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What Actually Makes Teachers Feel Appreciated (In Their Own Words)

A teacher and her students

Sorry, vernal equinox. Here at DonorsChoose.org, we mark the coming of spring with our favorite five days of the year: Teacher Appreciation Week! From May 8-12, the nation is celebrating the heroes who spend the year guiding students toward their best selves.

Not sure how to thank that important teacher in your life? We’ve got you covered.

To find out how teachers feel most appreciated, we went straight to the source: our community of teachers on Facebook. They shared so many heartwarming stories there was no way we could include them all! Here are just a few of our favorites to get your gratitude creativity flowing.

The most appreciated I’ve ever felt was when one of my first-grade boys invited me to his baseball game. It made me feel more special than any mug ever has. I went, too!

Celia Crawford Wortham

My favorite thank-you was a super sweet handmade card accompanied by my favorite drink from our coffee shop. My student knew me!

Melissa Smith

[I feel appreciated] when my struggling students thank me after hanging in there when they are having a really difficult time. They understand that I will never turn my back on them and that I never see them as "bad" students. I tell them there is no such thing as a bad student, we are all just people that sometimes make bad choices. I will keep teaching this until they believe me!

Sherrin Tighe Trombley

When I got married, I remember walking into the church and down the aisle and saw a pew filled with students. The church was 45 minutes from where they lived. It made my heart melt.

Sabrina Pitkewicz

We just got back from our state competition. This was the first year I have taken these students... We were standing in line waiting to get dinner, and I overheard two of my students saying how amazing of an opportunity they were given and how they were so thankful for everything. It humbled me because you never really know the impact of what you do every day.

Melissa Stanford Barnett

Two years ago, two kids in my pre-K class shared the same birth week. Their parents collaborated to throw a party with friends, family, and classmates at a local park. They invited their pre-K friends, teachers, and even our security agent.

Apparently, the parents had discussed with their kids setting up a birthday fund to help fund my Young Jedi Academy project on DonorsChoose. The friends and family who attended donated to a fund box, and the money was donated towards our DonorsChoose.org projects. It was very heartwarming to see parents come together to support their children's class and teacher.

Andy Yung

I have some students run after school to give me a daily hug before they leave with their parents. When I had them as a teacher, I told them, "I don't need you to buy me anything, just a free hug is what puts a big smile on my face." ...Now, I have students I don't even know come give me hugs... My co-workers are always saying I'm so active and cheerful. I know it's the daily hugs that makes me feel this way!

Pa Lee Koenig

Have an appreciation idea or story of your own? Share it in comments!

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