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What Teachers Really Want for Teacher Appreciation Week


Apr 11, 2023
What Teachers Really Want for Teacher Appreciation Week


School teachers are a special sort of person, and Teacher Appreciation Week is the perfect way to celebrate them with the perfect gift for teachers. I have been on both sides of this… I’ve been the teacher and the parent on Teacher Appreciation Day.

No matter where you teach – whether it be in a private or public school, in a distance learning setting with a virtual school, or a hybrid of both – teachers are working hard to help their students.

Personally, I’ve had great teachers in elementary school through high school and even in college. I still correspond with my first-grade teacher, via notes and cards, over 30 years later. I have always loved giving my teachers gifts over the years to show appreciation.

What Teachers Really Want for Teacher Appreciation Week

When Is National Teacher Appreciation Week?

National Teacher Appreciation Week is celebrated during the first full week of May. National Teacher Appreciation Day, AKA National Teacher Day or National Education Day, is typically celebrated on the first Tuesday (of the first full week in May.) This school year, Teacher Appreciation Week 2023 will be celebrated from May 8, 2023- May 12, 2023, with National Teacher Appreciation Day 2023 occurring on May 2, 2023.

When is Teacher Appreciation Day?

This year, Teacher Appreciation Day 2023 takes place on May 2, according to the National Education website. It is a day to honor the kind, hardworking, and patient individuals who create an everlasting impact on our lives.  This week is used to celebrate teachers, support staff, administration, and anyone else in the district. It’s a great time to show the special teacher in your life how much you appreciate all they have done.

Note: Ag Teacher Appreciation Day is scheduled on various dates in February. In 2023, this is February 22nd.

What do teachers really want for gifts?

You are probably wondering what teachers really want for gifts. I’ve heard of so many great ideas, but I’m going to narrow it down today to the ones that I know they can use. Here is a quick list, but if you want more specific ideas, skip down to the next section, where you’ll find more detailed ideas.

Teacher Appreciation Day Gift Ideas

Show Your Teachers You Appreciate All that They Do! Here are some of the most requested gifts.

Detailed List Of Teacher’s Gift Ideas (with specific ideas)

As a teacher, I’ve received teacher gifts that range from DIY flower pens to a surprise lunch from a local restaurant. I think that every teacher appreciates these tokens of appreciation, no matter what the gift may be. With that said, I’ve asked my teacher-friends, and we came up with this list of our favorite Teacher Appreciation Day gift ideas.

A Hand-Written Note from the Student

There is nothing that a teacher loves more than a hand-written note. It is truly a gift for teachers from students because they are putting in extra work to show their appreciation. 🙂 A letter or note is a great gift because it shows that you have taken the time to think about them and write down your thoughts.

Even an email or message on social media is enough to tug at a teacher’s heartstrings. Have your child write about how they have helped them do something, be something, explore something, or learn something.

While a thank-you note makes a great gift all by itself, if you decide to use one of the gift ideas below, I suggest including a handwritten note with the gift.

You can even have your child fill out a teacher questionnaire. They are memorable, and they look so cute & trendy!

A Hand-Written Note from the Parent

At the same time, one of the best teacher appreciation gifts you could give to your child’s teacher is a note to say how YOU Have noticed a difference in your child.
Has this teacher inspired them?
Helped them to work harder?
Helped your child to have a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset?
Tell them! There’s nothing like a few words of affirmation to let someone know that they are appreciated.

Group Gift Ideas from the Class

Have the students work together to make a great gift!

  • A photo book with snapshots taken throughout the year and a little note from each student written on an index card.
  • An apron for crafting with a signed note from each child.
  • A picture tote bag with the class picture.
  • One of my friends made a bookshelf for their child’s teacher, and each of the kids in the classroom put their handprints on the bookshelf with a variety of paint colors. Then, each child chooses a favorite book to add to the bookshelf.
  • A plant with a beautiful note about helping your child grow.
What Teachers Really Want for Teacher Appreciation Week

TIP FOR PARENTS: If your child’s school offers a Teacher’s Luncheon on this day, use that time to sneak in (with permission from the office) and get the students to decorate the classroom!

