Teacher Appreciation Week is a way to show gratitude to all of the amazing teachers, educators and mentors in our lives. While teachers should be appreciated year-round, Teacher Appreciation Week serves as a reminder to help support, validate and encourage educators to continue doing what they do best — engaging and enriching students’ lives. Here are just a few ideas for how you can say “thank you” to teachers.

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Share thoughtful gifts

According to Adopt a Classroom, teachers are spending more out of pocket on classroom supplies than ever before, contributing an average of $750 of their own money. Show them your gratitude by gifting some new school supplies they might need, or splurge on some cute decorations for their desk or room.

When it comes to gifts, it’s the thought that matters. Personalized gifts like custom name plaques or mugs can help your teacher feel special and show them you put effort into finding something just for them. Sites like Etsy and Crestline offer a myriad of personalized mementos, with gifts ranging from monogrammed pencils to engraved paperweights.

Get creative

If you’re on a tight budget, don’t fret. One of the best things you can give to your teachers is completely free: a sincere, handwritten thank you note. Reddit user and teacher Silver_Phoenix93 shared, “... letters from my students are the only thing keeping me in the field.” Another user shared that they keep every note, letter and drawing that students give them.

If you want to keep your note anonymous and be more creative, try decorating your teacher’s desk or door with sticky notes detailing simple ways they have helped or impacted you. It’s a little less formal than a letter, and a little more fun.

If writing isn’t your thing, you can always make a do-it-yourself craft or drawing of the teacher and/or something that is special to them.

Virtual appreciation

Considering 51.8% of students took at least one online course in 2019-20, per Inside Highered, it’s important to share some ways to appreciate your teachers virtually. With the help of the Internet, you can thank your teachers anytime, anywhere. Whether your teacher or mentor lives far away or teaches you via Zoom, thanking them with a shout-out on social media is a great way to show them you’re thinking of them.

If you’re wanting to spend some money, an electronic gift card to their favorite restaurant or store can help give your teachers a night to relax and ease the stress of a busy school year.

Free food and deals

Teachers are just like us — they love deals and free food! Let your teacher know about these special deals and discounts just for them to enjoy.

  • Staples: Free teacher gift boxes, while supplies last. Teachers will receive 20% back in rewards and get up to 5% in rewards for themselves.
  • Office Depot: 20% off purchases and 20% back in Bonus Rewards on a qualifying purchase through June 25.
  • Dollar General: 5% off each month for a limited time. 
  • Sonic Drive-In: Free cheeseburger with purchase if you sign up for Sonic Teachers’ Circle on the Sonic app, a free rewards program for educators.
  • Johnny Rockets: Free Original or Deluxe Shake with any in-store purchase through May 10 at participating locations.
  • Great American Cookies: Free Original Chocolate Chip Cookie with any purchase and valid teacher ID through May 6.