May 06, 2024

Ten ways to celebrate educators during Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation Week takes place each year during the first full week of May as educators wrap up the academic year and prepare for summer. Expressing gratitude and appreciation for educators acknowledges their hard work, dedication and positive impact on students’ lives. At TGR Foundation, we are grateful to all the educators on our team and in our community as we work together to empower students through education.

Research has shown the positive impact appreciation can bring. According to a recent Gallup study the most effective appreciation is fulfilling, authentic, personalized, equitable, and embedded into ongoing practices and workplace environments.

Whether you’re a student, alumnus, parent or administrator, the following are meaningful ways you can show gratitude for educators.

1. Write personalized thank-you notes

Personalized messages highlighting specific ways the educators have made a difference can be meaningful and uplifting. Whether typed or handwritten physical and digital cards can brighten a teacher’s day. Encourage students, parents, administrators and colleagues to write heartfelt thank-you notes expressing their appreciation for educators.

2. Host recognition events and awards ceremonies

Organize special events to recognize and celebrate educators for their outstanding contributions publicly. From Teacher of the Year awards and appreciation luncheons to recognition assemblies, events provide opportunities to honor educators in front of their peers, students and the community.

3. Encourage and participate in acts of kindness

Encourage students, parents and colleagues to perform random acts of kindness to show appreciation for educators. Whether it’s bringing them coffee in the morning, surprising them with flowers or small gifts or simply offering words of encouragement, these gestures can brighten an educator’s day and make them feel valued.

4. Provide professional development opportunities

Invest in educators’ professional growth by providing them with opportunities to attend workshops, conferences or training sessions that align with their interests and career goals. Supporting their continued learning and development demonstrates a commitment to their success and expertise.

While educator professional development can be costly, there are many organizations who provide free opportunities for educators. TGR Foundation’s educator professional development program hosts free monthly workshops, annual multi-day summer sessions and access to credentialing opportunities.

5. Foster a supportive work environment

Create a supportive work environment where educators feel valued, respected and empowered to thrive. Fostering open communication, providing mentorship and coaching opportunities, recognizing their hard work and rewarding achievements are great ways to start.

6. Implement flexible work policies

Offer flexible work policies that accommodate educators’ needs and preferences, such as flexible scheduling, telecommuting options or extended leave policies. By prioritizing work-life balance and accommodating individual circumstances, you demonstrate your commitment to supporting educators’ well-being.

7. Facilitate collaborative projects and team-building activities

According to a study by Gallup on the K-12 teacher experience, employee engagement leads to better well-being, lower turnover and greater productivity.

Encourage collaboration and teamwork among educators by organizing collaborative projects, team-building activities, or professional learning communities. These opportunities foster a sense of camaraderie, promote idea sharing and collaboration and strengthen the overall school culture.

8. Engage parents and community members

Involve parents and the community in showing appreciation for educators through volunteer opportunities, appreciation campaigns or fundraising initiatives. Engaging parents and community members in expressing gratitude reinforces the importance of educators’ roles and strengthens partnerships between the school and the community.

9. Recognize educators publicly

Highlight educators’ achievements and contributions through public recognition on social media, school newsletters or local media outlets. Sharing success stories, testimonials, and positive feedback not only boosts educators’ morale but also showcases their impact on students and the community.

Honored is a national organization that accepts nominations for its Honor Roll, recognizing educators across the country who impact students in public, private and charter schools. Educators selected receive a $5,000 reward. The National Education Association celebrates the contributions of public educators through educator spotlights collected online and through calls made to 202-743-5371.

10. Share thoughtful gifts and tokens of appreciation

Whether it’s a gift card to their favorite restaurant, a personalized gift or a classroom supply kit, these gestures demonstrate your appreciation for their efforts and contributions.

Teacher Appreciation Week is a great time to recognize the impact educators have on our students, communities and society; however, the celebration isn’t limited to one week of the year or these practices. We encourage you to add to them and integrate them year-round.

TGR Foundation is committed to investing in educators to empower youth through education. Learn more at