How to show appreciation to your child’s teacher

Teachers are hard-working, underpaid professionals, and the magnitude of their influence is immeasurable. During Teacher Appreciation week we recognize their dedication and show our gratitude.

A few days ago, in preparation for Teacher Appreciation Week, I wrote a blog about how teachers don’t really want another coffee mug or paperweight. In that blog I suggested that gifts of service were more significant ways to show appreciation. Yesterday I deleted that blog. I have no right to tell other people how to show their appreciation, and I also can’t assume I know what all teachers want.

How you choose to show appreciation may depend upon your preferred “love language,” and how the gift is received may depend upon the love language of the teacher. (Read about Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages at

My preferred love language is acts of service, so I frequently offered help to my children’s teachers. That doesn’t mean it is the only way or even the best way. I was privileged to stay home with my children when they were young, therefore I had time to assist teachers in their classrooms. I understand that volunteering during school hours isn’t possible for many (or even most) people.

Maybe you are especially good at giving words of affirmation, and your child’s teacher really loves to hear them. Write a note telling the nice things your child says about the teacher at home or a story about something the child learned. Send an affirming email that lets teachers know you recognize their effort, energy, and commitment.

And if giving gifts is your style, then by all means, do it. Whether it’s a gift card to Starbucks, chocolates, or a handmade pencil holder, a gift can let the teachers know you thought of them.

Teachers, thank you for pouring your hearts into your careers and changing the world one child at a time. We appreciate you.

“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” 

William James

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