If your parent group plans a week of teacher appreciation activities you're in good company. In an informal poll of our PTO and PTA Leaders group on Facebook, 87 percent of leaders said their group plans appreciation for a full school week. We've put together ideas for the week for 11 different themes.

Our Favorite Superheroes

  • Decorate a bulletin board with personalized superpowers, such as “Mrs. Smith’s superpower is getting kids excited about reading!”

  • Put a water bottle or two with a superhero label on each teacher’s desk.

  • Offer a variety of “hero” sandwiches for lunch. Borrow some kids’ action figure toys to use for centerpieces.

  • Make T-shirts or capes for each teacher with a “super teacher” iron-on design.

  • Give each teacher a take-home certificate with their superpower on it.

Share a superhero shout-out on your parent group’s Facebook page!

A Little Pampering

  • Stock the staff restrooms with soft toilet paper, nice soap, and rich hand lotion.

  • Put out mini scones and muffins in a basket in the teachers lounge.

  • Set up a tea and coffee bar.

  • Offer gourmet finger sandwiches and mini quiches for lunch one day (have plenty so teachers can fill up!)

  • Provide mini massages in the teachers lounge.

Bar None, You’re the Best Teachers Around!

Five days of buffet-style fun! Our video instructions on how to set up a trail mix bar can work for almost any kind of bar you’d like.

  • Breakfast parfait bar

  • Soup bar (attach a “souper teacher” label to the to-go containers)

  • Trail mix bar

    • For smaller, denser treats like chocolate chips and fruit bits, plan on about 1 oz total per person; for larger, bulkier mix-ins like popcorn and pretzels, figure on 2 oz total per person. This should result in a generous serving to take home.

    • Hit discount stores like the Dollar Store for serving supplies and even snacks, or buy snacks in bulk to cut costs.

  • Popcorn bar

  • Sundae bar

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

Our Teachers Are Stars

  • Arrange an applause parade in the hallways as teachers walk to their classrooms.

  • Give out small bags of Starburst candy with a tag that says “You’re the star of our school!”

  • Deliver fan mail (notes from students that start with “My teacher is a star because...”) to teachers during class.

  • Roll out a red carpet Walk of Fame for a VIP lunch in the staff lounge; decorate the carpet with stars showing each teacher’s name.

  • Give each teacher a personalized “You Set the Stage for Success” certificate; use categories like “Most Encouraging” and “Best Team Player,” or draw from students’ fan mail comments.

Major-League Awesome

  • Decorate a bulletin board with “stats” on each teacher designed like baseball cards.

  • Give each teacher a baseball cap or baseball jersey-style shirt with the school and PTO name and “Major-League Awesome” or other catchphrase.

  • Provide a “home run” luncheon: hot dogs with all the fixings, chips, large soft pretzels, Cracker Jacks, and Baby Ruth candy bars.

  • Make “baseball and bat” pretzel rods and put a few in a little bag for each teacher.

  • Raffle off four tickets to a weekend home game by your local baseball or farm team.

It’s Such a Treat To Have You as Teachers

Send teachers home each day with something to enjoy whenever they want.

Public Displays of Affection

  • Decorate classroom doors with expressions of love for that room’s teacher.

  • Decorate a bulletin board with “I love my teacher because...” notes.

  • Ask parents to contribute teacher shout-outs for morning announcements.

  • Draw and write chalk messages on the sidewalks outside the school.

  • Give each teacher a take-home autograph book with their “I love my teacher because...” notes inside (print on self-adhesive labels and stick one to each page after taking down off the bulletin board).

It’s the Thought That Counts

Teachers Are Punderful

Your teachers will get a chuckle even while they’re moved by these sentiments.

Nacho Ordinary Teachers or Taco ’Bout Great Teachers (Tex-Mex)

  • Leave a mini potted succulent plant on each teacher’s desk.

  • Set up a taco, burrito, or nacho bar for lunch. For centerpieces, turn 10-gallon hats and sombreros upside down and fill with classroom supplies.

  • Visit teachers during break periods with a paletas (Mexican popsicles) dessert cart.

  • Offer teachers piñata time in the gym.

  • Churro truffles are relatively easy to make; put a few in a small box for each teacher to take home.

We Think the World of You

  • Decorate a bulletin board with a map showing where your school’s teachers are from and include a fun fact about each person.

  • Offer a breakfast cart with pastries from around the world: scones (England), croissants (France), fried dough sticks (China), blini or sirniki (Russia), and pandesal (Philippines).

  • Represent teachers’ nationalities with food provided potluck-style by volunteers at a “Best Teachers in the World” luncheon. Decorate with flags from different countries and geographic stickers like the ones put on old-fashioned luggage.

  • Design a “passport to free time” that includes coupons for parents to take over lunch duty, recess duty, or supervising the drop-off/pickup line; students can contribute with classroom job coupons, too.

  • Send teachers home with a variety of cookies from around the world; attach a gift tag that says “Thank you!” in different languages.


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Originally posted in 2017 and updated regularly