Take advantage of this opportunity to recognize your teachers for all they do
In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, celebrated each year in early May, take a moment to thank your teachers for the great job they’re doing. Your instructors are professionals who are passionate about their subject and are motivated to share their expertise and knowledge to help you begin a new career.
In thinking about the many ways you might give thanks, remember that the smallest of gestures can go a long way if you offer it sincerely.
A handwritten note makes a lasting impression
Emily Dickinson wrote, “A letter always seemed to me like immortality.” A handwritten note shows a lot of thought—especially in this age of tweets and texts. It requires you to pick out a card, think about what you want to say, decide which pen to write with, and then write something personal and original. Don’t get hung up too much on what to say—it can be short and sweet. The important thing is to give your words some consideration, make them specific to the person you are thanking, and be careful to avoid mistakes and spelling errors.
Take to social media
If you’re pressed on time, it only takes a moment to send a short message via email, text, or social media. One option is to join a campaign with the National Education Association and thank your teacher on social media by posting a picture of the two of you, with their name, with the hashtag #ThankATeacher. It’s a great opportunity to take a selfie of the two of you! (Just be sure to ask first if they’re okay with having their picture posted on social media—not everyone is!)
Flowers have symbolic meaning
If you’re thinking about getting flowers for one of your teachers as a gift, maybe give some thought to what kind of flower to give. Did you know that flowers have different symbolic meanings? For example, hydrangeas can symbolize heartfelt gratitude for being understood. Dark pink roses are said to represent thanks and appreciation. Even if you don’t know the symbolism behind a flower, it’s still a lovely gesture. Whether you give a single stem in a recycled jar, or a hand-tied bouquet, don’t forget to include a little note of thanks.
Sweet and simple
You can use candy and treats creatively as a simple and sweet gesture of thanks. Maybe think of a clever play on words for the note that goes along with your gift, such as:
- a bag of M&Ms with a note that says, “Thanks for being Magnificent & Motivating!”
- a donut with the note attached to the bag that reads, “Donut know what I would do without your support!”
- a fortune cookie with a note that says, “I’m fortunate to have you as my teacher!”
Even if your professor doesn’t have a sweet tooth, the gesture says you’re grateful and want to let them know. A word of caution: Find out first whether the teacher is allergic to anything, such as nuts (in candy) or gluten (in many baked goods) before choosing your sweet treat.
You don’t have to spend a lot to make someone’s day. Maybe you’ve heard the phrase “Thanks a Latte!” Most professors would appreciate a modest gift certificate to a local coffee shop. Even if they are tea (and not coffee) drinkers, it gives them the opportunity to treat themselves. It’s a practical and reasonably priced gift that you know will be well-used.
The important thing is to acknowledge that your teacher is making a difference in helping you to achieve your goals. Every day is a great day to thank your teachers—but this week is special! Don’t let the week go by without having made sure your teachers know what their work has meant to you.
This article is part of the weekly blog of the Harris School of Business. We offer several professional training programs. Learn more by reaching out to us or by scheduling a tour of one of our eight campuses located in New Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.