Thank you, teachers, for lessons and memories that last a lifetime.
This week, May 1-7, 2016, is designated as a time to find a way to express gratitude for the service of our educators, though that can be a challenge.
Gifts are a common way to say thanks to a favorite teacher. But, creating a moment in time, a memory for a teacher to carry on even after a class moves on is priceless.
Here are 20 ideas to inspire students and parents to find amazing ways to say “thank you” to one of the most important people in a child’s life.
- 1. Have the students cover the classroom walls with posters they made about their teacher. Each poster can feature a favorite memory, saying, photos and more
- Use an online organizing tool, such as SignUpGenius to put together a meal sign up. The end of the year is a busy time and having a few meals prepared to take home could be a huge help for a teacher.
- Plant a tree or flowers around school property to represent the seeds of knowledge that teachers help to grow in their students each year.
- Make a “gratitude mural” to hang in a common area of the school. Attach a long sheet of paper on the wall, attach some markers and have the students leave words of thanks, encouragement and praise.
- Organize a group of parents and/or students to help with end-of-year chores, such as clean up, classroom organization or getting things packed up to move classrooms (if necessary).
- Do a coffee run for teachers. One person can collect the day before for coffee, tea or a similar beverage and then deliver it the following morning. It’s a nice way to start the day.
- Make a memory quilt. PTOToday.com shared this creative teacher gift idea. Students are provided with fabric markers and a fabric square, which they decorate in their own style. Then, the squares are collected and jointed together by a volunteer who can sew.
- Donate a book to the school library on behalf of a teacher. Bookplates can be printed or purchased to go into the new book, which is then given to the library for everyone at the school to enjoy.
- What about a teacher and staff pep rally? Gather the students into the school gym to cheer for their favorite teachers and maybe even compete in some fun relay races and games.
- Decorate the classroom door. Students can decorate their classroom door with streamers, balloons and sticky note messages.
- Create a video with clips of students and possibly parents saying thank you, sharing a memory, singing a song or sharing a special talent. It doesn’t have to be a fancy production; it should just be from the heart.
- Have a “Random Acts of Kindness” week at your school. Each student should come up with one or two nice things to do for teachers around the school and then give them the week to get as many done as possible.
- Don’t forget the school administrators and support staff. Perhaps each class can “adopt” one of these special people and do something nice for them to make sure they don’t feel left out during this recognition week.
- Decorate the teacher’s lounge with balloons to add a touch of fun and color to their day.
- Have the students create a giant banner to hang in the main hallway throughout the week.
- Reach out to local businesses to see if they will donate a prize for a special daily raffle drawing throughout the week. Prizes can include themed baskets, movie tickets, gift cards and more.
- Arrange for students to have a teacher and staff thank you segment during the daily morning or afternoon announcements.
- Make a donation to a teacher’s favorite charity.
- Host an ice cream social for administrators, teachers and staff during lunch.
- Sometimes the simplest ideas can be the best. Teachers love handwritten thank you letters or notes from both students and parents. It’s personal, meaningful and shows an investment of time and thought that few others things accomplish.