5 Fantastic Ways to Celebrate Teachers

OKC Moms Blog Teacher Appreciation Week

For teachers as well as students, the month of May is like a beacon shining at the end of the long tunnel of the school year. There is no better time to say “Thank you!” to our community’s teachers, and we have some great ideas for how to say it!

Teacher Appreciation Week is a time to show how much we appreciate all that our teachers do, day in and day out. This year, more than ever before, local teachers deserve our thanks. Whether you agree with the teacher walkout in April 2018 or not, one thing is certain. Teachers make a difference every day.

Teachers are the ones who stand in the gap.

When programs and resources are cut, teachers see valuable experiences for their students coming to an end. Either by scrabbling around for free resources, or by paying for supplies themselves, teachers will make those experiences happen.

Teachers have a bond with their students.

By the end of the school year, a teacher and his or her students have spent 180 days together. As they get to know one another, this bond can become an important  source of encouragement, inspiration, and support for them – and it goes both ways!

Teachers plant the seeds of knowledge.

Each school day, teachers perform their primary job of transmitting academic knowledge. Every Nobel Laureate and NASA scientist began their academic journey with a teacher who taught them how to make the letter “A” and the number “1” with a chubby pencil. These humble seeds of knowledge, fed with patience and care by successive teachers, grow into the achievements of the future!

OKC Moms Blog Teacher Appreciation gift ideas

Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas

I have a lot of teacher friends, so to find out what Teacher Appreciation gifts are on the “Most Wanted List,” I just asked them!

1. From the heart 

By far, the #1 request was a personal note or card saying “Thank you!” For many teachers, these personal messages are like water in the desert, and reading them helps to fill up the heart that has poured itself out in service.

“Just a simple and heartfelt thank you card is most appreciated.

I keep all of them in a big box and dig through them during

the summer (or on bad days)!”

2. Practically perfect gifts

Practical gifts, like supplies or gift cards, were the #2 request. With many teachers paying out of their own wages for classroom supplies, a gift card that can be used for classroom needs is perfect. They are easy to purchase and available in a variety of amounts. If you want to make a gift card more unique, you can present the gift card in a creative and Pinterest-ing way, just for fun.

“More than anything, school supplies

or a gift card to a school / crafty place.”

3. Collectively speaking

For a classroom teacher, a group gift maybe organized by students or classroom parents.  This has the advantage of costing less for each family, and the teacher gets one nice large gift to enjoy. An example would be a big basket of several items donated by classroom parents according to a theme, such as office supplies, spa/pampering items, or packaged snacks.

“I love getting my favorite snacks . . .

and I also love fun pens, stamps, stickers, notepads, etc.”

4. Partner with your PTO 

Often, your school’s Parent-Teacher organization will coordinate special events during Teacher Appreciation Week. I like to participate in these school-wide efforts. Usually the organization will promote a breakfast or luncheon in the teacher lounge, and will ask for donated food and drinks.

Just buying some donuts and juice and dropping it off may not seem like much of an appreciation gift, but when it is joined with the other contributions and framed as a meal to celebrate our all-star educators, it DOES mean a lot to the teachers. Teachers are delighted to be treated to a buffet-style meal where they can just come in, help themselves to goodies, and be the honored guests.

OKC Moms Blog Teacher Appreciation gift ideas

5. Good intentions gone wrong

Most often mentioned as teacher appreciation gifts to AVOID, are apple-themed knickknacks. Space is limited in a classroom and teachers quickly accumulate more “#1 Teacher” mugs than they can ever use. A better choice would be a fruit basket filled with real apples that the teacher can snack on while she is finishing up her grading for the year!

So take a moment to thank your student’s teacher this week. An actual gift is nice, but not necessary. Just hearing those words of gratitude and acknowledgement, for teachers, is a boon to their morale at the end of the school year, when there is so much to get done. Our teachers have gone above and beyond, especially this year, and they deserve a big “THANK YOU!”

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Kelly was born near Alva, and grew up in Enid and then near Miami, Oklahoma. She met her handsome husband Charles while they were both students at OSU in Stillwater. They were married in 1992 and have two daughters, ages 15 and 20. Kelly has been a happy stay-at-home- mom for nearly two decades, and has more hobbies than is probably healthy for one to have. When she is not outside tending to her flowers and shrubs, she may be making jewelry, sewing, painting, baking, or working on her blog. Volunteering for her children's schools and arts programs has been a pivotal experience for Kelly. Proud to be a Drama Mama and a Choir Booster, she has worked hard to support the fine arts in education because she has seen the positive impact these activities have on student lives. Kelly is very happy to be putting her BA in English to good use, by helping to teach ACT Test prep workshops, writing a fictionalized family memoir, and with OKCMomsBlog, making a contribution from the perspective of a mom to older kids.


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