4 small and special ways to thank your child’s teachers

By Gail Belsky

At a glance

  • It’s important to thank teachers and specialists who support your child.

  • You and your child can work together on DIY gifts and thank-yous.

  • Think of things that have personal meaning to the teacher.

If your child’s teacher or specialist has gone the extra mile to be supportive, you may be looking for ways to say thanks. You don’t need to buy a gift to send a heartfelt thank-you. Here are some creative free or low-cost ideas that teachers are sure to appreciate.

1. Note your gratitude.

A handwritten card or letter still goes a long way. Try to be specific about what the teacher did that was extra supportive: “Helping Lea recognize her strengths made her feel better about school this year.” You might also note how the teacher helped you: “I always felt like you had my back in IEP meetings.”

2. Use art to show your appreciation.

Encourage your child to draw a thank-you picture or write a message. Use paper or note cards. Or try an unexpected canvas: a DIY magnet, blank cardboard coasters from the craft store, or even a blank tote bag.

3. Celebrate their interests.

Does your child’s teacher love to garden? Have your child write a poem about plants, flowers, or helping things grow. Or make a card with a garden theme and tuck a packet of seeds inside. Recognizing the teacher’s passion or interest is a personal way to say thanks.

4. Share your gratitude with others.

Teachers appreciate when their work is recognized by their school leaders and school community. Send an email to the school’s principal (and CC the teacher) to let them know how the teacher went above and beyond for your child. If your child’s school accepts nominations for teacher of the year (or other awards), submit the teacher’s name.

Teacher Appreciation Week (in early May) and the end of the school year are great times to say thanks. But teachers will appreciate your gratitude and partnership at any time during the school year.

Looking for more ways to connect with school staff? Learn about why and how to partner with your child's teacher.

Key takeaways

  • Involve your child in the process of thinking of ways to show appreciation.

  • Let teachers and specialists know exactly how they influenced and helped your child.

  • Sharing your gratitude for the teacher with the school leader can be especially meaningful.

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    About the author

    About the author

    Gail Belsky is executive editor at Understood. She has written and edited for major media outlets, specializing in parenting, health, and career content.