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The Ultimate List of Midyear Teacher Appreciation Ideas

The Ultimate List of Midyear Teacher Appreciation Ideas

From #WaterTok to "halfway there" snack carts (cue the Bon Jovi playlist), here are some of the coolest ways to celebrate teachers midyear.

by Kerri Beauchesne


Teacher Appreciation Week (May 6, 2024) is a big deal. But what about the midyear slump, when teachers could really use a boost? We've got your group covered with lots of cool ways to show teachers some love, from caramel apple nacho bars and those adorbs Walmart mini pies for Thanksgiving to "half way there" treats to ring in the new year (cue the Bon Jovi playlist). 


Apple bars

When we caught wind of the caramel apple nacho bar trend in our closed Facebook group for PTO and PTA Leaders, we had to shout about it from the school roof tops because it's just so darn adorable! All you'll need: apples (have a few apple slicer/corers on a cutting board for teachers to slice themselves), sauces (like hot fudge, caramel, and hazelnut spread), and a variety of toppings, like nuts, mini chocolate chips, coconut flakes, marshmallows, and M&M candies. (PSA: Be sure to keep in mind your school's nut policy and any teacher allergies.) Keep sauces warm in a crockpot or a roasting pan or use self-serve squeeze bottles.


Freshly "boo'ed" coffee

Ella Barnes PTA in Corpus Christi, TX surprised their teachers with freshly "boo'ed" coffee ahead of Halloween.


PTOs are gifting mini pies and teachers are loving it

If we’re being completely honest, any day is a good day to eat pie. But there are obviously more appropriate times to gift pies to your teachers—like the week before Thanksgiving break, National Pie Day (January 23), and Pi Day (March 14). Grab your pies at your local Walmart, and tie a fork and a tag (get our free pie-themed printable) to each pie with ribbon or twine.



Appreciation Station

With World Kindness Day (November 13) and Thanksgiving happening within a few weeks of each other, November is the perfect time to set up an appreciation station for families and students to write thankful notes to anyone in the school community that they're thankful for!

@taylor.mart Happy World Kindness Day! Spread some kindness today and every day! This product was kindly #gifted by @Sharpie and @PTOtoday. #schoolcommunityinsider #pto #pta #ptomom #sharpie #teacher #teacherappreciation #teachersoftiktok #teacherappreciation #teacherappreciationgift #teachergift #teachergiftideas #giftideas #giftgiving #worldkindnessday #kindness #teacherapprecationweek #thankfulgift #ptotoday ♬ original sound - Taylor


Trail mix bar for parent teacher conferences

@ptotoday It’s parent teacher conference time, and a trail mix bar is a great way to help teachers keep their energy up 🤪! What’s your PTO doing for teachers? Trail mix bar 📸 @NelsonPTA #parentteacherconference #teacherappreciation #ptolife #ptopresident #ptapresident ♬ original sound - PTOToday ✨ School Family Media


Thanksgiving cookie decorating kits

Big props to the uber creative volunteer at Overlook Middle School PTO in Ashburnham, MA who orchestrated an elaborate Thanksgiving dinner in cookie form for their teachers! Each to-go container includes a turkey leg shaped cookie, frosting with caramel and a starburst, and M&Ms.


Surprise teachers with Grinch punch cups ahead of winter break

Frances E. Norton Elementary PTA in Allen, Texas used rubber bands to secure green tissue paper to green cups filled with Grinch Hershey kisses, mini candy canes, and a special gift (festive leather earrings, Stanley straw toppers and holiday socks). Each cup was then topped with a red heart sticker. (Shop this idea on Amazon: green tissue paper, green cups, and red heart stickers.) 


Over the moon about your staff? Try a camping themed set-up

For National Education Support Staff Day (November 15), Santa Fe PTA treated their star support staff to a camping-themed spread.



You're appreciated S'MORE than you know!

Can't do a full-on camping theme? Try thike a new year resolutiois adorbs s'more to go kit for teachers from Mandarin Middle PTSA in Jacksonville, Florida. Tie it to a new year's resolution, like, "I want s’more in 2024!"  


"You've Been Elfed" (class)room service

No worries: we're not talking Elf on a Shelf. In this case, your PTO is a cast of elves who deliver surprise treats and surprises to teachers who are ready to Netflix and not grade over winter break. Download our FREE editable "You've Been Elfed" room service door hanger and customize it with supplies and snacks for teachers to choose from. Then, hang from each teacher's door and invite teachers to check off what they'd love to get.



"Time to Wrap Up Another Year"  

If one thing's for certain during the holidays, it's that you can never have too many rolls of wrapping paper or tape! Set up complimentary rolls of wrapping paper, bows, and tape as a thoughtful send-off for teachers before holiday break. Get the free sign in our year’s worth of appreciation mega bundle!




