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Back-to-School Teacher Appreciation Ideas

Back to School Teacher Appreciation

Tips and templates to get your teachers’ school year started on a thoughtful note.

by Elizabeth S. Leaver and Terri Frank


The first few weeks of school are a hectic time for everyone—especially school staff members. Spend a moment at the beginning of the school year to show teachers you care about them and value their work. It can go a long way toward setting a positive tone for the entire year.

Here are some thoughtful ways to express your back-to-school appreciation that won’t cause a lot of stress or cost a lot of money.


Back-to-School Survey

Survey your school's teachers to get insights into your teachers’ likes, interests, and much more, helping your group (and room parents) personalize appreciation efforts.


Room Service

Plan a back-to-school breakfast and take custom orders with a door-tag-style menu. Just remember to spell their names right when you deliver the treats.


Challenge accepted! Concrete steps for a great start to the school year


Self-Care Kit

Buy mugs or mason jars and fill them with self-care essentials like aspirin, hand sanitizer, a high-energy snack, stain remover pen, a gift card for coffee, tea bags, hand lotion, earplugs, and more. Add a self-stick or card stock gift tag that says “A few things to help you take care!”


Popcorn Bar

Create a popcorn bar in the break room and add a sign that reads “We don’t mean to butter you up or sound corny when we say we appreciate every one of our teachers...every single day!” Combine the sign with customizable “You make us POP with appreciation!” gift tags.


Tea Time

Add a “Have a tea-riffic year!” tag to a bottle of iced tea for a refreshing and thoughtful afternoon thirst-quencher.


Theme Door Signs

For only a few dollars, create a personalized door sign around a theme (for example, fish or shells for “Under the Sea”) and attach it to each teacher’s classroom door.



Erasers With Tags

These cute tags that say “Make no mistake about it...I’m so happy you’re my teacher!” is a useful and inexpensive pick-me-up when they’re attached to erasers.


Come Clean

Teachers never have enough cleaning products. A canister of disinfecting wipes with a tag that reads “I’m coming clean—you’re the best!” makes a neat gift.


Tags for Notebooks

Everyone knows teachers take a lot of notes. Make them smile by gifting a notebook with our “You’re a five-star teacher!” gift tag.


The Write Start

You’ll help teachers make the “write start” with these gift tags; attach them to packages of pens, pencils, or markers.


A Smooth Year Ahead

Wish teachers the smoothest year possible with a small bottle of hand lotion and a “hope you have a smooth year” gift tag.


Can't Forget the Apples!

You can’t get more old-school than presenting teachers with an apple. Add a cute tag that says “An apple for the teacher is really nothing new...but this one comes with our appreciation, too!”

Originally posted in 2016 and updated regularly.

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