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Last-Minute Teacher Appreciation Ideas


Our best suggestions for ways to show teachers and staff that you appreciate all they do—even if you don’t have a lot of time or resources for planning.

by Patty Catalano


Ask students to make cards at home out of colored construction paper and write a message of appreciation to their teachers. Collect all the cards for each teacher in a box and deliver them at the same time one day.

Invite a student from each classroom to recite a poem or say a few words over the PA system about why his or her teacher is so special.

Create a sweet thank-you poster for teachers using the popular “Candy Poem.” (Be sure to affix the corresponding candy items to the poster board, too.) There are other versions of the poem on our message boards.

50+ teacher appreciation ideas, plus planning tools, flyers, and more

Tidy up the teachers lounge: Wipe down the counters, fill a bowl with bite-size candy bars (maybe even the extras from your Candy Poem poster!), and place a bottle of nice hand lotion next to the sink.

Ask students (and parent helpers) to come to school early one day. Provide them with chalk to write or draw notes to the teachers on the walkway into the building, one sidewalk block per class.

Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper about the special teachers at your school. Hang a framed copy of the letter, signed by your PTO, in the school lobby.

On a bulletin board, display photos of teachers volunteering at PTO events or leading field trips. Write a brief bio about what makes each teacher special. Use a fun theme such as wall of fame, Hollywood stars, or major leagues. Or cut out Scrabble-style alphabet tiles and make a grid with the teachers’ names. At the top, write “No matter how you spell it, our teachers rock.”

Purchase small bags of coffee to distribute to each teacher and enclose a tag that reads “Thanks a latte for all you do!”

Offer a dry cleaning drop-off day early in the week; return the cleaned items to the teachers’ homerooms.

Leave a note of thanks along with a small but practical item. Some combinations we like include a spray bottle or mini fan for recess duty (“We have the coolest teachers”), highlighter markers (“Highlighting all you do is impossible!”), and adhesive bandages (“This place would fall apart without you”).

Give the teachers a recess breakask parents to cover for them so they can have an extra-long period before the next class session.

In each teacher’s mailbox, leave a ribbon and a note that says “We can clearly see we have the best staff around. If you would like your windows washed tomorrow, please tie this ribbon to your car antenna.”

Design printable sticker sheets with a message like “ABC School students love their teachers” or “ABC School teachers are the best!” As children arrive at school in the morning, give each one a sticker to wear that day.

Get a print of each class picture and a separate picture of just the teacher. Cut out each student from the class photo, then arrange the cutouts as a collage around the teacher’s photo. Mount on a piece of white card stock. If there’s time, use a larger piece of card stock and have the students sign their names or put a short note in the border area around the collage.

Originally posted in 2015 and updated regularly


# Anjilla Young 2011-05-02 16:27
Sharing a Thank a Teacher video is a unique way to thank teachers in today’s digital age. It reminds us that teachers have the ability to inspire greatness and change lives. This video, created by Mudpies & Butterflies, a social networking tool developed in southeast Michigan, can be seen on You Tube by searching for “Thank a Teacher.” It can also be passed along by visiting

It is an inspiring video that can quickly and easily be shared with teachers!

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