Seeking Ideas for Teacher Appreciation Week at Elementary School

Updated on August 10, 2009
J.C. asks from Argyle, TX
30 answers

I have just taken on the Teacher Appreciation Committee at my daughters elementary school. In the past some of the ideas for Teacher Appreciation Week seemed kind of silly... "each student bring their teacher an apple" (what will they do with 25+ apples?), etc. But I've also seen some great ideas..."bring a new book to help build your teachers classroom library", etc.
I am hoping you parents can give me ideas of things you loved or disliked and I'm also hoping to hear from the teachers as to what they have seen done during Teacher Appreciation Week that they felt was beneficial to them or ideas they would never want to see again! =}
Also, this is something I'm putting together for the entire school, not just my daughters classroom.
Thank you!

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So What Happened?

Thank you so much to everyone who responded... parents and teachers! So many good ideas and a few things I hadn't thought about! I am going to take these ideas and share them with the committee so that we can make sure we do our best to let our teachers know they are appreciated!
THANK YOU!

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M.H.

answers from Dallas on

Get room Moms involved...Send out a questionnaire to all the teachers that ask about their favorite things... fave snack, fave candy , soft drink, type of lip gloss, where they would want a $5 gift card from (ie jamba juice, starbucks). Where they like to eat out, etc...

Some great gifts I've gotten:
-gift card wreath with assorted small dollar amount gift cards
-10 minute chair massage in break room for each teacher.
- popcorn bucket of my fave munchies and $5 blockbuster card
-embroidered tote bag
-personalized stationery
-note from each child with a chocolate attached
-a different catered lunch each day that week (Corner Bakery, then Chili's, etc...)

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S.C.

answers from Dallas on

There are a lot of great ideas here, but wanted to share my thoughts. I've seen schools do like a brunch for the teachers and another thought was to let the child pick out a special gift under $5 or $10 that they think the teacher would like from their favorite store.

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L.D.

answers from Dallas on

If it's in the budget, a home made or catered lunch is always appreciated. The parents at my school in Austin used to do awesome home made lunches for the teachers a few times a year - just pot-luck style. Good stuff!

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A.D.

answers from Dallas on

The best thing we ever did was breakfast for the teachers. We had the classes covered for the first 15 minutes of that day. Then we made breakfast, home made sweet rolls, breakfast burriro (so I don't spell well) we made ahead green peppers, mushrooms, onions, sauage, greaded cheese, with home made hot sauce. I used an electic grill, and fry pan. On the grill we warmed the tortillas, and scabled the eggs in a big bowl, and cooked them in the fry pan. Each teach would go down the table and pick out the things they wanted with their eggs. Then the cook would mix the eggs with the things the teacher had picked out, add cheese put it on the tortilla roll it up and hand it to the teacher. They always talk about it even now when I ran into them in the store or somewhere. And that was over 16 years ago. Good luck.

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J.F.

answers from Dallas on

As a former teacher, I always enjoyed the snacks and lunches that came along with Teacher Appreciation week. Our PTA usually had a sort of potluck lunch for us on one of the days, and they usually had some sort of snack for us in the mornings. This was great!
You may also see if you can get some local businesses to donate some gift certificates or prizes, and you can have daily/hourly drawings for the prizes.
Rather than apples, hand sanitizer would probably be more appreciated, especially if it's at the beginning of the year and teachers can go ahead and stock up!
Good luck--and thank you for taking on the project!

-J. Friedl
http://juliafriedl.wordpress.com
http://www.facebook.com/juliafriedltx
https://twitter.com/juliafriedl

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J.M.

answers from Dallas on

I am a former teacher, and our teacher appreciation week had a different gift each day. One day would be a note from your students, another was everyone brought a single flower to make a bouquet, bring a snack for your teacher (that can be too much), or bring a homemade gift for your teacher. There was also one day during the week that 2 parents came to supervise a classroom for an hour and a half so that the teachers could go out to lunch. That was great. Lunch was paid for by PTA, but I'm sure the teachers wouldn't paying. The break was great! Teachers do spend a lot on their own classroom supplies(books and stickers are always great), but some schools do provide a lot of that for them. I will tell you that most teachers do very little for themselves. Teachers put in a lot of hours and do everything for the students. My suggestion would be to ask for voluntary donations and get you the teachers a gift card to eat, shop, or get a manicure...something for them. It makes the teacher feel very special when parents give a gift that is just for them. I did have parents make me home cooked meal before. That was great too!