Put the fun back into drinking water with #WaterTok  

If you've spent anytime going down the rabbit hole of teacher appreciation ideas on TikTok, you've probably come across #WaterTok, which is basically a jazzed up hydration station. What's fun about #WaterTok is you can change up drink names around the holidays. Jingle Juice or Grinch Water, anyone? Here's how to do #WaterTok for teacher appreciation (including teacher-theme recipes, printable signage, and a list of shopping supplies). 

@hearditfromhannah Got this idea from @Adventures of Bella and added our own spin to it! The teachers LOVED it! @PTOToday ✨ School Family Media #ptomom #ptoideas #teacherappreciation #teacherappreciationweek #teacherappreciationday #watertok #watertok2023 #elementarymom #elementaryteachers ♬ original sound - Hannah | Midsize & Mom Life


Get a little fancy with an Italian soda bar

Teachers need a break from the 40 ounces of water their Stanley tumblers can hold? We get it. An Italian soda bar is a fun way for teachers to experiment with different flavor profiles to make the perfect fizzing lifting drink to get them to the bell.

@ptotoday A little Italian soda bar treat for teachers before spring break! 📸 @willowvilleelemen #ptomomsoftiktok #teacherappreciation #sodabar #schoolvolunteer #ptopresident #PTOlife #ptapresident ♬ original sound - PTOToday ✨ School Family Media


Stock the teachers' lounge with a side of LOLs (meme theme)

Come midyear, most teachers could use a good laugh...and what better way to do that than with a meme? Here’s everything you’ll need (printable memes included).

@ptotoday Stock the Teachers’ Lounge: Meme Edition #teacherappreciation #PTOlife #ptopresident #ptomomsoftiktok #ptapresident #schoolvolunteer #meme ♬ Printer print sound (ink-jet, room) - LEOPARD


Because the sound of a treat trolley coming down the hallway is the best sound they'll hear all day...

From Ted Lasso to pizza puns, we've got your group covered with lots of treat trolley themes to get your teachers through the midyear slump. (Psst: National Pizza Day is February 9.) Get our shoppable list of the supplies, décor, and themed Canva sign templates.

@ptotoday Teacher Trolley Goals 👏 📸 Brookwood Elementary PTO in Enterprise, Alabama #teacherappreciation #ptomomsoftiktok #ptopresident #PTOlife #treattrolley ♬ son original - Whoxver


Popcorn bar for National Popcorn Day (January 19)

Pop some popcorn (or do a walking popcorn bar with individual bags of popcorn instead), grab some mix-ins, and invite teachers to pop by for some treats! Get a popcorn bar sign and treat tags in our year’s worth of appreciation mega bundle!

@ptotoday Love this fun popcorn bar from Soaring Heights for their monthly staff hospitality set up! #teacherappreciation #ptopresident #schoolvolunteerlife #ptolife #ptomomsoftiktok #popcornbar ♬ original sound - PTOToday ✨ School Family Media



We might be stating the obvious here, but the Super Bowl is a great time to serve up some soup in the teachers' lounge. Don't forget the football-shaped stress balls! 😉



Health and wellness bar for teachers

An immunity-boosting wellness bar for teachers is just the boost they need come January. You'll need: a variety of teas, immunity boosters, fresh fruit, hand lotions, chocolate (obviously!), water, and healthier snacks.

@ptotoday A great mid January boost for teachers…a stay healthy bar! 📸 Coastal Elementary PTO #ptopresident #ptapresident #teacherappreciation #selfcare #schoolvolunteerlife #januaryblues ♬ I Think I Like When It Rains - WILLIS


"Happy halfway there" starring Bon Jovi

Okay, so maybe Bon Jovi in the flesh can't show up for your teacher appreciation festivities (darn), but we have the next best idea: fire up your Bon Jovi playlist, print out your best Bon Jovi memes (cut out and affix to drinks or snacks), and celebrate that we're (whoaaaaaa) halfway there! This theme is a fun way to revive teachers come January, or even midweek on a Wednesday. We even found Bon Jovi masks for those of you with really dedicated hospitality coordinators...


Photo credit: Olmito Elementary School PTA, Brownsville, Texas


Photo credit: Ashburn Elementary PTO, Ashburn, Virginia


Send teachers off with "warm wishes"

Just in time for holiday break, pack hot cocoa kits and treats into a cup. We're loving these Buddy the Elf cups!



Mark your cup and drink up at the hot cocoa bar

You'll need hot cocoa packets, whipped cream, cups and holiday cookies, of course!

@ehe_pto Cocoa Bar to keep the teachers Warm #cocoabar #hotchocolate #parentteacherorganization #ptomomsunite ♬ It's the Most Wonderful Time of The Year - The Xmas Specials


Coupon books, just for teachers

Everyone loves a good deal ahead of the holidays, so we created this editable coupon book just for teachers (jeans passes and the "gift of time" included). Download this free editable file here.



And just for giggles, we had to share this snarky take on a teacher charcuterie board (LOL)



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