If you are not a classroom teacher (or no longer a classroom teacher), it can be easy to forget the challenges and pressures that classroom teachers endure to make a positive and engaging learning environment for their students. Because you are reading this post, I’m pretty sure that ISN’T you. You’re here looking for ideas for how to express gratitude. It doesn’t have to be Thanksgiving season or Teacher Appreciation Week to take the opportunity to express that you appreciate your staff in a well-thought-out and meaningful way.
Greater Good Magazine, published by Berkeley University, has a great article about the benefits of saying/receiving thank you titled “The Ripple Effects of a Thank You.” Not only is saying thank you good for the person receiving the message, but it is also beneficial for the person expressing thanks. (You probably already knew that.) But, the article also references research that shows this isn’t just between one-on-one exchanges but also benefits groups– including those who witness the expression of gratitude. Hmmm. That’s interesting.
So, here are some ways that you can say thank you to teachers and let them know you appreciate all the things they do to make a difference in the classroom. Some of these are more one-on-one while others would work well being shared in a faculty/staff meeting. After reading our list, be sure to share with us in the comments other ways to say “Thank You” to teachers.
If you are writing a note to teachers, be specific. Instead of saying, “It’s great to have you on the team!” say something like, “It’s great to have you on the team because you always make learning fun for your students! You are making a difference in their lives.” If you are looking for a template to print your own cards, then check out this card from GreetingsIsland. Just customize and print for a card that is personalized with stickers, photos, and text. One of my favorite sayings inside a card is:
Even if you have the same thank you gift for all your teachers, make each one special by putting them in an individual bag labeled with their name (and some chocolates). If you don’t consider yourself very creative, then look around you. You probably have someone on your staff that is not only creative but LOVES making sure that folks feel included and welcomed. See about enlisting them in the process. No need to buy gift bags for everyone when A Piece of Rainbow and DIY Ways share two different options for easily making paper gift bags.
If you were ever into scrapbooking then check out The Posh Paper Lady who shows you how to turn a Dollar Tree greeting card into a notebook. You might want to have a notebook-making party with a few of your admin friends so you can have company while making the notebooks. This is an easy way to express your creativity and let teachers know that you really thought about them in the process.
The Dating Divas are here to help you provide sweet and memorable thank you ideas for your teachers by using clever candy sayings. They are the dating divas so you may need to tweak the saying from something like “Just be-TWIX me and you…I really, really miss you!” to something more suitable like, “Just be-TWIX me and you….it’s great to have you on staff. You are always going above and beyond for your students!” Scope out the page for all their printables. Use the ones that fit your sentiment and tweak the others as inspiration!
Journyjournals (Tanya Sangerman) is known as the “Queen of Little Golden Books Journals.” And she shares her skills of making useful journals by recycling Little Golden Books. Granted, you can use any hardback book but be sure to check out her videos for inspiration. You could bring some Little Golden Books and various papers and supplies and let teachers create their own journals. Yes, she does sell journals that she makes, but she also has several tutorials on how to make different types of pages, bindings, etc. so that you can enjoy making your own journal(s).
Before you give out thank you gifts, sincerely reflect on how your teachers are making a difference with the students and impacting the lives of generations to come. If you don’t exhibit thankfulness for your teachers throughout the year, don’t expect this year’s thank you gift to transform the culture on your campus. As the saying goes, “People don’t leave jobs, they leave bosses.” Consider how you can be that great boss they really want to work for throughout the year. That makes little thank you gifts huge expressions and reminders that you are in their corner– not just because they are doing a job, but because they are on your team and making a difference.
How Will You Say Thank You?
How will you say thank you? Will it be with gift cards, simple notes, candy, or one-on-one times where you express your gratitude for their amazing work and tireless effort they put forth? We’d love to hear one way that you have experienced a meaningful thank you or one way that others might consider doing with their staff.