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L.P.

answers from Dallas on

Wow! How considerate of you to take on such a task. I teach 1st grade and I can only speak for me. I would not like 25 apples but books for a classroom library would be great. We love things that we can use at school for your kids. Pack of stickers, puzzles, books, etc. Also, things that are sentimental that can be used. For instance, a bag with student name on it that we can carry work home in. I have made those for room mothers and they love them too. Things don't have to be expensive to be meaningful. Our PTA gave us little stuff each day last year. One day it was a drink and candy bar, another day it was a lunch sack of teacher supplies: pens, erasers, paper clips, a highlighter, etc. That was my favorite thing! Hope this helps and thanks for supporting the teachers at your children's school.

2 moms found this helpful

L.P.

answers from Tyler on

I was going to suggest asking for support from your PTA, too. But, after reading through other responses I need to reinforce that PTA's in TX cannot provide funds for giftcards, lunches, or anything else that doesn't directly impact the classroom. It's a TX PTA rule, and I disagree with the policy, but it is the rule.
That being said, the best cooks I know are PTA moms! We have organized Baked Potatoe lunches, just have a few moms volunteer to purchase and bake the potatoes and other moms volunteer to handle the toppings/paper goods/drinks...etc. The teachers LOVED this idea. We also did a breakfast at the beginning of the school year (it seems teachers have a hard time getting used to a morning routine, too!!) and in the fall we did a soup/salad lunch. It's amazing how many mom's are willing to contribute, PTA members or not..lol! The PTA can pay for copies to be made so you can send out a request with the students school wide and ask for parents to send prepared food.
Good luck! Your job is a fun one!

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G.C.

answers from Dallas on

Hello J.,
I am G. and I am in Haltom City I wanted to let you know if you would like to help fill the teachers books shelves I am a consultant with Usborne Books. We could have the books brought to the school where the kids could pick what they wanted that day or we could order them and do it like a party where they would earn free books for the school. I could include a drawing slip for every child who bought a book to win $50.00 in free books. I would put a book marker in each book for free. Then as a extra gift I know a lot of homebased businesses I could make a little gift bag of samples for the teachers and put it and the books in a sack. If this is something you might be interested in Please let me know so I can get with my sponser on how to handle this as I just signed up last night.
If you have ever thought of your own business you can join Usborne right now for only $15 and you would get a kit worth $147 and you could do the sales yourself and make a little extra money and with you working part time at the school you would have easy access to run a sale. I would help you in any way I could.
Thanks, and I wish you a Blessed weekend.
G.

2 moms found this helpful

T.F.

answers from Dallas on

My SIL is a teacher and I have been a sub at 1 elementary school in Plano since 2000

Many teachers spend their own $ for basic supplies. I've seen decorated pots filled with tape, staples, markers, post it's, etc for daily use.

From experience the expo markers for the boards are always worn as well as markers for the overhead projector.

Books for the teacher's classrom library are great. Fun games are welcomed for the no recess days.

That's a few off the top of my head. I'm sure I can come up with more!! Most teachers assign " jobs" such as turning computers off, cleaning board and av machine, library, etc

Thanks to you for helping.

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K.F.

answers from Dallas on

Ok, well all my ideas have already been listed but there is also a great resource I used last year when I was on the PTO board. PTO Today (.com) is a fabulous website and they have message boards that cover just about every aspect of the PTO, including teacher appreciation. Check it out, I think you'll find it a great resource. And good luck!

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K.L.

answers from Dallas on

At the schools where I taught, teachers could wear jeans on Fridays as long as they wore spirit wear on top. Irene at Sew Nice embroidered our school logo on shirts, jackets, and sweatshirts that my coworkers and I loved to wear.

When I was teaching, I used a tote bag all the time. Now that I stay home, I still use tote bags. So, when I wanted to thank the teachers at my church nursery, I gave tote bags embroidered by Irene. I liked the bags so much, I had her embroider one for me.

Contact Irene of Sew Nice at [email protected]____.com for pricing and other teacher appreciation ideas.

