Research published by the Department of Education shows that a safe environment is an absolute “prerequisite for productive learning.” In fact, findings from 2020 showed a “consistent negative relationship between feeling unsafe in the classroom and test scores.”
One of the study’s key features was an emphasis on the importance of teachers in fostering this environment of safety within their classrooms. The data supports what administrators, parents, and students already knew: great teachers really can (and do) make all the difference when it comes to creating an environment where students feel comfortable being themselves, growing, and learning.
The empathy, resiliency, and dedication of our teachers goes far beyond classroom hours, making schools a loving second home for the students who need it most. Teacher Appreciation Day (and Teacher Appreciation Week) give us all the chance to show how thankful we are for the constant support of our teachers. In this post, we’ll discuss the history of the teacher appreciation tradition, explore creative ways to thank teachers, and offer suggestions for thoughtful gifts to surprise your teachers with. After all, we can’t say thank you enough!
- Teachers make a world of difference in helping to create a safe environment for students, allowing them to focus on learning and developing. From school administrators, to parents, to community members—anyone can enhance the sense of community and respect within a school by showing teachers how much they care.
- Teacher Appreciation Week is historically celebrated during the first full week of May, with Teacher Appreciation Day (the height of celebrations) falling on that week’s Tuesday. In 2024, Teacher Appreciation Day falls on May 7th, and the week’s festivities run from May 6th through May 10th.
- There are so many creative ways to show your appreciation for the educators at your school. You don’t have to limit yourself to just one!
History of Teacher Appreciation Week
On January 14, 1953, Eleanor Roosevelt wrote the following in her personal newspaper column titled “My Day”:
“I have always felt that we did not give an honorable enough place in our communities to the teachers. Next to parents they are the most important people in our communities. It is quite impossible to give teachers monetary compensation alone that will repay their devotion to the job and the love that must go to each and every child. But I think we could compensate a little more adequately the teachers in our communities if we were conscious of their importance.”
That same year, Eleanor Roosevelt convinced the 81st United States Congress to designate a day to honor teachers, and Teacher Appreciation Day was born. In 1980, the National Education Association (NEA) and the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) jointly created Teacher’s Appreciation Week. In 1984, the first week of May was established as the celebratory period, and we’ve celebrated teachers each Spring ever since.
When is Teacher Appreciation Day?
Across the country, we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Day on the first Tuesday of the first full week of May. In 2024, Teacher Appreciation Day falls on May 7th. In 2025, Teacher Appreciation Day will fall on May 6th. Whether your school celebrates the entire week or focuses on that special Tuesday, showing that you care is so important.
When is Teacher Appreciation Week?
Why limit the fun and gratitude to just one day? Teacher Appreciation Week is celebrated across the entire first full week in the month of May. In 2024, Teacher Appreciation Week spans from May 6th to May 10th. In 2025, Teacher Appreciation Week will fall between the dates of May 5th to May 9th. With themed days, breakfasts, lunches, assemblies, and countless other ways to have fun, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to celebrate teachers throughout the week.
What to Get Teachers for Teachers Appreciation Week
No matter a person’s “love language,” it’s always nice to show someone they care with a thoughtful gift. But coming up with a gift idea that teachers will actually want, use, and be excited for can be tricky. Here are some Teacher Appreciation Week gift ideas to consider:
- Gift cards: every adult loves a chance to treat themselves! You can let your teachers pick out what they want by giving them a gift card. Consider gifting them cards or certificates they can redeem at local restaurants, coffee shops, bookstores, or… in a pinch, an Amazon gift card to knock some items off of their wish lists!
- Handwritten notes: It may seem like a simple gesture, but, paired with something physical, a handwritten note can go a long way to show teachers how appreciated they truly are. Handwritten notes can come from administrators, parents, or even students themselves.
- Supplies for the classroom: Countless teachers dip into their own incomes and savings every year to provide classroom supplies for their students. Have your teachers create lists of items they’re lacking but would add to their classroom significantly. While classroom needs can be overwhelming, communities and teachers can always be tasked to help. Don’t be afraid to ask others within the community to help make your school’s Teacher Appreciation Week meaningful!
- A thoughtful gift they’ll actually love: The easy way to say thank you to a teacher typically results in a pile of wine, chocolate, or personalized mugs on their desk… that they may or may not ever use. But a little more effort can make a physical gift one they’ll truly love. Consider sending a survey around to all of your teachers for input on gifts they want. You might offer options or questions to evoke responses, such as: “what book would you buy at Barnes and Noble tomorrow?” or “what could someone add to your desk that would make you smile?”
Creative Ways to Thank Teachers
Looking for creative ways to thank teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week? Here are some ideas to fill up the first week of May and show teachers how special they are to your school:
- Organize a school assembly: but don’t make your teachers do any of the work to plan it! Have administrators, community members, and parents come together to put on a Thank You Assembly for your educators! During the assembly, you can give awards, let students and administrators deliver appreciation speeches, or even bring in a special guest!
- Treat your teachers to a breakfast, lunch, or both: whether you organize a sit-down event or allow teachers to grab a free meal from the break down at their leisure, all of us appreciate a nice meal.
- Create a school-wide thank you video: bonus points if you play it at your school assembly! A school-wide thank you video calling out each teacher by name (and including an impactful story or moment of appreciation) is sure to get eyes watering.
- Create a classroom-specific thank you book: handwritten notes are one of the most enduring ways to show you care. Have each student write a handwritten note, and bound the collection together in a keepsake book for your teacher to cherish for years to come.
Teachers do so much to shape the minds and hearts of those who will one day shape the future of our world. There is no way we could ever fully thank them, but Teacher Appreciation Week is a great place to start!
As we prepare to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Day and Week each year, it’s important to remember that the gratitude we show our educators contributes to the overall feelings of security, safety, and well-being that reverberates throughout the entire school.
School Safety Solution is proud to support safe schools. Through our blog, we provide access to critical information on topics such as emergency response training for administrators and teachers and even school safety grant funding. We’re also able to provide safety equipment that offers minimal disruption to the delicate learning environment, such as lockdown shades and our TeacherLock™ and TeacherLock™ II classroom door locks.
If you are interested in introducing or enhancing school safety and security equipment on your child’s campus, we would love to assist you. You can access our team of safety experts at any time by calling 888.733.0406 or sending us an email at email@example.com. You can also request a free quote or free sample of our Hideaway Helper lockdown shade via our online forms.