Surprise the teacher by decorating their classroom with appreciation-themed decorations such as banners, balloons, or posters. You can also create a collaborative class art project or a bulletin board with messages of appreciation to brighten up the classroom. You can also ask the kids to dress in a way to celebrate the teacher– maybe wearing their favorite color or designing Crazy Sock Day socks with things that the teacher loves.

Out-of-the-Box Gift Ideas from the Student to the Teacher

Some gifts are specifically made for teachers, while others are gifts that are for everyone. Here are fun gifts for teachers, assistants, room parents, office staff, or volunteers. These gifts are the ones that you just enjoy because they are for YOU. Here are some ideas!

Personalized Teacher Stickers
What Teachers Really Want for Teacher Appreciation Week
Personalized Teacher Gift Idea for Teacher Appreciation Week
Metal bookmarks

Practical Teacher’s Gift Idea: School Supplies

It surprises most people to learn that teachers have to buy their own school supplies. When I first started teaching, I learned that the average teacher spends between $500-$1,000, from their own salary, on school supplies for their students.

School Supply Ideas include (but are certainly not limited to) the following…

What Teachers Really Want for Teacher Appreciation Week

You could even buy a bunch of supplies and put them into a Tote bag with a “TOTE-ally Awesome” & Adorable Gift Tag like this one…

teacher appreciation day gift

6). Gifts for the Organized Teacher:

Gift Cards for Teachers (How to creatively give a gift card)

You can send these gift cards digitally, or you can dress them up with a cute gift card holder like these and deliver it in person.

What Teachers Really Want for Teacher Appreciation Week
  • Amazon Gift Card (nearly half of all teachers said this is the best place to give a gift card)
  • Visa gift card
  • Starbucks Gift Card
  • Target Gift Card
  • iTunes Gift card
  • Gift Certificate to a book store like Barnes & Nobel
  • Teachers Pay Teachers gift card
  • Gift Cards for stores: Best Buy, Staples, Walmart, or Michaels
  • Gift Card for food delivery (lunch on a Teacher Work Day) 🙂 Think GrubHub, Uber Eats, DoorDash, or even a favorite restaurant.
  • Self-Care gift card to a local spa or store.

Teacher Appreciation Week Ideas for the Staff

  • Stock the Teachers’ Lounge with gourmet coffees & teas.
  • Have a Teachers’ Car Wash at a local car wash place or even have them come to the school. All teachers get a free car wash.
  • Dress up the teachers’ lounge with new books, magazines, snacks, or even new decor.
  • Get a membership to somewhere like courses.com for the school- teachers can watch it in the teachers’ lounge or during planning periods.
  • Coordinate a car wash and invite the school staff and teachers to get their vehicles washed for free.
  • Have breakfast for the staff. You could ask parents to volunteer to prepare breakfast (or pick up pastries) on specific days so you get a variety of foods each day.
  • Plant flowers near the school or outside of the classroom windows to give the teachers something beautiful to look at each day.
  • Host a luncheon for the teachers and ask parents to volunteer to cover the classroom for one period so the teachers can attend.
  • Ask local restaurants, bakeries, shops, or spas to partner with you to provide teachers with a free item or small gift card.
  • Candy bars in the teacher workroom (complete with these perfect printable gift tags!)
What Teachers Really Want for Teacher Appreciation Week

Happy Teachers Appreciation Week!

Enjoy your week, and have fun finding ways to celebrate teacher appreciation week!
Teachers— don’t forget to save those letters, cards, pictures, and notes from your students, parents, and staff. If you need more ideas, check out these gift ideas for parents.

Looking for non-toy rewards for students? We’ve got you covered!

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