After parents, teachers are among the biggest influences in developing the personality, morals, and overall future of children. They work insanely long hours, giving up their nights and weekends for work they’ve taken home, only to receive snarky comments about how great it must be to have summers off. They dry your children’s tears, help them to reach for their dreams, and love them nearly as much as you do. On Teacher Appreciation Day, here are a few ways to recognize the teachers in your child’s life and show your gratitude for all of the hard work that they do every day.

Advocate for Teachers’ Issues

This gift doesn’t cost a thing and is a thank you to not only your child’s current teacher but to all who work in the education profession. Find out about the needs of your local schools and write letters to the superintendent, board of education, and local politicians voicing your support of teachers’ needs. Make education stance an important factor in deciding your vote. Fight for the needs and salaries of teachers in the area to ensure that all great teachers are properly reimbursed for the job that they do.

Fund Their Projects

Check sites like DonorsChoose or ClassWish to see if your child’s teacher is asking for funding for special projects or equipment for their classroom. Make a donation or work together with other parents in the classroom to help them reach their goals. Share the project on your social media pages to get extra attention and more funding.

Buy Them Dinner

Find out what your child’s teacher’s favorite restaurant is and give them a gift card that is enough to cover dinner for their entire household. After an especially long day in the classroom, a night off from cooking can be a gift that is very much appreciated.

Let Them Stock Their Classroom

Gift cards to office or teacher supply stores can go a long way for educators. As many teachers must reach into their own pocket to purchase supplies, they will appreciate having the ability to fill some of their needs without self-funding. You can also gift them with actual school supplies, but a gift card allows them to select the things their classroom needs most.

Gift Them a Day of Fun

Over the course of the year, your child will get to know their teacher quite well. Often, they will find out what kinds of leisure activities their teacher enjoys. Pick up a gift card to the movies, a membership to a local museum, or tickets to a sporting event or other activity that their teacher enjoys. Not only will your child’s teacher enjoy something they love, they’ll appreciate that your child has taken the time to get to know them, as well.

Decorate Their Classroom Door

This may take a bit of help from administration to coordinate, but decorating a teacher’s classroom with a fun “Thank you” theme or “We Love Mr. Jones” collage is a lovely surprise to show your appreciation. Allow your child and their classmates to help you come up with a unique idea that represents their thanks and love for their teacher.

Create a Memento of the School Year

There are many ways to give your child’s teacher a memento of the school year. Collect pictures and create a college that can be hung in the classroom. Purchase a canvas tote and have each child add a message in Sharpie. Make a video slideshow of images from the classroom, field trips, and special events throughout the year. Get creative and allow your child and their classmates to help you come up with something spectacular.

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Teachers give so much to our children throughout the year. Make sure to show your appreciation for their hard work and caring spirit on Teacher Appreciation Day and throughout the year.

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