Given everything they do for their students, finding the right words to thank a teacher is quite the task. Whether you're a parent who wants to express gratitude for the light that was set afire in their child's heart, or you are the student yourself, we'd like to help you stoke that fire with some encouraging phrases, quotations, and gift ideas to thank a teacher.
Words to Thank a Teacher
When thinking about the best way to thank a teacher, consider what they did that was exceptional or above the call of duty. Did they change the way you think about something? Did they inspire some new academic pursuit or activity? What will you hold dear when you look back years from now?
How to Start Your Thank You Note
Of course, there are many ways to say, "Thank you, teacher." Here are some options for phrases to begin your note with:
- Because of you, I've come to love… (writing, reading, science)
- You gave me the strength I needed to take the next steps toward my dream of… (acting, writing, enrolling in college)
- I'm so grateful you were my teacher (or my child's teacher).
- Thank you for emboldening me.
- Your positivity and encouragement brightened my days.
- You made me a better, more thoughtful person.
- Your kindness made me feel welcomed and comfortable.
- I'll never forget you.
- You helped me see that I can be more.
- You gave me (or my son or daughter) the confidence to dream big.
- Thank you for your patience throughout this year. It meant the world to me.
- This was a tough semester, but you got me through it!
- You are, hands down, the best teacher I've ever had.
- You inspired me to begin this new chapter in my life. I couldn't have done it without you.
- I'll always remember attending your class. You are the best teacher!
For more ideas, review these Examples of Words for Thank You Notes.
Teacher Appreciation Quotes
Along with your words to thank a teacher, you might want to include a thoughtful quote to illustrate exactly what they did for you. If you write a handwritten card, one of these quotes might look nice within it:
- "A teacher's job is to take a bunch of live wires and see that they are well-grounded." - Darwin D. Martin
- "A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." - Henry Brooks Adams
- "Sunday is a teacher's day of rest: the rest of the laundry, the rest of the housework, and the rest of the papers." - Heidi McDonald
- "A teacher is a compass that activates the magnets of curiosity, knowledge, and wisdom in pupils." - Ever Garrison
- "Most of us end up with no more than five or six people who remember us. Teachers have thousands of people who remember them for the rest of their lives." - Andy Rooney
- "The curriculum contains so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element that grows the soul of a child." - Carl Jung
- "When the teacher is ready, the student will disappear. When the student is truly ready… the teacher will disappear." - Lao Tzu
- "The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." - William Arthur Ward
- "Teachers, I believe, are the most responsible and important members of society because their professional efforts affect the fate of the Earth." - Helen Caldicott
- "Good teachers make the best of a pupil's means; great teachers foresee a pupil's ends." - Maria Callas
- "The test of a good teacher is not how many questions he can ask his pupils that they will answer readily, but how many questions he inspires them to ask him which he finds it hard to answer." - Alice Wellington Rollins
- "I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework." - Lily Tomlin
- "Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today." - Malcolm X
- "One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world." - Malala Yousafzai
- "The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away." - Pablo Picasso
For more inspiration, have a look at these Education Quotes.
Sample Thank You Note for a Teacher
To get a sense of how to write a thank you note for a teacher, have a look at the example below:
Dear Mrs. Windsor,
I can't believe the school year is over. Your endless positivity made it a joy to come to class every day. Who can say that? Because of you, I know I can conquer any difficulty that comes my way. We both know you helped me push through those complex math problems.
You're my "once in a lifetime" teacher that will stay with me forever. You taught me that I can never go wrong with a generous spirit. I hope you have a spectacular summer and I hope to see you around next year!
A handwritten note from a parent or student is a lovely gesture. If money is tight, there's absolutely nothing wrong with a well-worded card. In fact, many teachers appreciate a handwritten note even more than a monetary gift!
Include some genuine sentiments like the ones mentioned above. Or, you can open or close your note with a memorable quote that summarizes what your teacher did for you. Many teachers keep these cards for years to come. They'll be lovely tokens when they look back on their life and career as a teacher.
You can also consider these Examples of Words of Appreciation.
Gifts for a Teacher
If you want to give your teacher a gift, there are many different ways to go about it. Did you learn anything about their hobbies or interests throughout the school year?
Do they love to read? Do they have pizza night every Friday night at home? Are your teacher's nails always done? Does your teacher always wear a fabulous tie or scarf?
Typically, gift-giving ends once you graduate from elementary school. By the time you enter middle school and high school, you have so many different teachers for each subject, no student is expected to buy everyone a present.
Perhaps you could offer a small token for your homeroom teacher or favorite science teacher who really taught you a lot. But, once the days of sitting in one classroom for the majority of the day are over, a simple note will suffice if you really felt a special bond.
Generic, Useful Gifts
Generic gifts can include things for the classroom. Coffee mugs are cute and can also be useful for holding pens, pencils, and other things. Does your teacher have a morning cup of tea or coffee each day? Perhaps you could wrap up an assortment of teas.
Notepads are very useful too, as teachers write a lot of notes. You could include sticky note pads as well.
It's best to steer clear from wine or any alcohol, even at the higher education levels. You just never know someone's preference and, in rare cases, it can be frowned upon.
Gift Baskets and Plants
Gift baskets and potted plants are always appreciated. Gift baskets can be personalized and include things the teacher likes or supplies for the classroom.
A bouquet of flowers is a safe bet. If it's the holiday season, you can't go wrong with a little evergreen or poinsettia.
Perhaps an easy-to-maintain plant will fit the bill, too, if that's something your teacher seems to enjoy.
Gift cards are also a useful expression of gratitude. They provide an array of options and are certain to be used. You can personalize these if you know your teacher's favorite stores or stick with fan-favorites like Starbucks, Target or Amazon.
You can also cover all your bases with a MasterCard or Visa gift card. Generally, the $25 to $30 range is plenty.
A Thoughtful Gesture
A teacher's job isn't done when that bell rings at the end of the day. They go home to think about the next day's lesson, they review papers, and they tailor lesson plans to get everyone excited about the day.
It's a thoughtful gesture to thank them for all their hard work. As we continue through life, we're going to remember at least one of our favorite teachers. Be sure to let them know that before they dismiss you into the next chapter. If, perhaps, you're attempting to thank a language teacher, it might be fun to say thank you in a few different languages.