I fondly remember my favorite teachers. How one instilled a love of reading. How another used humor. How another truly cared about me. Today, I love hearing my own children talk about their teachers and the things they like about them, from telling stories to giving hugs to joking around. This year, teachers need our appreciation more than ever. In this article, I'm sharing a 2023 Teacher Appreciation Week activity and a free printable that students can use to celebrate!
May 8–12 is Teacher Appreciation Week and Tuesday, May 2, is National Teacher Day. This week provides a wonderful opportunity to have students participate in writing appreciation letters to teachers.
Each year I use a simple writing activity with students to encourage teacher appreciation and practice letter writing. What I especially love about this activity is that it makes students reflect on the various teachers who have invested interest in their learning and success.
After students write their final drafts on Teacher AppreciationCards, I typically take the cards and place them in the teacher’s mailbox. This ensures the appreciation letters to teachers are delivered! Another option is to have kids deliver their letters virtually!
Tell students to think about a teacher (or teachers) who influence them positively. Then have students brainstorm and prewrite about all the memories they have of this teacher. Once complete, task students with writing a rough draft of their teacher appreciation letter.
Before students begin writing, go over the parts of a friendly letter. You can also download the Parts of a Friendly Letter Grammar Mini Lesson & Practice Sheet to review letter writing with your students. This printable lesson includes guided instruction, guided practice, and independent grammar practice.
Here are some key points to remind students when writing their notes of appreciation:
Salutation. Don’t forget to address the note. Maintain the formal style of Ms., Mrs., or Mr. when addressing a teacher.
Express Appreciation. Tell the teacher the purpose behind the letter.
Be specific. Tell about an event you remember with that teacher.
Be sincere. Mention a connection the teacher made.
Be enthusiastic. Tell the teacher what you really enjoyed about them.
Closing. Don’t forget to sign it. Terms like Sincerely, Sincerely Yours, or Warm Regards are appropriate.
Once students are ready to start, provide students with Teacher Appreciation Cards to write their final drafts. When letters are complete, decide how students will deliver their messages. If students choose to mail the physical copy of their letter, teachers can provide students with the mailing addresses of the teacher (or teachers) they chose to write a message of appreciation. Students would be responsible for postage stamps and envelopes.
If students decide to share their letters virtually, there are two ways they can go about this:
#1 The Teacher AppreciationCards PDF can be converted via Google Drive so students can type their final draft directly into the worksheet and then email the file to the teacher they are celebrating.
#2 Students can write their letters on the Teacher AppreciationCards and then take a picture of the completed worksheet! Pictures can then be emailed to teachers. If your school has a Facebook account, students can also post pictures of their handwritten letters on the page and then tag teachers!
Note: If Teacher Appreciation Week has passed, you can still use this writing activity at the end of the school year or around Thanksgiving.
Want note cards more suitable for students in the upper-grade levels? Download the Teacher Appreciation Note Card for kids writing more lengthy teacher appreciation letters.