As participants and leaders in PTOs, we have the honor and the responsibility of ensuring that our teachers know how much we appreciate them. On a good day, teaching is a challenging job; on other days, it can seem like a lonely battle. Knowing that there’s a support team in place that appreciates what they do can make the difference on those particularly tiresome days.
Teacher appreciation shouldn’t be a once-a-year event, but rather a yearlong effort to remind our teachers how valuable they are. But for those tangible gifts that cost money, it can get expensive as the year goes on, especially if you as the PTO volunteer or room parent are solely responsible for this.
Fortunately, there are some free and low-cost ways to remind teachers how important they are to us.
A Classroom ‘Survival Kit’
While a small, under-a-dollar item might seem small, putting together a handful of these things into a ready-to-use kit is both thoughtful and practical. Consider a trip to the local dollar store to pick up 5-10 or more small but useful items such as:
- Small flashlight
- Travel pack of pain reliever
- Small bottle of hand sanitizer
- Travel pack of disinfecting wipes
- Small package of bandages
- Pair of tweezers
- Single-serving package of hot tea or hot chocolate mix
- A couple of small snacks such as granola bars or beef jerky
- Small bottle of cloth freshener spray
- Lip balm
- Small tube of super glue
Many of these items aren’t on school supply lists, and are easy to forget about in the chaos of starting school. Your teachers will appreciate the thoughtfulness of this!
A Fresh Lunch, Delivered
Rarely do teachers get a burger, taco, or other fresh fare during the school day. How about treating them to a meal from their favorite fast food place during their lunch period? This (usually) inexpensive treat takes a little advance planning, but can really lift the spirits of a hard-working educator.
Create a Custom Door Wreath
Teachers take great care to make sure the doors to their classrooms are properly decorated. A creative door wreath is a sought-after item, and most any teacher would appreciate a stylish new door decoration. Such a gift requires a certain level of crafting skills, but there are numerous examples out there for inspiration.
These door wreaths can be generic for all-year use, or specific to a season. If your teacher likes the fall wreath you created, you could do another one in the spring!
Teacher appreciation on a budget
Saying ‘thank you’ to teachers doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive. Small and budget-friendly gestures such as these can go along way to showing appreciation for those outstanding educators.