Showing Gratitude: The Importance of Teacher Appreciation Week


May 6-10 is 2024’s National Teacher Appreciation Week, with National Teacher Day on Tuesday, May 7. And it’s an A+ opportunity for us parents to teach our kiddos the power of gratitude.

Image: Wooden blocks spell out "Thank You" against a white background
Photo by Courtney Hedger on Unsplash

We all can admit that we don’t express our thanks often enough to the amazing professionals who dedicate countless hours on the frontlines teaching, guiding and caring for our children. No matter the grade level or school, faculty and staff go out of their way to create the finest, safest, most engaging learning environments for their students. Demonstrating our appreciation during this official annual week is the least we can do as parents. 

Sure, it’s easy to chip in for some amazing group gift or to pick up a coffee mug and gift card on our way to school on Tuesday. But instead of being something we rush to check off our endless to-do list, we can elevate this errand as an act of loving kindness by engaging and teaching our children. 

A Family Gift

Tell your kids that it’s Teacher Appreciation Week. Have a conversation about why it’s on the calendar and together list all the ways their teachers enlighten and encourage them to reach higher, how the maintenance team, cafeteria servers and office staff make them feel welcomed and safe, and how administrators motivate them to excel. Ask your children how these individuals make them feel valued and talk about why it’s important that we in turn do the same for them.

Now pivot the conversation so your kids make their own gift suggestions. I guarantee they will know their teachers’ favorite pastimes, colors, charities, teams, and more. (Just like their teachers know theirs!)

Image: A teacher helping her students

A Group Gift

Or go in on that group gift (shout out to the class parent who always makes it happen for the rest of us!) with a drawing that illustrates your daughter’s gratitude or a note describing your son’s appreciation. (Writing thank you notes is a bonus life skill lesson here.) Pro tips: 

  • The National PTA has published awesome, free templates and printables in English and Spanish.
  • Miami Mom Collective has designed some fun, also free, gift tags for you to print and personalize.

Our children will feel all the feels–especially pride–when they bring in gifts that THEY thought of or cards that THEY created, instead of just bringing in something we picked up without them. The gifts will be considered generous because they’ll be coming from generous hearts.

In addition to a new sense of appreciation for Teacher Appreciation Week (for us and our children), we will have reinforced the priceless lifelong lesson that to give is to receive.

Looking for more Teacher Appreciation Week gift ideas? Check out this gift guide for more ways to show gratitude to your child’s teacher!


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