Teacher Appreciation Week 2020 will go down in the history books as the weirdest school holiday for most room moms. But fortunately, we know how to make the best out of any situation. 🙂
In this post, you’ll get ideas on how to celebrate your child’s teacher from a distance plus how to get other parents involved (YES! They want to pitch in too!). You’ll find thoughtful ideas for no-cost teacher gifts and class-funded gifts you can send directly to her door or her email inbox.
Teacher Appreciation Week 2020
It’s now mid-April 2020, and we are on Week 4 of mandatory social distancing, which means Week 4 of virtual schooling. Parents who have become “instant” teachers suddenly have a deep appreciation for what our teachers deal with day-in and day-out. Can I get an Amen? 🙏
As of right now, in Louisiana, we’re not sure if schools will be open on May 4th, but we’re all guessing they won’t reopen until fall. It breaks my heart that we won’t get to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week the week of May 4-8, 2020 like we usually do.
We won’t be having class parties, serving lunch to the teachers, or filling up the staff room with treats. Which stinks.
BUT, we can still celebrate all the hard work she put in before all this chaos started and her current work as a virtual teacher.
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience which means I make a small commission from any purchases made through these links (at no additional cost to you)! 🙌
Super Thoughtful No-Cost Gifts
We are all aware that germs are a big deal right now, but the economy is also suffering, so if you’re looking for a free Teacher Appreciation Gift, I’ve got ya covered! For this gift, all you will need is access to a computer and a little help from the other parents.
DIY Teacher Appreciation Collage
First, you’ll need to collect photos of the students from parents. You’ll want to request a photo of each student working on their schoolwork at home.
Use this email template to request the photos from parents.
Once you have all the pictures collected from parents, grab a copy of this Canva template to create your collage. If you’ve never used Canva, don’t worry! It’s a super easy and FREE design tool.
Next, upload the photos of all the students by clicking on the Upload icon on the lefthand menu in Canva, then drag and drop the photos into the collage on the right.
If you need to, you can edit the size and position of the photo by double-clicking on the picture you want to adjust.
Once your collage is filled with adorable kiddos, download the collage by clicking on the little download arrow button at the top of the screen.
You now have an adorable (and free!) Teacher Appreciation gift she will cherish forever.
I’ve included several versions of the template with a variety of photo slots based on common class sizes. If you have extra slots, fill in with other photos or send me an email and I’ll create a template with the exact number you need!
Videos From Students
If you’re more tech-savvy, you could ask parents for a short video clip of their child sharing a message to their teacher instead of a photo. You’d then edit the videos together into 4 or 5 clip videos to send directly to the teacher (one each day) during Teacher Appreciation Week.
You can use the same email template from the photo collage above, just change “photos doing schoolwork” to “videos saying something they miss/love about Mrs. ______.”
If you are a Mac user, iMove is a simple drag and drop style video editor and is easy to use after watching a quick tutorial on YouTube.
Help Her Get Classroom Supplies (for FREE!)
If you know (or suspect) your teacher spends a good portion of her own money on classroom supplies and projects, invite her to create a teacher account on DonorsChoose. DonorsChoose is a non-profit teacher-only version of GoFundMe where teachers can get the supplies they desperately need without digging into their own pockets. You can also search for schools in your area to see how you can help local teachers get the supplies they need for their classrooms! It’s genius. 🙌
Quarantine-Friendly Teacher Gift Ideas
With this *interesting* situation we are all in right now, it’s time to get creative and think about what kind of gifts our teachers would appreciate right now. But first, we need to give parents the opportunity to join in on the fun!
If you don’t have a completed Teacher Questionnaire (usually given at the beginning of the year), you can quickly get a list of the teacher’s favorite things using this email template.
How to Ask Parents for Donations
The head of our PTA asked me to draft a new template for all 20 of our room moms to use for Teacher Appreciation Gift requests, and that’s what I’ll be sharing below.
The situation in your area may be totally different from ours, so you may need to add/remove parts to fit your circumstances. If your school is open or will be open during Teacher Appreciation Week, you can use the standard template found in this post.
There’s no denying that money is tight for many families right now, so I’ve even included a line in the template that addresses that.
Your letter will look like this:
Hi ___(GRADE LEVEL HERE)___ Grade Parents!!
Teacher Appreciation Week is coming up on May 4th-8th this year. Although we have been away from school for a few weeks, we still want to show our teachers how much we appreciate all their hard work during the school year and during this distance learning adventure we’ve all been on.
