Room Parent's Guide to Teacher Appreciation

If you found this post, you must be getting ready to plan some appreciation goodness for your child's teacher. YOU ARE AMAZING! Thank you for taking time out of your schedule to make your teachers feel loved.

In addition to this post, I created a free downloadable "Teacher Appreciation Week - Planning Worksheet and Checklists" for Room Parents that walks you through the entire planning process. I'll share with you my tips and tricks, and make the week as streamlined as possible. 

NEW THIS YEAR! I created special (discounted) "Room Parent Collections" in all of our appreciation themes that contain everything you need to quickly and easily coordinate Teacher Appreciation Week for your child's teacher. In the collection you will find a coloring sheet, door decorations, a gift card holder and more!

HOW TO: Room Parent's Guide to Teacher Appreciation

School-Wide Activities?

Before getting started, you need answers to the following questions:

  • Does your school PTSA (or one of the school committees) have school-wide events planned for Teacher Appreciation Week? This will impact your planning. You don't want to bring a special lunch for your child's teacher only to find out that lunch was provided for the entire staff that day.
  • Does your school celebrate all staff members during Teacher Appreciation Week or just teachers? If it's just teachers, you may want to also do something special for your child's favorite librarian or the front office staff so they feel included during the week's festivities.

All of this to say, before you spring into action, check with your school's PTSA/PTO. They may have appreciation plans (and a budget) you are not aware of. 

Paying for Teacher Appreciation

Paying for Teacher Appreciation is very flexible. It can be as expensive or inexpensive as you make it. You will need some money though so your options are: 

  • Collect money at the beginning of the school year for class parties, the teacher's birthday, and Teacher Appreciation Week
  • Collect money before Teacher Appreciation Week separately
  • Don't collect any money and have parents/students bring items

It is entirely up to you. I recommend the "beginning of the school year" option, personally. At the beginning of the year, we parents are all rested and enthusiastic. We read all our emails, fill out forms, get out the door on time,  and are ON THE BALL. By the end of the school year, we are counting down the days until summer break right along with our children. You know it's true.

TIP: Do you have a student teacher? If so, Teacher Appreciation is going to be more expensive for you. They will need to be included in the weekly celebration as well.


Let's talk about this for a second. It sounds like the easiest option, I know, but I don't recommend going this route. Teacher Appreciation needs to be inclusive and involve all the students. Imagine this scenario. You send out an email to classroom parents outlining your plan for the week. Two of the five days are: buy coffee for the teacher and bring lunch for the teacher. You ask parents to volunteer for those tasks. Of course, two parents are going to jump at that. Great! But... what about all of the other students that don't get to present the teacher with something special on those days? When you collect money from everyone, the gifts are from everyone.


Some families are living paycheck-to-paycheck and simply do not have the funds for anything extra. As much as they would like to contribute to Teacher Appreciation Week, it is not financially feasible. You never know if a family in your class is in that situation. If you estimate that your Teacher Appreciation will cost $100 and have 25 students in your class, instead of asking for $4, round up to $5. This will give you a buffer for those who cannot contribute. You may even consider asking for $5-10. Those that can pay more will, and you will not find yourself in the awkward position of repeatedly asking a parent for money. I'm not saying don't send out a reminder to those who haven't paid. (I am very squirrely and need reminders.) However, if you haven't received any money after your reminder, let it go. If you end up with a little bit extra, add it to your teacher's gift at the end of the week.


Daily Appreciation

Now the fun begins. Teacher Appreciation is THE BEST. Kindergarten and first grade are my favorite years to plan this because the littles absolutely adore their teachers.

You checked with the school PTSA/PTO and now know if they, or one of the committees, have school-wide events planned. If so, incorporate their plans into yours! If they have a lunch planned one day, bring a homemade lunch for your teacher a different day. If they are planning a breakfast one morning, bring your teacher his/her favorite coffee drink that day. You get the idea.


Five days of appreciation can seem daunting at first, but it's really not. I'll give you a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Every student brings one flower. Together, they will create a bouquet. 
  • Every student brings in one school supply. Compile them in a gift basket.
  • Every student colors a picture for the teacher. You can use them to decorate your classroom door. (We have adorable coloring sheets in our printable shop.)
  • Every student brings in a gift card. You create a bouquet with them.
  • Students wear their teacher's favorite color or favorite sports team
  • Bring your teacher lunch. (Let them know ahead of time!) 
  • Bring your teacher Starbucks. (Let them know ahead of time!)
  • End the week with a class gift from everyone. It could be a gift card to their favorite store or restaurant, a massage, a manicure... or something the class made together. 


Parent Communication

There is A LOT going on during Appreciation Week at school, and you want/need to keep everyone in the loop.


  • Give plenty of lead time. Teacher Appreciation Week is celebrated nationwide (as it should be) and has official dates. Once you find out when your school is celebrating, send out a "Save the Date" to the other parents.

  • One month before: Send an email about Teacher Appreciation Week to the other class parents. Outline the activities you have planned, money to be collected, how to pay, when the money is due, etc. If you would like a parent to volunteer to bring the teacher lunch or coffee one day, now is the time. 

  • One week before: Remind the parents that Teacher Appreciation Week is coming up and refresh their memories about what you have planned. Around half the parents will buy everything ahead of time and will appreciate the advanced notice. Now would also be the time to attach a coloring sheet to the email if that is one of your activities. (If it's not, it should be. It is so easy and the students and teachers both love them.)

  • Daily reminders - During Teacher Appreciation Week send an email to the class parents every day (late afternoon or early evening) and remind them about the next day's activity: bring a flower, wear red, etc.

    Reminders are crucial. Not so much for the parents' sake, but for the kids. Any child would be devastated/embarrassed if they were the only one without a flower for their teacher, or not dressed in the teacher's favorite color.

It's Your Turn!

Are you feeling prepared and ready to plan a memorable week for your child's teacher?! I created a planning worksheet and checklists just for Room Parents. It will walk you through coordinating Teacher Appreciation Week activities. It has additional helpful information and lists not included in this post. You can do it!

HOW TO: Room Parent's Guide to Teacher Appreciation