25 (Cheap) Ways to Show Teachers You Appreciate Them

Earlier today, my principal did a really cool thing for our faculty. She handed out those silly “coupon books” like the kind you make for your parents when you’re a little kid that has things like “one free night of dishes” and stuff like that. Ours was all cheap stuff – jeans days, candy bar, stuff like that – but spending money isn’t the point. The point is, as a teacher, it felt kinda cool to have a principal say “Hey, thanks for all you do for students. I appreciate it.”

This sort of thing goes a LONG WAY towards building a more positive school culture and it got me thinking about some other relatively cheap ways I’ve had bosses show their gratitude over the years (or some ways I wish they would).  So without further ado, here’s my list of “25 Cheap Ways to Show Teachers You Appreciate Them”.

1.Buy lunch.

2.Ask me what I’m proud of that’s happened in my classroom lately.

3.Let me go home early once in a while. No duties – skate on out of here.

4.Cover my class and give me an extra hour off.

5.Food in the work room makes everybody happy. And fat. Healthy options are nice, even if nobody eats them and goes right for the cookies.

6.Ask me if there’s anything I need to help my students learn better.

7.Notice when I’m trying something new. Of course, that means you have to be in my classroom more than once a month.

8.Don’t come in my classroom everyday though, it really makes me nervous (whether or not it “should” doesn’t matter – it does).

9.Birthday presents.

10.Gift cards and scratch off tickets – cheap and easy “Thank You’s”

11.Ask about my family.

12.Take something OFF my plate. I’m busy enough – even if it’s just once for a special occasion, anything you can do to lighten the load would be GREAT.

13.Ask my about my goals – for my career, my classroom, my students.

14.Ask what you can do to help me reach them.

15.Two words: Jeans day.

16.Ask for my opinion on building level decisions.

17.Talk to students about what’s going in my classroom. Let me know the positives, share the constructive criticism. Filter the negative out for me, I don’t need to hear that.

18.Emailing me links to articles or things we’ve talked specifically about for my classroom are great.

19.NOT emailing me every little thing you find on Twitter is appreciated, too.

20.Remind me periodically why it is I went into this profession. If you don’t know, ask.

21.Don’t compare me to other teachers. Compare me to a standard of quality teaching. (Standards Referenced Grading rocks for teacher evaluations, too!)

22.Compliment my appearance. I worry about that (Yes, even the male teachers. Though, probably not as much as our lady colleagues).

23.Say “Thank you” for my hard work. Especially if you’re doing it on behalf of the students or their parents.

24.Encourage parents and students to say “Thank you” themselves when appropriate.

25.Don’t tell me to improve. INSPIRE me to be great for our students. Lead by example by always doing what’s best for students first, and adults second.


Got any other great ideas to show teacher's appreciation without breaking the bank? Share them here in the comments, on our Facebook page or on Twitter using #TeacherAppreciation.