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Teacher Appreciation & Thank You:
Who, When & How

"Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition."
Jacques Barzun (born 1907), French-born American historian
There's no doubt about it, teachers work hard, and it's also true that we don't always remember to give our teachers the thanks and appreciation that they deserve.
Most teachers love their jobs, but teaching can be challenging and stressful, and little reminders that they are appreciated can mean so much. It's easy enough to remember to say 'thank you' to your teacher on Teacher Appreciation Day, but there are a great many other times when a thank you note or gift would be appropriate such as at the end of the semester or school year, or even on your teacher's birthday... in fact pretty much any time that you feel like telling them how great you think they are!

So, don't take your teacher for granted. Show your appreciation today!

Here are some suggestions for who to thank, when to thank them, and lots of ideas for how to thank them.

Teacher appreciation: Who to thank?

When thinking about teacher appreciation, the first person who comes to mind is probably your class or grade teacher, or your college professor. But are they really the only 'teacher' in your life?

How about your piano teacher or your foreign language instructor? Your sports coach, and the leaders of any clubs or programs you belong to? And don't forget teaching assistants, non-teaching school staff and facilitators, and any mentors you may have.

Teacher appreciation: When to say thank you?

So you know who you want to thank or show appreciation to, but when to do it? As mentioned above, there's really no wrong time to say thank you, write an appreciative note or letter or give a gift (except perhaps on the morning of the class test!).

In many countries teachers are formally honored on a set day, or on the UNESCO-sponsored World Teachers Day (October 5th). In the USA the month of May sees not only a day National Teacher Day for honoring and showing respect to teachers and their place in society, but a full Teacher Appreciation Week!

Of course teacher appreciation shouldn't be limited to these particular days, and there are many other occasions throughout the year when you may wish to write a thank you letter to your teacher, or do something special for them. From the end of the semester or school year, to Christmas, your teacher's birthday and even Valentine's day, you'll fine lots of ideas for great times to show your appreciation on my Teacher Appreciation Gifts for Special Occasions page.

Teacher appreciation: How to say thank you?

There are four major ways in which you can honor your teacher and show how much you value, respect and appreciate him / her:

1. Work hard and behave well in class

First of all, every teacher's dream is to have a class full of bright, happy, motivated students, so perhaps the greatest form of teacher appreciation is to always try your hardest and strive to be the best you can be. For example, always show an interest in class, don't allow yourself to get distracted, remember your homework, and generally make classroom life easy and pleasurable for your teacher. This may be the greatest gift students can give to their teachers!

2. Teacher 'Gifts of Service'

Following on from this are the many ways that you can honor your teacher by helping out and showing appreciation through your actions. Presents for your teachers don't always have to come wrapped up and tied with ribbons see my Gifts of Service page for lots of ideas and inspiration regarding ways to do this.

3. Teacher thank you letters, notes & cards

Many teachers say that the letters, notes and cards that they receive from pupils, students and parents are among their most treasured possessions. Put your thanks and admiration and appreciation for your teacher into words, and present them with a keepsake card, sweet note or heartfelt letter. For ideas, wording, samples, examples and templates, see my Writing Teacher Thank You Letters, Notes & Cards page.

4. Teacher thank you gifts & presents

Many students (and their parents) enjoy picking out or making gifts for their teachers, and any gift however small is sure to be appreciated by your teacher. Here's an overview of teacher gift ideas and some useful tips for choosing the best gift or present for your teacher.

More about Thanking Teachers:

100 Teacher Thank You Gift Ideas:

Writing Teacher Thank You Letters, Notes & Cards: