30 Ways to Celebrate Teacher Appreciation While Social Distancing


Teacher Appreciation Day is May 5. Now, more than ever, after homeschooling our own children for a month, I think we all have a heightened appreciation for just how hard teaching children is and how taxing (yet rewarding) the job can be. Obviously, celebrating our teachers this year is going to look different than it has in the past since we are celebrating them while school is not currently in session. I’ve put together a list of ways we can make our dear teachers feel extra celebrated this year, even if we aren’t able to use our usual methods of celebration.

In some schools, it is customary for the room parents to organize and coordinate all of the teacher appreciation gifts and activities; in other schools, it may fall mostly on the individual families to coordinate their own expressions. Talk to other parents to figure out what the norm is at your school.

I’ve tried to list mostly small local businesses knowing they could really use the business right now.

Celebrating via email

All parents should have access to their children’s teacher’s email addresses and/or phone numbers. This will be the easiest way to send some appreciation love their way.

1. Thoughtful notes :: Teachers love receiving thoughtful notes from parents and students. You can email them a sentiment or send an ecard via a site like Smile Box.

2. Virtual gift cards :: Patois is offering e-gift cards and is currently open for take-out and delivery, allowing your teacher to enjoy the git of a delicious meal and a night off from cooking. A virtual gift card for spa treatments at Belladonna Day Spa would be a great gift from a class. With a Clean Creations virtual gift card your teacher can select healthy meals they’d like to have delivered to their home at their convenience. The Broad Theater is currently doing virtual gift cards and 25% of all gift card purchases right now are going straight to a weekly payout to their staff while they currently remain closed. Rouse’s is also offering e-gift cards and what teacher doesn’t need extra groceries right now? While they aren’t local brands, Amazon and Starbucks are other options for virtual gift cards.

3. Video greeting :: Take a video of your student saying something like “I appreciate you,” “Thank you,” or listing what they appreciate about their specific teacher and then send the video via email or text. I’ve heard of some room parents collecting these from the entire class to format and then sending as one big video.

4. Host a class Zoom party :: Organize and host a class Zoom call and have each student hold up homemade banners or share one thing they appreciate about the teacher.

5. Contribution to school staff fund :: Some schools have a fund for special projects or a teacher wish list. You could contribute to the fund, or purchase some of the wish listed items. The parents at our school undertook the project of giving the teacher’s lounge a face-lift with plants, throw blankets and lots of snacks. While this might not be ideal right now, you could start a fund for such a project and execute it once the building is open again.

Celebrating via delivery

If you happen to have access to the address for your teachers, there are many ways to celebrate by having gifts shipped to the teacher’s home, or if that is not an option, you could ask the school if items can be dropped off there for the teacher to come pick up.

6. Food delivery or pickup :: District Donuts delivers, I recommend sending a box of donuts and a growler of cold brew or Vietnamese Iced Coffee. I’ve also heard of one school offering pre-packaged meals from a local restaurant for teachers to pickup via drive-through during a specific time window.

7. Mailed gift cards :: Brennan’s is not currently open, but e-gift cards and physical gift cards can be purchased online and 25% of gift card sales are going to displaced employees, what teacher wouldn’t love a gift card to this classic New Orleans restaurant? A gift card to Octavia books is another teacher pleaser and we could all use some extra reading material right now.

8. Custom cookies :: Stephanie’s Bake Shop would love to make and deliver some custom cookies to your teacher.

9. School supplies :: Use Amazon to ship an assortment of school supplies to your teacher. I’d recommend a collection of sharpies, colored pens, paper clips, post it notes and highlighters.

10. New Orleans themed hand towel :: Home Malone has the cutest locally inspired kitchen towels.

11. Reusable straws :: Give your favorite environmentally conscious teacher the gift of these sleek Lush reusable straws.

12. NOLA T shirt of the month club :: You can give the gift of a 3 month, 6 month or one year gift membership.

13. Hand painted stemless wine glass :: Taylor Anne Designs can ship these Louisiana themed glasses for you. If you think your teacher likes mixology, the El Guapo Bitters boxes {locally owned by a NOLA mom; use code “LouisianaMom” for 20% off} are way fun, too!

14. Bath products :: Crescent City Swoon has an assortment of bath bombs, scrubs and lotions to be mailed directly to your teacher.

