or people giving her flowers. Maybe something even more. She deserves the best. In my opinion, as a student, she is the most styling, nicest teacher that I have EVER had. I hope she knows how much I appreciate her!” – Natasha, Arrowhead Elementary in Collegeville, PA

“[The school where I teach] is a very rural town with many second language learners. I appreciate the thank yous and hugs the most. I also enjoy when they write to me and let me know something that I have done that helped them or inspired them. Gifts are never necessary, [I get] more joy out of hearing I have had an impact on their life in some way.” – Carrie Rocha, 5th grade, Riverdale Elementary School

“I don’t teach at a school. I run a Sylvan Learning in San Marino, CA. I love when my students show me a good report card, but I do appreciate it when my students show their appreciation with flowers or Starbucks. But my students also know I have a thing for stuffed animals.” – Michelle Holbrook, Sylvan Learning Center, San Marino, CA

“Some of the best things are the notes I have received from students and parents throughout the years thanking me with thoughtful words.  I keep a lot of those so on the rough days I can read them and remember why I love what I do!  I also love gift certificates to book stores because I can buy books for my classroom that I do not have!  Also, a new one I received this year was a book with a picture of the student and the author inside the front cover!” – Michele

“I love my job and would happily do it every day without formal ‘appreciation.’  I feel appreciated when my students really learn something I’ve taught them and when they show up at my classroom door every morning with smiles on their faces, ready to learn something new.
That being said, I think the best way to show appreciation to a teacher is to ask what that teacher needs for his / her classroom.  I don’t know if many people realize it, but teachers spend quite a bit of their own money buying instructional materials and supplies for their students.  Many, like me, also buy snacks for their students to eat if they come to school with an empty belly.  I probably average at least $100 per month on classroom materials.  In place of ‘teacher gifts’, I would love to see more ‘classroom gifts’ – gift certificates to teaching supply stores, manipulatives for the class to use, books, CDs, etc.
A Build-A-Bear gift certificate would also be happily accepted.  I buy two identical bears at the beginning of each school year to be the ‘class pet’ (one is a backup, just in case).  A different child takes the bear home each Friday and writes about what he/she did with it!” – Rachel Montgomery, 1st grade, Donna Wernecke Elementary School, Sharyland, ISD

How are you planning on showing your appreciation on Teacher’s Day?

About Molly Saunders

I am a bear in the Digital Dept at Build-A-Bear Workshop. I work at World Bearquarters in St. Louis, Mo. View all posts by Molly Saunders

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