It’s time for Teacher Appreciation Week again! Annually, this falls over the first full week of May and this year, the dates are May 6 to May 12. Teacher Appreciation Day is observed on the first Tuesday in the first full week of May, which will be May 8 in 2018.
If your child loves their teacher and is blossoming at school, consider showing appreciation for the teacher’s effort with a special, meaningful “Thank you!” Teachers are notoriously underappreciated, and often the target of unfair criticism and scrutiny. Make their day this year by showing that you and your kids care!
Teacher Appreciation Week 2018 – Ideas for Gifts and Activities
Demonstrating to children that it’s valuable and good to show appreciation will go a long way to raising them to be pleasant, kind adults. During the Appreciation Week, encourage your kids to thank their teacher at least once a day for something special they notice about them. Does she always have the class clean and ready every morning? Let the kids thank her for it! Is he always on time with well-prepared lessons? Thank him for it!
Teacher Appreciation Week Ideas – Gifts
As a parent, express your gratitude to your kid’s teacher with a gift, or help your kids to choose or make a gift. Aim for something meaningful and/or valuable. There are several options to consider.
- Special Eateries – Spoil all the teachers at your child’s school with home-baked cupcakes, rusks or salty snacks to be served during their break. Get the children to help you prepare these, and make sure your teacher appreciation ideas are unique by allowing the kids to add personal touches to their creations! The teachers are likely to enjoy small signs of care such as individualized cupcake decorations, creatively shaped cookies, or individual snack-boxes with special packaging and thank-you notes written by the children.
- Kid’s Cards – Let your kids make large (A4), specially decorated Thank you cards for their teachers, with personal appreciation letters in them. If your kids are not good at writing yet, let them draw the different things they are grateful for and admire about their teacher. Help them to be creative by supplying craft materials such as paint, glitter, ribbon, dried flowers and leaves, shapes cut from dress material, colorful paper, kitchen foil, etc. These can be really special Teacher Appreciation Day cards!
- Gratitude Plants – If possible, buy indigenous trees or shrubs, and plant them on the school grounds, one for each teacher. Of course you will need permission from the headmaster or principal first. Alternatively, offer your services to tend to the school’s garden, paint a classroom, reupholster the break room furniture, or do any other repairs the school might need. You can also do this for your children’s teachers in their classrooms, and have the kids help you after class.
- Newspaper Ad – Take out a specially-designed advertisement in the local newspaper to thank the teachers of your kids’ school. Have a copy delivered to each teacher’s class.
- Coffee Thanks – Have a freshly-made take-away coffee delivered for each teacher in the school, or your child’s teacher only, every morning of the Teacher Appreciation Week. Make sure it’s excellent coffee, though. Each day, let your kid write them a short note of appreciation to be delivered with the coffee.
- Let the Government Take Note! – If you think your children’s school teachers are truly exceptional in their service, why not tell your national government about it?! Write a letter and request an acknowledgement from your country’s president or leader to be delivered to the school on Teacher Appreciation Day. Even better – ask the President and First Lady to personally sign and send a Thank You card to each teacher!
Teacher Appreciation Week Ideas – Activities
- Surprise Thank You Party – Another good Teacher Appreciation Week gift idea is to contact other parents and fund and arrange a surprise party for all the teachers after school on Friday. Get the headmaster and school board’s permission and co-operation ahead of time, and make it a truly unique event! Specially decorate the school hall for a party venue, organize something like a live performance by a local band or musician, a wine tasting, a gourmet chef demonstrating a cooking lesson, a famous author as a speaker (with signed copies of their books for each teacher) or a motivational speaker – the list goes on. Don’t be afraid to be creative and original! As a bonus, coordinate a car-wash while the teachers are busy with the party, and leave an appreciation card under each car’s window wipers. Be sure to have a professional photographer at the event, with orders that each teacher be photographed individually. Then give t hem the printed photos as a thank you momento the next week!
- Magical Massages – Arrange for all the school’s staff to receive short and aromatic neck, shoulder, hand or foot massages performed by a professional massage therapist in the staff room during Teacher Appreciation Week. They deserve to be spoiled!
- Talent Thanks – If your kid has a special talent, like singing, playing an instrument or dancing, let them compose a short gratitude song or dance especially for the teacher. Then arrange with the teacher for a private performance that you can record. Give the teacher a copy of the recording afterwards! The idea can be duplicated with any act ivity, so let your child decide which of their talents they’d like to use to show their appreciation to their teacher.
- Poetry, Letters and Stories in English – Have your kids been learning to read English through Red Cat Reading? Let them show off their English skills to their teacher, and say Thank you at the same time! Guide your kids to write a little poem, a short story (not too long!) or a letter in English to the teacher about what they are thankful for. Make an appointment with the teacher, and have your kids read their work out loud to them. Be sure to have a copy ready to give to the teacher, as they will be very likely to love this gesture!
- Let The Kids Decide… – Brainstorm with your kids on how they would like to thank their teacher by doing something special for them. With a little guidance, your children might surprise you with their creativity and sensitive observations!
This Teacher Appreciation Week is the perfect opportunity for you to discuss the value of gratitude and appreciation with your kids, and, of course, reading stories together is one of the best ways to start a conversation.
Read Thank You Books with the Kids
Here is a list of truly fantastic English books that explain the value of gratitude, generosity and a caring spirit. Great bedtime reading material, and also good for the kids’ read-out-loud practice!
- Thankful – Eileen Spinelli. Written in charming rhymes, with beautifully whimsical illustrations, this classic encourages children to notice and appreciate the blessings in their lives. Wonderful to be read out loud, especially for younger kids.
- The Giving Book: Open The Door To A Lifetime Of Giving – Ellen Sabin. This is a wonderful activity book wherein a kid’s giving and charity can be recorded. Showing appreciation for their teacher can be a fantastic addition!
- The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving – Jan Berenstain. No child’s book collection is complete without the Berenstains! Enjoy this lovely story about the value of giving, sharing and generosity with your kids.
- Giving Thanks: a Native American Good Morning Message– Chief Jake Swamp. This wonderful book is based on a Mohawk tradition, and it teaches a daily ritual to express gratitude for nature’s blessings and all its wonders.
- The Thankful Book – Todd Parr. Aimed at younger kids, this book raises awareness of all we can be thankful for in simple but charming rhyme-like fashion. Creative and beautiful!
- Thanks a Million – Nikki Grimes. Another wonderful book that uses poetry in different styles to illustrate the value of gratitude and raise awareness of all the blessings we have.
- Don’t Say a Word, Mama – Joe Hayes. This gorgeously illustrated, Spanish-English book explores the value of generosity and giving, and how this practice enriches instead of depletes. A wonderful way to start a conversation about giving your child’s teacher a gift to express gratitude!
Don’t hesitate to capitalize on this teacher appreciation theme to get your children to read. Read these books out loud to them before bedtime, and/or let them read the books back to you. Or simply do letter and word recognition, which is a valuable exercise, no matter what their age and/or reading level. Learning to read, in English and any other language, is simply a matter of repetition and exercise. Red Cat Reading offers you free resources and so much more to help you with this.