Since 1984, National PTA has designated one week in May as a special time to honor the individuals who lend their passion and skills to educating our children. This year that week was slated for May 2nd through May 8th. This annual week in May is the time of year to put the spotlight on teachers and school personnel but teachers should really be celebrated year-round, especially with all the challenges this past school year has presented. This blog will look at ways to show the teachers in your life that you care and think what they do makes a positive difference to the world around us both during Teacher Appreciation Week and every other week throughout the year.
Do It Yourself Gift Ideas
Remote or hybrid learning can make it tough to show teachers how much you care, but there are still plenty of options. From e-cards and thank-you videos to classroom goodies and decorations. The ideas in this section can be done with a little creativity and can be accomplished in tandem with your young child or by the child themselves if more advanced in ability. Ideas in this section came from 51 Ways to Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week 2021.
- Have your child write and mail a letter to their teacher. This can be an especially heartfelt gesture if the teacher taught your child how to write this year. A snail mail letter sent to your child’s school to the teacher’s attention can certainly bring a smile to the instructor’s face. Don’t forget to include other school personnel, if writing multiple letters.
- If you can coordinate it, put together a classroom thank-you book with notes from every student who can participate. With technology, especially email, it could be easier than ever to create this sort of idea depending on how hard it would be to get permission to send information to each student’s family.
- For a silly gift that is sure to make a teacher laugh, make and give them this stress relief present. Use link for pre-made printable tag ideas and to purchase bubble wrap if you don’t happen to have any laying around.
- Record a video of your child saying thank you to their teacher and email it to them. To take this one a step further a song could be written about the school year/teacher to be sung to your teacher via video either live through video chat or through email.
- Plant a tree in honor of your teacher through the Arbor Day Foundation, The Trees Remember, or in your local community. Each card you purchase plants a tree helps to bring our Nation’s Forests back to life. You can personalize the cards for free-no minimum order required, and the cards will be sent to you to sign and deliver personally.
- Give your teacher something to help them practice a little self-care, like a journal or a nice-smelling candle. To read more on the importance of self-care and for more specific ideas check out the article Why Teacher Self-Care Matters and How to Practice Self-Care in Your School.
- If you are still distance learning, take a picture of your child learning from home and send it to their teacher.
Gift Ideas for in the Classroom and for Self-Care
These inexpensive appreciation gifts will help you say thanks to teachers and other school personnel without breaking the bank. The ideas in this section comes from the ILA website. The first section of gifts is for in the classroom and the second set are some self-care items available for purchase.
In the classroom:
Teachable Touchables Texture Squares: Blind children build tactile awareness interacting with these twenty textured squares (ten different pairs) in a variety of “hands-on” activities. Each textured pillow or patch measures approximately 2″ to 3″. Includes a cloth drawstring bag for storage and a tip sheet of fun activities that help teach matching, vocabulary, communication, and tactile discrimination skills. Grades Pre-K and up.
Time Timer 12 inch: This 60-minute alarm has an audible alarm and shows the remaining time in high contrast red making it easier to see from across the room.
Wikki Stix Fun Activity Set: This innovative toy for the visually impaired can be twisted, stuck on surfaces, shaped into animals, geometric shapes, letters and numbers and then untwisted and used over and over again. This set comes with 84 vividly colored stix, a 2-sided re-usable playboard and an 8-page story booklet with creative ideas. Guaranteed to brighten the day of the visually impaired child in your life.
Angora Lower Back Warmer: Angora wool is the lightest of all-natural fibers – the hollow structure of the fibers makes it ideal for thermal clothing. Angora warmers allow the skin to breath, absorb moisture, and maintain a steady temperature at the skin surface for all-day wearing comfort.
Sleep Mask: A fabric covered opaque mask with soft padding around the nose that totally blocks out the light. The elastic band keeps the mask in place while you enjoy a restful sleep.
TheraBeads Neck Collar: This neck collar is specially contoured specifically for the neck and upper shoulder area, it is fully adjustable with hook and loop to help prevent slippage. It is ideal for soothing the neck and upper shoulder area. Microwaveable for 60 to 90 seconds for heated relief. Includes cover.
Teacher Discounts Available Year Round
Teacher discounts don’t often receive the same hype and attention as those for students. But be confident, oft-neglected educators of the world — businesses haven’t forgotten you. Feel free to pass along this list to teachers you know. Information in this section came from The Complete List of 81 Teacher Discounts, and Teacher Deals.
Apple Store: The House of Jobs is surprisingly generous to teachers of all grade levels, offering varying discounts up to $200 on computers and accessories through the Apple Education Store. This offer also includes librarians, home schoolers, university profs and even elected officers to PTA boards.
Adobe: Shop direct from the Adobe Education Store and receive discounts on select software, including bundles and suites. Adobe requires proof of employment as an educator before applying the discount.
Barnes & Noble: The B&N Educator Program provides teachers with 20-percent off the publisher’s list price on purchases for classroom use. This discount is ramped up to 25% during Educator Appreciation Days.
Cell Phone Companies (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint): This discount varies by provider, but teachers can save loads on a personal cell phone bill, sometimes up to 20 percent a month. Visit your provider’s business or discount portal and input your .edu email address to check if your institution is registered.
Costco: Costco wants to thank teachers for all they do for our children by offering an exclusive teacher membership. Teachers who join Costco as a new member are eligible to receive a $20 shop card. This exclusive teacher offer is only available online.
Blick Art Materials: Teachers should sign up for the Dick Blick Preferred Card. It’s completely free and gets you 10% off purchases at Blick and Utrecht stores. Blick also offers organizational discounts for bulk orders.
Half Price Books: Sign up for a Half Price Books’ Educator’s Discount Card and be rewarded with discounts of 10-percent year-round. This discount is truly all-inclusive, available to teachers, homeschoolers, librarians and even teachers who have been laid-off in the last year.
Joann Fabric: The free Teacher Rewards Discount Card entitles educators to 15-percent off all purchases. Home schoolers are also eligible for the card, and new members receive a 20-percent off bonus for signing up.
LOFT: Fashion forward educators are rewarded for their posh style through the Loft Loves Teachers program. Register to get 15-percent off all full-price, in-store purchases, plus perks like teacher appreciation nights and exclusive sweepstakes.
Michaels: Receive 15% off your entire purchase every day.
Staples: Register for Staples Classroom Rewards Program. First, enroll in the Staples Reward Program. The program offers perks like free delivery and up to 5-percent back in rewards for in-store purchases. Then, sign up to become a classroom rewards recipient where parents can gift rewards to your account to help pay for school supplies throughout the year.