15. Fun socks :: Bonfolk is a local company who sell fun, quirky, vibrant and New Orleans inspired socks. Bonus: for every pair sold, they donate a pair to a homeless person in need.

16. Jewelry :: A unique necklace or bracelet from The Bead Shop would be a fun gift.

17. Stationery set :: Order and ship a cute stationery set, assortment of pens or a journal from Lion Heart Prints. {Sidenote:: Lion Heart also collaborated with El Guapo Bitters for these incredible and thoughtful boxes; delivery available in New Orleans. Use code “LouisianaMom” for 20% off!}

18. Flowers :: Harkins is a great local florist.

19. Fruit bouquet :: Edible Arrangements are a fun and delicious twist on a classic floral arrangement.

20. Monogrammed tumblers :: Shop Dreve is a local business that sells lots of fun gifts, including an assortment of monogram cups. They even put together this Teacher Care Package. Items can be picked up locally, or shipped at no cost within 1-4 days of ordering.

21. Fancy chocolates :: Kilwins is a boutique chocolate shop in the French Quarter that is happy to ship gift boxes and baskets of their exquisite treats straight to your teacher.

22. Hug ring :: This Mimosa Handcrafted ring is pretty, meaningful and money from each purchase is going to providing meals for healthcare workers.

23. New Orleans themed book :: My personal favorite would be the recent award winning New Orleans memoir, The Yellow House, you can support local by ordering from Octavia Books who is currently doing curbside pickup or free shipping on orders over $20.

24. Candle :: Wicks NOLA has beautifully scented natural vegan candles ready to ship.

25. Snack package :: All of us could use some extra snacks during this time of staying at home. Send one of these snack packs directly to your teacher.

26. Hand sanitizing spray :: Recently we have all learned that hand sanitizer has the value of gold. This natural hand sanitizing spray can be shipped directly to your teacher, or included in a gift bag drop off listed below. Bonus: for every bottle sold they are giving a bottle to a front line worker.

Celebrating via drop-off or decorating

Let me only advise using this method if you feel comfortable, are healthy, and take good care in washing hands, handling items, leaving items on a door step and maintaining social distance. This is for classes with access to their teacher’s address. I would not advise multiple families doing multiple different drop-offs to the same teacher, but maybe room parents could accept money from all the families and pool it together for one big group drop-off and/or decoration.

27. Yard sign :: You could order one of these fun yard signs from Amazon and set it up in your teacher’s front yard. While you’re there, feel free to leave one of the other gifts mentioned in this section on the porch and text the teacher from your car telling them to grab it.

28. Balloon arch :: In addition to, or in lieu of the yard signs listed above you could opt for a custom balloon installation. Little Pnuts makes balloon art and will even deliver it for you.

29. Monogrammed tote bag :: What teacher wouldn’t love a monogrammed bag to carry all of their teaching essentials. If doing a gift from an entire class you could use this bag in place of a basket and fill it with other goodies listed above including chocolates, a monogrammed tumbler, gift cards, teaching supplies and notes from the class. (If packing a gift take care to wash hands before touching the items. I’d even suggest packing it a couple days ahead and only touching it with gloves the day of delivery to exercise extra caution. Make sure you communicate this abundance of care to the recipient so they aren’t concerned about touching it.)

30. NOLA handmade pottery mug :: Ship one of these directly to your teacher, or for an in-person drop off package it with a bag of coffee or specialty boxes of tea.

How are you planning to celebrate teachers this year?

Shannon Mangerchine
Shannon lives in Central City, New Orleans with her husband, Jeremy, and three sons, Noah, Eli and Zeke. She left a career in Human Resources to take on her dream of being a stay-at-home mom. During this time, she and her husband founded a non-profit called Bastion Resources with the purpose of inspiring others to live a life of intimacy with God. Shannon is passionate about creating community and engaging in meaningful conversation around the dinner table. Recently, she created The Intentional Daily Journal to help people live with more purpose and clarity, which is available for purchase on Amazon. In her free time, Shannon enjoys all types of fitness, trying new restaurants, reading and discussing books with her book club, coffee dates with friends and hanging at the park with her family. Shannon is constantly creating new healthy recipes and sharing them on her blog Dinner Done by 9am.


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