Teachers have always been at the core of society. They prepare students for their lives and careers, having a direct impact on what the future will look like. Educators work long hours and go the extra mile whenever possible, so a little gesture of appreciation now and then goes a long way. Although they should be appreciated all year round, having a week to show your gratitude towards your favorite teachers helps create great memories for the entire community.
That's why we'll talk about Teacher Appreciation Week 2022 ideas to try out and to help you celebrate the teachers in your life, whether you’re a school leader, parent, student, or a teacher yourself. We also have a special announcement related to Teacher Appreciation Week, so remember to read until the end!
22 Teacher Appreciation Week 2022 ideas to try out
A survey done by Amy from Leap Of Faith Crafting identified teachers' preferences when it comes to gifts. The results show that seven percent of the teachers prefer to receive gift cards. Other preferred gifts were handmade things, handwritten or personalized gifts, tote bags, Crayola items, or flash drives. The same survey disclosed that teachers receive plenty of, or too many, mugs, home decor and accessories such as scarves. If you’re a school leader or parent, a survey like this can give you a good idea of what teachers want and need before you start planning.
Here are the 22 ideas we’ve prepared for Teacher Appreciation Week 2022:
Plan an event
Teacher Appreciation Week is the perfect time to go big. Planning a large event to cover one or more days can enhance the learning environment and increase the sense of community in your school. What’s more, you can show your teachers they matter through appreciation activities that run throughout the school year.
Planning such moments allows you to be better organized and even set a budget in advance. For instance, Jennie McClelland, as PTO president of St. Mary Catholic Academy said holding an off-site luncheon during Teacher Appreciation Week while parents were supervising kids during a schoolwide movie-watching activity was a success. They even thanked the custodial staff with a meal and gift cards. This is not a novel approach since schools all over the US choose to celebrate and recognize the efforts of teachers, administrators, custodial, and kitchen staff during this time.
The gift of time
Teachers are always running out of time. With this in mind, you cannot go wrong with covering a class, a break, or any duty you possibly can to give your favorite teachers a breather. Melissa Turner, as PTO president of Washington Elementary decided to offer teachers time on their own to catch up on their work. Some parent-volunteers organized a movie day and gathered students for a couple of hours to offer teachers the best gift of all — the gift of time.
Read more: 5 Time-saving strategies for busy teachers
No budget gifts
Not having a large budget shouldn’t get in the way of you showing appreciation to your teachers. You don’t need to buy expensive gifts, it’s the thought that counts. So you can organize an applause parade on the first day of Teacher Appreciation Week and have students greet teachers with a round of applause as they enter school. On the following days, you can have students dedicate a class song or poem to their teachers, have parents organize thank-you announcements, do a class clean-up, or cover recess.
Classroom door decor
Take advantage of Teacher Appreciation Week to thank teachers with unique door decorations. Southland Elementary PTO leaders have been organizing parents for several years now to cover staff members’ classroom doors. They suggest simple, movie-inspired, or personal reference decor without turning it into the best door competition (that’s not the purpose). Also, take measures and make the cover in advance with everything glued together to attach to the actual door in minutes. When the event is over, you can create a poster that can be later displayed on the classroom walls.
Small treats for teachers
You cannot go wrong with a treat. Offer teachers a healthy snack, fruit, or a cup of coffee, but you can also put together a stand with different treats for teachers to grab during recess. You can also organize an impromptu picnic in the schoolyard or a lemonade stand. Also, students can bring homemade cookies or meals to enjoy with their teachers in the school cafeteria.
Teachers have shown their resilience and dedication, especially during the pandemic. Now you get to treat them like rockstars. So roll out the red carpet and pamper your teachers. Reach out to local businesses to offer their services and give teachers a salon experience right at your school. Cover their class for 30 minutes while they recharge and receive their gift and make sure every teacher and/or staff member has their share of relaxation.
Handmade gifts usually require just creativity and don’t imply major investments. Encourage students to put together wonderful creations as tokens of appreciation. You can create useful items such as pen and pencil holders, paper flower arrangements, gift card holders, hand-painted T-shirts, etc. Use students' skills and creativity to turn the activity into an educational moment and help them work towards a common goal.
School supply cakes or goody bags
We all know teachers often run out of supplies and most of the time pay for them from their own pockets. So, this is the perfect opportunity to cover the supply-demand in a fun and creative way. Put together goody bags that include school supplies your teachers need. Also, to make it more festive, you can provide the supplies in a cake shape and reveal the surprise while singing a personalized thank you song.
