Teacher Appreciation: 5 Ideas for What Teachers Really Want

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 2 - 6 and Teacher Appreciation Day is Tuesday, May 3rd

By Nicole Zawidski, Publisher of Bethlehem Macaroni Kid April 25, 2022

It's that time of year where kids of all ages bring their teachers gifts of new coffee mugs and boxes of chocolates to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, celebrated May 2-6 this year. Tired of the same old, not sure what to give?

As a fourth grade teacher, I can tell you that we truly love those thoughtful gestures. But if you're looking for new ideas this year, here are five things teachers really want.

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Five Gifts Teacher Really Want:

1. Letters from students

When both current and former students show their appreciation to me, it means the world. I keep a box of letters that students have written to me throughout the years that remind me why I am in this profession.

When I am having a tough day, I pull those letters out and read them and remember that I am making a difference in so many lives. Those letters have been a life saver for me and I wouldn't trade them for all the coffee mugs in the world. 

2. Letters from you

Sometimes it feels like we only hear from parents when there is an issue. During Teacher Appreciation Week - or any week of the year - take time to send a letter of appreciation or an email that says thank you to your child's teacher.

Sometimes teachers just need to know that parents understand and appreciate everything we do. We want to hear the positive and not just the negative. Please reach out. We love to hear from you. Our administrators would love to hear something positive about us too!

3. Nominate your child's teachers for awards

There is no greater honor than being nominated for an award. When parents take the time to recognize teachers for their efforts by sending in a nomination, it makes us feel like we are really doing something right. It is a real boost - even if we don't win!

4. Give a gift of classroom supplies

Teachers spend so much of their own money on classroom supplies and most are not reimbursed. That means the countless pencils, paper, dry-erase markers, erasers, glue, tissues, etc. we go through in our classrooms are often purchased with money out of our own pockets. We also spend a lot of our money on things to make learning more fun and make our classrooms beautiful for your kiddos to spend their day in. If you are going to spend the money on us - we would love some supplies! 

5. Coffee - lots and lots of coffee

Have you ever spent an entire week in a classroom of kids? Trust me. We need caffeine. 

Nicole Zawidski is a teacher and the publisher of Macaroni KID Bethlehem, Pa.

Updated and Edited by Brenna Gutell, publisher of Macaroni KID Conejo Valley - Malibu - Calabasas