The first full week of May is Teacher Appreciation Week. We are so thankful for the hard work and sacrifice teachers make for the sake of their students. Our teachers’ drive, diligence, generosity, energy, and passion to shape minds are awe-inspiring and worthy of our respect and praise.

Tuesday especially is a big day because it was appointed National Thank a Teacher Day (#ThankaTeacher). Sometimes it can be hard to decide the best way to appreciate teachers. Tangible gifts are nice, but would a teacher prefer something else instead? Or perhaps a kind act such as helping clean up the classroom? We decided to ask some teachers what would be the best way to say thank you and make them feel appreciated. Here’s what they said:

How would you feel appreciated by your students?

“This is a tricky question! I think a homemade gift of appreciation would be awesome, but something more than cards that would get thrown away. Maybe a craft they built together to represent our class. I could see them also doing something of service, like extra clean-up or something that goes beyond what is normally expected of them.”

“Student notes are always very sweet.”

“I like receiving things that are personal to me. For example, my kids know I love scented candles, and so it’s extra special that they took the time to learn about my likes/dislikes. I also love getting gift cards because, well, they’re gift cards!”

How would you feel appreciated by your students’ parents?

“I love getting money or gift cards. More generic ones, like Amazon or the movies or the mall are best since I don’t typically go to Starbucks and used to get a million of those.”

“I love Starbucks gift cards and really any gift cards!”

“All I need is a simple ‘Thank you, you’ve made a difference!’ I’ve kept all those messages!”

How would you feel appreciated by your school’s administration?

“A day off, a bonus . . . specific appreciation is always better than generalized. For example, ‘I appreciate how you implemented social and emotional learning into your classroom’ vs. ‘Great job!’”

“I received a postcard from my principal when I was going through surgery and had a ton going on, and I thought that was so thoughtful and kind!!”

“In my county, they do something special every day, such as buying lunch for teachers. Last year they brought in a massage therapist!”