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Elementary school plays a huge role in shaping little minds. It’s not only where students learn how to read, write and basic math, but it's also where they learn important social skills such as problem solving and cooperation. The years students spend in elementary school are vital in setting them up for personal and academic success in the future. That’s a lot for elementary school teachers to take on—and exactly why they deserve their very own day for us to show our gratitude! While appreciating teachers is something we can do daily, each year on the third Monday in January, we give a special thanks to those teaching our young students for Elementary School Teacher Day.

In this blog you will learn:

What is Elementary School Teacher Day

There are multiple holidays that are designated for appreciating teachers such as World Teachers’ Day and National Teachers’ Day which many school systems turn into a week-long celebration called Teacher Appreciation Week. These all celebrate all the amazing teachers out there making a difference. But on the third Monday in January each year, the day is focused on all the hard working teachers that have dedicated their lives to the youngest students. Depending on each school system, these students can range anywhere from pre-kindergarten (four and five year olds) up to fifth grade (ten and eleven year olds).

How to Celebrate this Teacher Holiday

Elementary School Teacher Day is a day to recognize the tireless efforts these teachers put in every day to make a difference in their students' lives. Whether you work at an elementary school or have elementary aged students, It’s a day to say thank you and show your appreciation to the teachers in your lives. 

The best way to show your elementary school teachers you see all the hard work and extra effort they put in is by expressing gratitude. And there’s no wrong way to do that, so get creative! From a simple thank you to a full blown event, it's the act of appreciating the teachers that counts. As an adult, you may even remember a particular teacher from elementary school that really had an impact on your life. Reach out to them on this special day and let them know!

10 Ideas to make Your Teacher Feel Extra Special

Here are 10 ideas to make your teacher feel appreciated on elementary school teacher day. 

1. Decorate your teacher’s door.

Give your teacher a surprise by decorating the classroom door! Get students involved and have them make pictures or write down things they love about their teacher to use as decorations.

2. Bring in lunch or breakfast.

When you work hard, you build up an appetite, so a nice meal is always a welcome treat! Order some pizzas, grab a box of coffee and donuts or bring in a sandwich platter. There are lots of options for this one. You can ask classroom families to donate monetarily or contribute to the yummy spread.

3. Purchase gifts off their wish list of supplies.

If your elementary school teacher has a wishlist of supplies for the classroom, purchase what you can off the list. If your teacher doesn’t have a wishlist, you can always create a gift filled with necessary essentials such as tissues, pencils, markers and cleaning wipes. This idea can be done individually or you can work with classroom families to complete even more of the list together.

4. Make a homemade card.

Appreciating teachers does not mean you always have to go out and spend money. Sometimes a personal homemade gift is the most effective way to say thank you! Have your student or the entire class make special cards that show how much they love their teacher.

5. Build a classroom thank you book.

Ask each student to write a quick thank you note and put together a book. This can be as simple as putting all the notes in a binder or as professional looking as an actual book you get published on an online website.

6. Record a video.

This is another one that works best as a team effort. Ask families to record a quick video of their student saying thank you or sharing why they love their teacher. Then splice it together with some heartfelt music and deliver it to your teacher.

7. Purchase a thoughtful gift card.

Instead of opting for a generic gift card, think about one that has a bit of meaning. For example, a gift card to a local sandwich shop with a note that lunch is on you one day or a local nail salon with a note to take a moment to relax are great options.

8. Write a reverse newsletter.

Your teacher takes the time to write newsletters and update emails to keep you informed. Turn the tables and create a newsletter for your teacher highlighting all the amazing things he or she does and what the students love best about being in their classroom.  

9. Plan a parent led activity to give your teacher a break!

The gift of a break from planning out each moment of the day is priceless. Offer to come into the classroom and lead an activity that allows your teacher to take a step back from leading the class for a moment.

10. Create an appreciation board.

Take over a bulletin board in a common area such as a hallway and invite school staff, teachers and students to add small notes of thanks. Every time teachers walk by they will feel gratitude!

Students' educational journeys start in elementary school where they learn both the fundamentals of academics as well as crucial  social and emotional skills—a tall order for elementary school teachers! So while appreciating teachers is something we should do each and every day, on Elementary School Teacher Day lets make sure to give a special thank you to those dedicated to shaping the lives of our youngest students. 

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