Read more: How to redesign your classroom on a budget
Room service menus
Inspired by real room service menus, you can create printable menus for teachers. They choose the items they need and you’ll provide them during Teacher Appreciation Week. For this activity to go smoothly, you should give the menus a week before to get the chance to organize all the demands.
Everyone enjoys having their names on items and more so when it’s an appreciation gift. You can offer personalized certificates, objects, totes/bags, pencils, slippers, stamps, lanyards, agendas, business cards, time planners and more.
A photo booth
Students could put together a photo booth for the Best Teacher of 2022 and have it displayed in the hallway. Encourage teachers to pose for photos. Reach out to a professional photographer or a talented student, but you can also take photos with a smartphone. Share the photos with your community along with a message of appreciation for your favorite teachers. For an extra fun touch, you can bring accessories for teachers to use for their photos.
Tags, labels, clip art, quotes, or word cloud posters
Words are powerful. Print or handwrite tags for different school items or labels for teacher cups, mugs, books and agendas. Make framed posters with handwritten quotes or appreciation word clouds for your teachers’ desks or walls.
Teachers’ lounge makeover
Show your appreciation by offering a refreshing space for teachers to recharge and relax with new items to make their job easier. With a fresh coat of paint, some decorations, and plants, you can revive the place even if you can’t afford to update the furnishings or provide new appliances.
Daily special messages for teacher-heroes
Organize your community to have special messages delivered daily to your teachers. You can have parent thank-you message pop-ups, mystery student appreciation cards, formal appreciation school announcements, peer uplifting festive moments, shout-outs to teacher-heroes from community members, etc. To make teachers feel like heroes, you can even create capes for them to wear.
Usually, it’s the PTO's or PTA's duty to organize Teacher Appreciation Week activities. However, the ones who know teachers best are students, so you should ask them how they’d like to get involved and brainstorm for gift ideas. You might be surprised how many wonderful, creative and fun ideas can come out of it.
Celebrate teachers all year round
You don’t know what gifts to give teachers or how to show your appreciation for everything they do in one week only? You don’t have to limit your appreciation to one week. You can recognize teachers’ efforts all year round. Moreover, if you are a teacher, you are continuously learning, so don’t forget to thank your peers or those who support you throughout your career. If we don’t appreciate each other, how can we expect society to do so?
Gift cards and subscriptions
One of the most popular ideas to thank teachers is to offer them gift cards. Whether they prefer to buy personal items or school supplies, they are always a success because they can be used any time. Teachers prefer cards like Amazon gift cards as the website offers a variety of products. You can also provide subscriptions for channels or courses teachers could use for their classes or as part of their personal and professional development.
Donate to a teacher
You can “adopt a classroom and offer the supplies teachers need or you can find organizations that support teachers and make a donation. Whether you donate to Donors Choose, Fund for Teachers, the National Education Association Foundation, or your local organization, it will make a difference.
For some reason, some community members turn the gift-giving aspect into a competition, the bigger, the better. Teachers appreciate thoughtful gifts, whether they cost a dime or not. Find out teachers’ real needs and then buy something nice. Sending a thank-you letter or a message will also go a long way since it’s the thought that counts!
Don’t worry if you don’t have time to prepare anything for your teachers or it slips your mind completely. Use any of the ideas mentioned above that don’t require much time or money and remember that anything you do to show your appreciation will be well received and will make a teacher’s day. Handwritten messages or a thank-you post on social media will do.
Thank an old teacher campaign
We all have at least one teacher that has impacted our lives. So, why don’t you go back to your high school or kindergarten teacher to acknowledge their influence and commitment? If you are a parent, you can organize a “thank an old teacher campaign” and encourage your community to show appreciation even if the years have gone by and you’ve lost connection with your teachers. So, don’t let this year pass without going down memory lane for the sake of that one special teacher that saw you for who you are and who shaped who you are today.
Make the most of social media
You can praise your teachers' work and dedication, post encouragement messages, thank-you notes, motivational quotes, pictures with creative gifts, etc. By doing this, you not only support and show appreciation to your teachers but encourage others to do the same!
Bonus: Join #NEOClearsTheList on Twitter!
We don’t need a special occasion to thank a teacher, but why not make the best out of Teacher Appreciation Week?
Speaking of which, CYPHER LEARNING has launched the #NEOClearsTheList campaign on Twitter in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week 2022! NEO teachers can enter our competition and have their Amazon classroom wish lists fulfilled before summer break from May 2nd to June 1st, 2022. Check it out or tell a teacher about it!