Have you ever wanted to show how grateful you are to your son or daughter’s teacher on Teacher Appreciation Day? Or recognize just how much you appreciate them?

A teacher is someone who is a mentor in your child’s life — their guiding force. Teachers make us the experts in our fields are also the motivational factor behind all of our successes.

As students, a lot of us fail to realize how much teachers contribute to our lives. But as we grow older, we begin to understand just how much of an important impact they have.

Each year, people around the world celebrate Teacher Appreciation Day to honor the hard work our nation’s educators put in to help our students grow each and every day. Keep reading for more background on the special day and discover tips on how you can help your student celebrate Teacher Appreciation Day 2012!

History

In the United States, Teacher Appreciation Week was first established in 1985 by the national chapter of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA). Every year since then, it has been celebrated during the first full week of May.

Teacher Appreciation Day falls on the Tuesday of that week. This year, Teacher Appreciation Day is Tuesday, May 8, 2012.

Around the rest of the world, people celebrate World Teachers Day, a UNESCO created celebration, on October 5.

Why do we celebrate it?

“Teachers teach because they care. Teaching young people is what they do best. It requires long hours, patience, and care.” — Horace Mann

Each day while we are away at work, teachers watch over our children. Not only do they serve as educators, but in a way they also become therapists, nurses, and even Mom or Dad. When we realize they assume these roles with plenty of other children every single day, we begin to realize how challenging it is to be teacher. It’s not an easy job.

If your child is lucky enough to have a good teacher, show your appreciation! Teaching is a thankless job, after all. The special teachers deserve our respect and appreciation and reinforcing their good work will inspire them to continue in their profession. Honoring their dedication can help inspire other teachers and keep the tradition of good education alive.

How to celebrate

There are a number of ways to honor the efforts of your educator on Teacher Appreciation Day. Here are just a few ideas:

  1. Write a Note- Write poemsletters, or notes of appreciation and leave them in the teacher’s mailbox. Have students read them at the morning assembly or in the classroom.
  2. Organize Breakfast - The day before Teacher Appreciation Day, have a parent order coffee and breakfast items to bring to the teachers. On the morning of Teacher Appreciation Day, arrive to school early and bring along the items you ordered. Gather some classmates together to set up the breakfast before the teachers arrive.
  3. Send a Thank You Note - Send a nice surprise to your child’s teacher in the form of a Thank You Note. Or be even more creative and decorate the classroom door with flower-shaped “Thank You” cards from all the students and their parents. Your teacher will be pleasantly surprised!
  4. Make baked goods - Have students and parents bake different trays of desserts. Nothing says “Thank You” quite like a plate of chocolate chip cookies or a tray of delicious brownies!
  5. Flower Shower - Have all the students stand at the school’s front gate before the teachers arrive. When the teachers finally come, have the students shower them with flowers as they enter the building.
  6. Massage - Invite a couple local massage therapists to come to school one day and give 5 minute shoulder massages to the teachers during their off period. Teaching is a tough job!
  7. After School Party - Plan a party for teachers at the end of the school day. Organize some fun games and provide plenty of snacks and refreshments.
  8. Buy a gift -  Order a Thank You Teacher Badge or check out the selection at your local gift store.

Need help finding appropriate teacher appreciation gifts? Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Your gift need not be extravagant. It’s the thought and appreciation that counts!
  • Teacher appreciation gifts come in all shapes and sizes. They aren’t necessarily confined to the school.
  • Unique teacher appreciation gifts can be especially touching when they come from the entire class.

Creative Teacher Appreciation Day Gifts Ideas

  1. Arrange for parents to watch the teacher’s children during Teacher Appreciation Week so he or she can celebrate the day with their spouse.
  2. Put together a video (or DVD) of the students and their parents sharing their love and appreciation for the teacher.
  3. Have your child give the teacher a bouquet of home-grown flowers.
  4. Plant a tree in honor of teacher with your kids.
  5. Assign students in the classroom to groups and specify a week for each group to serve as the “Teacher Appreciation Team.” Have them come up with creative ways to appreciate their teacher for that week.
  6. Create a photo album of students and their classroom activities , as well as quotes of appreciation.
  7. Customize a personalized crystal teacher appreciation plaque.
  8. Plan Teacher Appreciation Day picnic.
  9. Write a letter of appreciation for teacher.
  10. Plan a special banquet to honor the teacher.
  11. Investigate the needs of the teacher. Find out if they’re having financial difficulties and what you can do to help.
  12. Help them with gardening. Since the teacher is so busy with classroom activities, they can’t always pay attention to their garden. Spend a few hours fixing their garden. Maybe you can even teach them back with special gardening knowledge!
  13. Ask local businesses to adopt a teacher for the week and display students’ drawings, cards, and stories about that teacher in a store window.
  14. Take out an ad in the local newspaper to thank the teachers in your school district.
  15. Create an event page on Facebook to spread the word about Teacher Appreciation Day.
  16. Send out a press release thanking the teachers at your school highlighting why teachers are so important to our children and advertising your teacher appreciation activities.
  17. Pay for dinner and a show for the teacher couple, providing babysitting if necessary.
  18. Invite the teacher to enjoy a spa night.
  19. Buy female teachers a voucher to their local hair salon.
  20. Purchase a few good books related children’s education for the teacher to use in the classroom.
  21. Order a vase of flowers for the teacher to put on his or her dining room table.
  22. Hold a baked goods sale and use the proceeds to send the teacher on a trip.

Check out some more Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas to honor your child’s teacher appropriately this year!

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