Ask What They Need

Finding out what would truly be helpful—whether it’s making photocopies or giving teachers a break at recess—is the most direct route to showing your support.

Include Them

Try to get teachers’ input when making decisions about scheduling events, spending funds, and more. They’ll appreciate being asked to weigh in.

Be Appreciative

Taking the time throughout the year to let teachers know that you appreciate all they do goes a long way toward strengthening PTO-teacher relations.

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

Be Respectful

Teachers have different expectations and boundaries. If someone isn’t keen on having volunteers in her classroom, for example, don’t push it. Find another way to be helpful.

Help With Supplies

Many teachers reach into their own wallets to pay for classroom supplies. You can help by asking parents periodically to send in items like tissues and hand sanitizer. Another way to help is to share leads about places that offer discounts for educators. Our sister site,, has a page with loads of teacher discounts and grants listed.

Communicate on Their Terms

Ask teachers whether they prefer email, a phone call, or another form of interaction—and then stick to it. It lets them know you’re not going to approach them with PTO business every time you see them.

Originally posted in 2016 and updated regularly.