What Teachers REALLY Want for Teacher Appreciation Week

What Teachers REALLY Want for Teacher Appreciation Week

Aah, Teacher Appreciation Week … the highly anticipated week where we teachers are spoiled with treats, coffee, discounts, and social media recognition. The faculty lounge is always decorated and filled with yummy surprises every day of the week. I swear I gain about 5 pounds every year on this week from so many students and parents sending their appreciation through cookies and candy; it’s so fun and thoughtful and the extra pounds are always welcomed. And while all of the baked goodies and gift cards are very VERY much appreciated, I’m here to tell you what teachers REALLY want … and need …. during Teacher Appreciation Week.

It’s simple and sweet.

As a 15 year veteran teacher, my absolute favorite gifts I have EVER gotten were handwritten notes or emails from students or parents thanking me or letting me know the impact I’ve had on them or their child. A simple letter personally written from a life touched lasts forever for a teacher. It is a gift that is personal, touches the heart, and keeps on giving as I save them and re-read them over the years.

Reading these literally brought tears to my eyes and a smile on my face all day long.

It’s personal.

Writing a personal letter of thanks will individualize the gift. When I receive something like this, I know it’s not a blanketed idea – a buy-one-for-all type of gift. I know that it takes extra time and thought that goes into something like that making it sweeter and more heart-felt. I genuinely feel appreciated reading these.

It’s the boost I sometimes need.

This profession is not for the weak, but we do have our weak moments where we even question if we can last much longer. Having personal letters to look over remind me of my purpose and give me the fuel I sometimes need to push through the overwhelming and frustrating times. Each letter serves as its own motivational spur. Tucked away in a drawer for safe keeping or displayed across my memory board in the class or filed in a special folder in my inbox, I keep these letters close by for times like these, and it guarantees a smile on my face every single time I read one — what an amazing gift to grant someone.

You’ll be thankful, too.

Having your child write a letter of thanks to the teacher will also show them that a simple “thank you,” a small personal thought, can go a long way in anyone’s life. Whether you choose a favorite teacher or make a point to write to all of your teachers, students will learn the value in acts of kindness and recognize that we don’t need to spend sizable amounts of money to make someone feel appreciated. Even a nice “thank you” email from a parent can go a long way for both the teacher and your child as you are modeling gratitude.

Teacher Appreciation Week is just around the corner and though it can be fun to spoil your teachers with sweet treats and goodies know that just your kind words to a teacher can provide encouragement and hope in what can be a very low-spirited profession. All we really need is to know we made a difference (and chocolate helps, too 😊).

Jennifer Gonzales
Wife to my high school sweetheart, Ross, and mother to 5 children: Trip, Conner, McKenzie, Piper, and Sutton, I am a born and raised Southern Louisiana Lady. I am a graduate of Mt. Carmel Academy, received my Bachelor’s in English with a concentration in Secondary Ed. from LSU followed by my Master’s of Education from UNO, and for the past 15 years, I have been outwitting high school boys as an English teacher at Holy Cross School. When I’m not grading papers, driving to baseball practices, or making grocery runs, I can be found cheering on my LSU Tigers, cutting up with my girlfriends, and attempting DIY projects around the home. I’m all about sippin’ some wine during the sunset while the kiddos play in the yard and the hubby works the grill. I’m living my best mommy life these days and am always happy to share the journey with others!


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