Teacher Appreciation Week 2024: 7 Ideas To Show Gratitude For Your Teachers Now And All Year

Teacher Appreciation Week 2024 presents a poignant opportunity to express our gratitude for their dedication and commitment to cultivating learning environments where students thrive.  

Teachers play an indispensable role in shaping students’ futures — from imparting knowledge to offering support and guidance.  This week is dedicated to acknowledging the impact educators have on students’ lives.

This article explains what Teacher Appreciation Week is, when it takes place, why it’s important, and ideas for school principals to support their teachers during this week.

What is Teacher Appreciation Week?

Teacher Appreciation Week is an annual event in the United States to honor teachers and show gratitude for the contributions of teachers to society.  

This national holiday provides an opportunity for students, parents, school staff, and communities to express their thanks to teachers for their hard work, dedication, and impact on students’ lives.  

Every school year, this week often involves various activities, gestures of appreciation, and recognition events organized by schools, parent-teacher associations, and educational institutions.

History of Teacher Appreciation Week 

In 1944, a teacher named Mattye Whyte Woodridge began a campaign to establish a national teacher appreciation day.  

By 1953, Eleanor Roosevelt convinced Congress to declare National Teacher Day an official awareness day. This was originally celebrated on March 7th, until 1984 when the National Education Association (NEA) declared the first full week of May as Teacher Appreciation Week.  

This designation aimed to celebrate and recognize the invaluable contributions and hard work of elementary school, middle school and high school teachers across America. Since then, National Teacher Appreciation Week has become an annual tradition.

Why Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week?

Teachers play a crucial role in shaping the future. They are responsible for educating and inspiring students to have high aspirations, develop educational and social skills, and succeed in the wider world. 

Recognizing teachers’ efforts can help boost their morale and show support for the teaching profession. Celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week cultivates a culture of respect and appreciation for educators.

Highlighting the achievements of teachers on holidays such as World Teacher Day inspires educators around the USA to be the best teachers they can be.  

Read more: What Makes A Good Elementary Teacher?  

When is Teacher Appreciation Week?

Teacher Appreciation Week is celebrated on the first full week of May each year. In 2024 it will be celebrated starting Monday, May 6 and ending on Friday, May 10.  

Teacher Appreciation Day is celebrated on the Tuesday of the first full week of May.  Teacher Appreciation Day 2024 is on Tuesday, May 7.

7 ideas for supporting your teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week 2024

During Teacher Appreciation Week, school principals often try to set time aside from their schedule to show their own appreciation and gratitude for their staff. 

Here are 7 ideas you could try this Teacher Appreciation Week: 

1. Cover a class

One free way to show your appreciation is to cover a teacher’s class!  Allowing teachers to have extra time to write lesson plans, catch up on their to-do lists, or just time to relax is a small but special way to show appreciation.  

Make sure that you speak with the teacher ahead of time to discuss when you will be covering for them.

2. Host a breakfast or lunch

This is a great way to get people together to enjoy each other’s company and celebrate all of your teachers in one go! Simply gather your teachers in the staff room before or after school and put on a few nibbles to show you appreciate their hard work.  

3. Publicly acknowledge teachers

Another free way to showcase teachers who do an exceptional job every day.  Publicly acknowledge teachers on the school website, newsletter, the school’s social media site, or create a school bulletin board. Give your teachers the shout-out they deserve! 

4. Dress down week

Many teachers love a dress down day, so why not make it an entire week?  This is another no cost gesture to demonstrate you care about your teachers — and it encourages them to be comfortable at work.

5. Update the staff room

Updating the staff room is another way to show appreciation to your staff.  You may consider upgrading the new microwave or toaster oven so teachers can heat their lunches quickly. Or, update the bulletin boards with notes of gratitude and put fresh flowers in the faculty rooms.

6. Write a thank you note

Write a personalized note highlighting specific contributions and qualities that make them an invaluable part of the community. 

This simple but effective action goes a long way to show your appreciation for teachers’ hard work and dedication. Students can also be encouraged to write a note to thank their favorite teacher.

7. Provide professional development opportunities

Offer opportunities for professional growth and development such as workshops, seminars, or access to online courses that align with teachers’ interests and goals.

Discover another 7 tips for effective school leadership to show your teachers you value them. 

From the humble beginnings of a national campaign in the mid-20th century to its establishment as an annual tradition in May, Teacher Appreciation Week has evolved into an opportunity for communities to express gratitude for the dedication and hard work of public school and special education teachers. 

By celebrating this week, you not only honor the invaluable contributions of educators, you also show respect and appreciation for the teaching profession. 

Through gestures like covering classes, hosting events, acknowledging teachers publicly, and providing professional development opportunities, you can demonstrate your support for teachers and ensure they feel valued and appreciated for their efforts.

As we approach Teacher Appreciation Week 2024, let us express our heartfelt thanks to our teachers.

Read more: Teacher observation: 27 tips from an experienced administrator

Teacher Appreciation Week FAQ

Is Teacher Appreciation Week the same every year?

In the United States, Teacher Appreciation Week is always celebrated during the first full week of May.  This year, Teacher Appreciation Week is held from Monday, May 6 to Friday, May 10.

Why is Teacher Appreciation Week in May?

Until 1984, Teacher Appreciation Day was celebrated on March 7th.  In 1984, the National Education Association (NEA) moved and expanded the celebration to the first full week of May.

What is the difference between Teacher Appreciation Day and Teacher Appreciation Week?

Teacher Appreciation Day is celebrated on the Tuesday of the first full week of May.  Teacher Appreciation Week is celebrated during the first full week of May.  This year Teacher Appreciation Week is from Monday, May 6 to Friday, May 10, and Teacher Appreciation Day is on Tuesday, May 7.


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