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P.S.

answers from Dallas on

Our school remembers our teachers each month, not just TA week. PTA pays for something small, a pack of micro popcorn and a soda, Hershey kisses from Heaven, Teacher survial kits (a pencil, paperclip, red pen, with a little saying on how to use each item) that we randomly put in their boxes about once a month. We do breakfast at Christmaas for them,the local bakeries donaate the sweets and some of our parents make homemade taquitos, they LOVE it. Teacher week we usually give the parents a list of things to bring and to do 1-2 so the teachers are not overwhelmed. One of the items is to bring a dessert for the teachers to enjoy at their big luncheon we provide.

1 mom found this helpful
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K.W.

answers from Abilene on

My mom's school always hires a massage therapist to do 10-15 minute chair massages at the school. Perhaps a massage therapist would donate her time or give a reduced rate???

1 mom found this helpful
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C.T.

answers from Dallas on

Some things I enjoyed over the years when I taught were a catered lunch for the teachers one day during that week, gift cards, dinner in a bag. The moms of the children in my room got together and put dinner in a bag for me to take home that evening-pasta, jar of sauce, bread and a sweet treat for dessert. Each classroom did this for their teacher. Good luck!

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

We've had each child bring 1 flower so the teacher has a bouquet of flowers, but that is hard b/c you can't really buy 1 flower, you have to buy a bouquet! I've also seen a breakfast and you just get small committee of parents to bring stuff for breakfast (muffins, egg casserole, drinks, etc). and lunch same way. Pick a theme and go with it like mexican, then you get chips, salsa, bean dip, queso, fajita meat, tortillas, etc. We've also had kids write a thank you note to their teacher one day and don't forget the "other" teachers - Spanish, Art, Music, school nurse, cafeteria workers, etc. Can't think of anything else right now, but I'm sure you'll get lots of ideas!

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W.L.

answers from Dallas on

One year when I was in charge we bought all of the teachers pretty but inexpensive vases on Monday with a note asking them to keep them on their desks. We asked the children to bring one flower for the teacher on Tues and they had pretty flowers for the rest of the week because some students forgot and brought them later in the week so they were fresh each day. Some brought home grown, some florist flowers and some weeds from the roadside so no one was left out.

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N.B.

answers from Dallas on

I love the idea of books for the reading library. I will be teaching second grade this year for the first time and I am trying to buy lots of books, but it is getting expensive. I would also love a gift card to Teacher's tools or something like that. It is not that personal, but it is very helpful. Other than that, a day at a spa would be great too. A massage or a facial or something.

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M.V.

answers from Dallas on

What about bring a vase from the dollar store for each teacher and letting every child in the class bring a flower to fill it up. You can also let each child bring a small gift card to their favorite places Starbucks, Blockbuster ect. Have a day that each chid brings a desert of their choice. Good Luck!!!

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C.B.

answers from Dallas on

I like the idea behind teacher apreication week, but I don't like being asked to send a present to school every day of that week for the teacher(something to keep in mind). I have 4 kids- 3 of them will be going to school this year- that's 15 gifts I have to buy and it adds up. Something I did with my daughters kindergarten teacher was a quilt. Each child dipped thier hand in paint and did a hand print on a square of cloth, then I wrote thier name under it and sewed them together and put a backing on it. The teacher loved it!
Granted this would take some great volenteers from each class who would be willing to do the sewing and help with the hand stamps- also a few bucks from each kid would pay for the material and the batting.
Or suggest that each of the children make a card or write a small letter telling the teacher why they enjoy being in her class. They could be collected through out the week and presented to the teacher on the last day.
I think one nice, thoughtful present is a lot better(and a lot less stressful) than a bunch of mandatory gifts from each child. Just my thoughts! Good luck!
~C.

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J.O.

answers from Abilene on

I totally agree with J M. I have/had enough coffee cups to supply the free world. I travel to different schools so I see many ideas. Food is always a winner. the PTA would arrange for a theme in the lounge. One day it might be Mexican and the next Italian. It was homemade and not bought. I loved the afternoon we met on the school lawn and had homemade ice cream.
I have had PTA arrange an afternoon off. Volunteers would come and 2:00 so the teachers could leave early one day.

Donations for a gift card are always welcomed.

Thanks for helping, teachers like to be appreciated. Most are happy to be told "thank you for loving and teaching my child".

