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Teacher Appreciation Week Ideas for Every Day

Teacher Appreciation Week Ideas for Every Day

Themes and thoughts for Staff and Teacher Appreciation Week, Monday through Friday.

by Lani Harac


Editor’s note: If you choose a theme or activity that includes food, keep dietary restrictions and allergies in mind during planning; offer alternatives like gift cards or prepackaged foods that won’t spoil for those staff members that need it.

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.

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.


Taylor Swift

  • Wildest (or mildest) dreams taco bar (with hot and mild sauces) or "Shake it off" smoothie bar

  • Make a DIY friendship bracelet banner to display in the teachers' lounge

  • Pick a snack to feature for an "In our (fill in the blank) era" theme; for example, "In my chocolate era" or "In my apple era"

  • Don't forget the life-size Taylor Swift and Travis cardboard cut-outs!

  • Get even more Taylor Swift teacher appreciation ideas, including free printables ("Our teachers make the whole school shimmer" sign and a Taylor Swift appreciation week at a glance calendar)


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 or Thanks for Covering All the Bases

  • 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. Or, set up a treat trolley! Check out our shopping list (snacks and supplies) for a baseball themed teacher treat trolley, plus a printable sign.

  • 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

  • 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 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.


Let’s Get Real, We Couldn’t Survive Without You (Survivor theme)

  • Survival kit: Bring your teacher supplies or other desired items for their classroom.

  • Immunity challenge: Put together a self-care kit with tea, hand sanitizer, energy bar, etc.

  • Message in a bottle: Write a note to your teacher.

  • Desert island smoothies: Use tropical fruit for a refreshing treat.

  • Life’s a beach: Give each teacher a pair of flip-flops and a beach towel with the school logo.


We’ll Be There for You (Friends theme)


Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

  • #1 fan: Write a letter to a staff member.

  • Time out: Put out small, individually wrapped treats for a quick break.

  • You’re an MVP: Create personalized award certificates.

  • Team colors: Wear your teacher's favorite sports team gear or favorite colors.

  • Saved by the bell: Provide ice cream or coffee treats at the end of the school day.


Fruits and Flowers

  • Seed packets (herbs or flowers): Teachers plant the seeds of knowledge.

  • Fresh flowers or small potted plants: Our garden is in full bloom thanks to you; or, we couldn’t have picked better teachers.

  • Oranges, clementines, tangerines: Orange you glad it’s almost summer?

  • Bananas: We are bananas about you, thank you for all you do!

  • Fresh-squeezed lemonade: Your zest for learning is so refreshing.


Best Staff in the Galaxy (Star Wars theme)

  • May the forks be with you (any meal)

  • Thank you we shall (any treat)

  • After-school refuel (snacks at the end of the day)

  • Yoda best staff member (personal notes for each staffer)

  • Jedi supplies (restock classrooms with favorite school supplies, books, etc.)


We Appreciate You to Pieces

  • We’d be in serious trouble if we didn’t have you

  • We don’t domi-know what we’d do without you

  • Here’s a clue how much we appreciate you

  • We are bowled over by you

  • We’d be completely puzzled without you


You Help Us Take Flight

  • Snack service (snack cart or room service)

  • Drink service (drink cart or new insulated mugs filled with coffee)

  • In-flight meal (food truck or other)

  • In-flight entertainment (movie passes)

  • Baggage claim (take-home treat)


Our Staff Takes the Gold

  • Gold medal goodies (fridge restock)

  • Breakfast of champions

  • Refueling station (coffee or tea)

  • Winners circle (snacks)

  • Finish line (dessert bar)


Originally posted in 2017 and updated regularly.

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