I’m going to start collecting money for ___(TEACHER’S NAME)___’s class gift this week. With the economy on hold, we know not everyone can contribute a large amount at this time, and we are not asking for huge donations! Any amount is appreciated, there is no minimum to what you can contribute. For the class gift, I’m thinking gift cards will be the way to go right now (maybe even e-gift cards!), but if you have any other ideas please let me know.
If you would like to join in on the class Teacher Appreciation gift, please send payment online using my PayPal link below. Please put your child’s name in the “notes” box so I know who it’s from!
Thanks so much!
Feel free to make changes and adjustments that make sense for your parents and your teacher. You can also combine both templates if you want to get a gift AND send the collage.
- Get your copy of the template here (opens in a new tab)
- If you’re not sure how to set up a PayPal account to collect money from parents, check out the full tutorial in this blog post. It’s easy, I promise.
!! IMPORTANT – Don’t Skip this Step !!
With each template, I’ve also included a “Last Reminder Email” template for collecting the donations or photos. Send out this email to parents 1 day before your deadline. For me, the Last Reminder Email usually brings in double the number of contributions versus the initial email!! Don’t skip this step!
The last reminder email is as simple as this:
Just a reminder, tomorrow is the last day to send in money for the Teacher Appreciation class gift! Please send your contribution to me using the PayPal link below! Don’t forget to put your child’s name in the “notes” box so I know who it’s from!
Thanks so much!
– YOUR NAME HERE
What to Actually Get the Teacher
With most stores closed right now, we need to get creative. Start by looking at your teacher’s list of favorite things (or this less girly option). If you don’t have a list like this from your teacher, you can use this email template to get one from her quickly. Use this list of her favorites to guide your gift choices.
Places to Shop:
Look at your teacher’s list and see which places are (a) open and (b) delivering their goods. We want our teachers to stay home and stay safe!
I did a quick search and found that Amazon has a ridiculously large selection of gift cards available for a variety of stores. I had NO idea! It’s basically like that huge gift card rack you see in stores, but this one is online! With these gift cards, you only need the teacher’s email address to e-deliver the card.
A few of my favorites:
- Netflix (an essential service right now 😉)
- Old Navy
- Bed Bath & Beyond
- Lowe’s (for the teacher who loves to garden)
- Petsmart & Petco (for the pet lover)
All of these stores are currently offering online ordering and delivery on their items. YAS!
Obviously, she won’t be going out to her favorite restaurants right now, but eating-out is still possible with delivery services like DoorDash and Grubhub. PRO TIP: Make sure these services are available in her area before you purchase a gift card.
Not exactly a restaurant, but it’s worth mentioning that Whole Foods (now owned by Amazon) is delivering food as well. We all need a slice of Chantilly cake delivered every now and then.
Quarantine-Themed Teacher Gifts:
If you want to #shopsmall to support small businesses during this crisis, Etsy is a great place to start! The makers on Etsy are so creative, and lot of them have come up with hilarious quarantine gear and gifts for teachers like these:
Self Care Teacher Gifts
It’s super important to practice self care during this time, so why not encourage the teacher to have a nice at-home spa day?! Etsy also has a great selection of spa-themed gift boxes for teachers.
Amazon also has a teacher-themed spa gift box!
Remember to get her mailing address so you can send gifts directly to her house. That way you’ll save the hassle of having to ship something out yourself.
Backup Teacher Gift Plan
Congrats, mama! You are officially ready to spoil that teacher even though you can’t do it face-to-face. Whichever gift you choose, I know her heart will fill with such joy! Knowing that parents and students are thinking about her during this time will make her feel so special.
What are your ideas for Teacher Appreciation Week 2020? Leave a comment below or email me at email@example.com. I’d LOVE to hear your ideas!
Keep up the good work, room mom!
- See what Teacher Gifts are trending on Pinterest
- Impress the teacher with a personalized Custom Teacher Stamp
- Wondering how to be a room parent during social distancing restrictions? This post covers everything you need to know about room mommin’ during COVID
- Not sure how to run a School Fundraiser during COVID? Check out this post for a safe and easy way to raise money fast!
- Need more parent volunteers? Use this room mom volunteer letter to get more help at class projects and classroom parties.
- Need a cute back to school teacher gift while distance learning? Check out this fun virtual teacher card.