Teachers are the heroes of your school. These living, breathing examples of your school’s mission, vision, and values regularly serve fellow teachers, students, parents, and community members. Showing teacher appreciation is an important part of increasing and maintaining morale, but it doesn’t have to be costly. You can show how much you appreciate your teachers on any budget!  

As we approach Employee Appreciation Day, let’s explore new ways to express sincere gratitude and keep your teachers motivated with small yet meaningful gestures. Here are a few creative ideas to try:  

Don’t underestimate the power of words. 

It’s important to regularly verbalize how much your teachers mean to you and your community. “Thank you” are two words we may not say enough, but they can go a long way. Use these two powerful words to encourage your teachers, keep them motivated, and increase their loyalty to your school.  

Give them a handwritten letter or card. 

Need some inspiration? Here’s an example: 

Dear [Teacher’s Name], 

Thank you for your dedication to [School]. Your compassion and kindness toward others are an inspiration to all members of our community. [Acknowledge the specific role your teacher played or a particular strength of the teacher]. We are incredibly grateful for and humbled by your efforts, and we want you to know that your work has not gone unnoticed. Thank you again for all that you do. 


[Your Name] 

Use your school’s mobile app to connect.  

Handwritten cards and letters are thoughtful and provide a nice touch, but you can also use your school’s mobile app or texting capability to show appreciation in a quick, efficient way. Sending an encouraging and appreciative text before or after your teacher’s day can make a huge difference in how they feel going into (or leaving) their classroom. 

Learn more about how you can use tech to connect here.

Throw a celebration dinner.  

Hold a special evening just for your school’s teachers as a culmination of their accomplishments throughout the year. You could make it as simple and fun as a pizza party, a potluck, or something more formal. Think about other teacher appreciation dinner ideas that you can use, like picking a theme for your gathering, or reserving a special location for the event. 

Give your teachers a shout out on Fridays.  

Surprise your teachers on Friday with an announcement, email, or poster to show everyone in your community how grateful you are for their hard work.  

Take photos of your teachers at work and post them on social media.  

Bring your appreciation to Facebook, Instagram, or another social media platform to show the world how amazing your teachers are. Take lots of photos of them teaching, interacting with students, or helping your community and post them. Your teachers are proud of what they do and will love that you’re celebrating their work.  

Offer to write letters of reference for student teachers or encourage more opportunities. 

Don’t forget about student teachers at your school. Being a reference when they are ready to start their teaching career can give them a feeling of support and encouragement while on their journey.  

Provide snacks and refreshments regularly at school events.  

Set up a coffee bar, hot cocoa bar, or dessert bar for your teachers. Be sure to include a sign that shares your thankfulness for their participation. 

Tell your teachers’ stories.  

Take the time to interview your teachers and write up a few stories to share via the school website, mobile app, or newsletter. By putting the spotlight on them and the great ways they’re helping your school you’ll not only make them feel special, but their stories will help inspire others to get involved with education in their community.  

One great way to do this is to host a learning camp and highlight your teachers having a fun and engaging experience with students. After the camp, you can put together a recap video showing the way students were able to focus on learning in this environment and discuss how much fun everyone had with teacher interviews. 

Listen to your teachers and engage with their ideas.  

Your teachers are always in the classroom, so they’re bound to have great ideas and fresh perspectives. Give them regular opportunities to provide feedback and share their ideas through digital forms and surveys. Listening to the people who regularly show up for your school is critical to not only showing appreciation for teachers but gauging the health of your school’s culture.  

Show them how they fit into the big picture.  

No matter how insignificant the task may seem, every teacher wants to know how their work connects to the vision of the school. Remind them regularly that the work they’re doing is important to the school’s mission. Show them how they’re making a difference with success stories, student performance stats, and the overall results of their work. Knowing they’ve made an impact on their community makes them feel fulfilled and deepens their sense of purpose.

Showing teacher appreciation requires creativity, sincerity, and a personal touch. By implementing these 11 strategies, schools can effectively express their gratitude, boost morale, and reinforce the invaluable role teachers play in shaping the future.