You are bound to find something on our list that you’d like to try this year! We’ve included ideas from several of our most popular teacher appreciation articles, the PTO Today File Exchange, and the PTO Today Pinterest page.
1. Borrow a cart from the school, drape in it a pretty table cloth, and load it up with cookies and other treats. Take it around the school, stopping at each teacher’s classroom and offering items from the snack cart.
2. Print our teacher appreciation word cloud poster—it includes words that perfectly describe teachers. Hang it in the teachers lounge.
3. Tuck a muffin (or other breakfast treat) and a piece of fruit in a paper lunch bag decorated with a cheery ribbon. Have a volunteer hand these “to-go” breakfasts to teachers as they arrive at school.
4. Give a little popcorn treat to each teacher with a gift tag that says “For a very POPular teacher!”
5. Hold an awards ceremony for teachers where each one is recognized for being a caring individual. Hand out certificates made and signed by the children.
6. Make a superhero cape for each teacher. If possible, use the school colors!
7. Put together a bouquet of flowers in a simple vase with a note reading “Thanks for helping me bloom!” Leave on teachers’ desks.
8. Assemble a small set of gifts, all yellow, with a “You are our sunshine” message. Ideas include: a yellow candle, pencils, pens, and markers, candies, and hand sanitizer.
9. Present teachers with the candy poem, one of our most popular ideas. Get our free full-color printable which includes pictures of the candy bars you can use.
10. Create a brag book for each teacher. Fill it with notes and photos from students and parents.
11. Dazzle them with sidewalk art. Using chalk, write thank-you notes on the sidewalks leading to the school as a kickoff to teacher appreciation week.
12. Purchase a coffee pot, along with coffee cups and selected coffees, for the teachers lounge.
13. Set up an Appreciation Station with a table in the hallway. Provide paper, pencils, and crayons. Encourage students to stop by to write a thank-you to their teacher. Teachers can pick up their notes during the day.
14. Ask students to write thank-you messages on poster board (perhaps one for each class) and display around the school.
15. Give teachers a collection of highlighters (arranged in a decorated mason jar) with a note saying “You’ve been the highlight of my year.”
16. Create a collection of recipes used for a teachers luncheon and give to teachers at the end of Teacher Appreciation Week.
17. Give stadium seats to teachers to use for sitting on the floor with students.
18. Give the gift of love notes. Download our free “I love my teacher because…” notes that students can fill out and give to teachers.
19. Present teachers with hand calculators with gift cards that read “According to our calculations, you’re a great teacher!”
20. Create teacher goody bags that include classroom must-haves like sticky notes, glue sticks, and hand sanitizer. Download our instructions to assemble the goody bags along with printable gift cards.
21. Make a large happy-hands tree (a great display for a classroom door). Student handprints can be added as leaves on the tree.
22. Make a summer relaxation tote for teachers using a beach bag and filled with fun summer items, like magazines, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
23. Create a salad bar in the teachers lounge with lettuce, vegetables, and all the fixings. Add homemade bread as a side dish.
24. Set up a breakfast bar one morning during Teacher Appreciation Week. Include bagels and a selection of cream cheeses along with muffins, fruit, and yogurts.
25. Free pizza! Give each teacher a gift card to a local pizza shop. Stop by the restaurant and ask for free small pizza boxes. Put a gift card in each box and present to teachers!
26. Bundle up the ingredients for s’mores—a box of graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate—and present with a card that reads “Wishing you s’more and s’more fun this summer!”
27. Set up a chocolate fountain in the teachers lounge with fruit and small chunks of pound cake for dipping.
28. Get a collection of gift cards from local retailers and do a daily raffle, announcing a few winners each day throughout Teacher Appreciation Week.
29. Give teachers extended lunch times during Teacher Appreciation Week. Parents can cover recess so teachers can have a longer lunch.
30. Try a Valet Day—get parent volunteer to run errands for teachers while they are in the classroom.
31. When planning a teacher appreciation lunch, keep in mind that some teachers may have dietary restrictions. Add gluten-free or vegetarian options to your luncheon.
32. Give teachers a package of scissors for the classroom with a note that reads “You’re a cut above the rest.’’
33. Do a “rock star” theme for a teacher luncheon. Design an invitation as a CD or album cover.
34. Give teachers an applause parade! Have students line the hallway in the morning and clap as teachers arrive.
35. Try a soup bar at a luncheon. Serve about 10 soups in slow cookers. Add fresh bread as a side dish.
36. Provide a gift for summer, like an orange beach towel or a orange mini fan, and use our gift tag that says “Orange you glad it’s almost summer?”
37. Attach handwritten notes to teachers from students to plastic pinwheels. Place pinwheels in the ground in the schoolyard with a sign reading “You blow us away!” Teachers can stroll through the pinwheel garden and read the notes.
38. Provide neck and back messages for teachers as a special event during Teacher Appreciation Week. Set up the teachers lounge as a mini spa with dimmed lights, soft music, and scented candles.
39. Go with an unexpected theme to transform the teachers lounge or multipurpose room at your school, such as a roadhouse with a stage, a pirate ship, or a beach (complete with real sand!).
40. Give teachers a potluck luncheon with contributions from parents. (This will keep costs down, too.)
41. Ask local businesses to support your teacher appreciation effort. Can they contribute gift cards? Or perhaps a local restaurant can donate food for one of your events.
42. Hold a car wash in the parking lot. Spruce up teachers’ cars during the school day.
43. Set up a “bravo board” on a school bulletin board. Post notes and photos of teachers in action.
44. Give teachers a gift card in a cute gift card holder with a note saying you were going to give them something homemade and special (like a self-portrait made with raisins!) but decided on a gift card instead.
45. Try a modest makeover for the teachers lounge with new pillows, coffee cups, and a table centerpiece, and new hand soap and hand towels for the teachers bathroom.
46. Ask parents to donate services, such as hair styling or manicures, as special gifts during Teacher Appreciation Week.
47. Purchase inexpensive plastic lawn flamingos and place them around the school. Create a large sign for the school that says “Our teachers rock the flock.”
48. Purchase a small plant for each teacher and attach a gift card that reads “Teachers plant the seeds of knowledge."
49. Do a tea time in the teachers lounge with a selection of hot and cold teas, finger sandwiches, and scones.
50. Collect classroom supplies from parents and display them on tables. Invite teachers to come “shop” for what they need.
For more information about teacher appreciation, you may want to read:
Creative Twists on Teacher Appreciation
Teacher Appreciation Ideas From the Trenches
More Easy Teacher Appreciation Ideas
14 Teacher Appreciation Ideas They’ll Love
Teacher Appreciation on $100 or less