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K.S.

answers from Dallas on

At the school where I taught, the PTA and our assistant principal worked together to make that week special for us. Besides providing snacks, breakfast or lunch, one year they sent out notes with a different useful teacher item to bring for each day. For example, Monday was bring stickers for your teacher. Tuesday, bring stamps, etc... There were things that were actually useful and appreciated by us. I've also enjoyed the opportunity to win gift baskets or gift cards in a week of random drawings (it is also a good way to make a little money go a long way).

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S.C.

answers from Dallas on

I think the most successful TA weeks that I've been a part of have been those that have daily themes. Each day, the kids bring in something related to that theme. For example:
1 - bring in one flower and the teacher ends up with a bouquet
2 - bring in office supplies from a wish list provided and the teacher ends up with her supplies refilled
3 - bring in a thank you card for the teachers
4 - bring in a recipe for the teacher to try at home (the best way to do this one is for the room mom to collect them ahead of time and compile them in a book. It's always nice when they cook one recipe and present that with the finished cookbook.
5 - bring in a gift card for the teacher

Things like that. And of course, it's important to include the PE, music, art, etc. teachers in this week.

I think most PTAs provide a free lunch once that week.

Good luck!~

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T.S.

answers from Dallas on

The PTA sends out a questionaire to the teachers asking:
- whats your favorate snack
- whats your favorate drink
- whats your favorate scent
- whats your favorate flower
- what is something you could use in your classroom (i.e. pencils, highlighters, markers, stickers, etc)

After we compile the information we send it home with all the students with a note stating this is optional, so parents don't feel like they have to do it.

The teachers like this idea and get what they like or need.

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C.S.

answers from Abilene on

At our school the PTO is very much involved with the teacher appreciation week. We plan activities for every day. Usually it will consist of snacks or a meal everyday of the week. On friday we like to give alittle something to show how much we appreciate them. One of the most popular items is to give them a movie night. We present each teacher with a container that holds a bag of microwave popcorn, candy, coke and a free movies rental. They can relax with their favorite movie and enjoy a quiet evening.

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M.M.

answers from Dallas on

As a parent and teacher I do not like the idea of kids bringing something everyday. I feel it is forced. Personally, I think my paycheck is my thanks. BUT, I would suggest to find out if each teacher has a favorite charity and the kids could donate $5 to their favorite charity in honor of the teacher.

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K.N.

answers from Dallas on

What if each kid volunteered for a job? Tuesday at lunch I will take out your trash, clean the chalk board, clean the desks, organize your art supplies? It would not take much from each student but would be a great help to the teacher!
Or, everyone bring in your favorite recipe, that helps know the students better, they have to put thought into it and the teacher has some great things to try out.
Or get get classroom wish list and have every child get something on that list, pens, sticky notes, highlighters, etc.
You could have everykid bring in $2.00 and put them all together for a gift card to a local restaurant or Target or something.
Just some ideas, not sure any are good, but they are ideas!

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S.W.

answers from Dallas on

There are some really great suggestions with all these responses. I have just taken over Hospitality for this year so I read these ideas with great interest as I am going to have this same project later this year.

One thing I will say regarding gift cards - while they are a wonderful idea - the PTA cannot give gift cards of any kind - which means that the PTA cannot buy them. That doesn't mean that the individual parent cannot give gift cards on their own accord.

WE usually have a theme at our school, providing ideas for a daily gift and/or gift basket at the end of the week. WE also provide lunch on Friday for the staff. Another thing we do is decorate doors (all doors) the Friday/Saturday before teacher/staff appreciation starts.

Just wanted to let you know that beforehand. Good luck and remember whatever you do the teacher/staff will really appreciate the effort.

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A.C.

answers from Dallas on

They had us teacher fill out our "favorites" on a list and when that day came students brought me cans of my favorite soda (which was by far my favorite gift), my favorite flower, my favorite fruit, my favorite cookies... a couple brought gift cards to my favorite restaurant... it was a terrific day. I had sodas to last awhile- that is my favorite way to wake up in the morning so I was thrilled!

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C.B.

answers from Dallas on

Books are great! So are craft materials, any school supplies (teachers often spend their own money buying supplies for kids that don't have their own) sitcky stars or stickers for "A+" efforts, crepe paper for decorations, seasonal decorations, and my personal favorite, spa gift certificates or, depending on the teacher/location, grocery store gift certificates.

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