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Statewide Culture 0

What Teachers Want: Teacher Appreciation Week


It’s teacher appreciation week, and we are thankful for our Arkansas educators as never before. They work long hours after the school day is over, and again the next day before it begins. Right now, they’re teaching from home with virtual tools and a dose of creativity. We love our Arkansas teachers, and although they don’t expect to receive presents from students or parents, we can show our appreciation by giving them gifts they can really love and can use.

Many of the ideas below are digital products. For other kinds of gifts, check with your teacher or school office to see if they can accept items for teachers at the same time you drop off AMI packets and other schoolwork. Be sure gifts are clearly labeled with the teacher’s name.

11 Great Gifts for Arkansas Teachers

1. Gift cards for food and drink. For a restaurant, a coffee shop, a bakery or a local eatery where they can grab their favorite hot or cold drink after school. Keep teachers hydrated and local restaurants in business. Many companies, Arkansas companies included, offer digital gift certificates that can be sent on email for a cup of coffee, a fruit drink or a favorite shake.

2. Flowers. A big, fresh bouquet from the local flower shop or a small bunch of simple blooms in a jar. Check websites or social media for the flower shops in your area to see who is still making deliveries. It might be best for flowers to be delivered to the school. But again, please check with your child’s teacher and the school office. If flowers aren’t feasible, let a gift card suffice. A present that normally brightens their school desk is sure to brighten their home, and their day.

3. Notepads. Teachers make notes and take names. They need notepads for school and especially now, notepads at home. Check local gift shops for shipping options and provide educators with a never-diminishing supply for their bags and pockets.

4. Customized lists. A sibling to the notepad, customized lists have the structure and organization all ready to go for a productive school day in the form of pre-printed lines, bullet points, a place to write the date, a heading, or a vertical row of boxes to check off the everlasting teacher tasks. Use shipping options offered by Arkansas gift shops, or purchase a gift card from a site like Etsy so your teacher can find her favorite digital download.

5. Homemade thank-you cards. Use notebook paper, construction paper, or even scrap paper to serve as the canvas for a child’s artwork or letter. Slip those inside your AMI packets and turn everything in, or send by mail. Best assignment ever.

6. A donation to their classroom fundraising effort. Teachers are all over social media when it comes to spreading the word about classroom and teaching supplies.

Search on sites like DonorsChoose and to find a teacher in your area whose request you would like to support. Everything from student earbuds for computer lessons to reading materials in support early literacy: the tools of online fundraising gets an “A” when it comes to the ease of putting funds in the classroom.

7. Their favorite markers, pens and pencils. What does your child remember about their teacher from when they were in the classroom? Does he have a favorite pen? Have products shipped or send an electronic gift card.

8. A picture of your child learning at home. Take a few photos of your child working on school assignments at home or activities they are doing to go along with what they are learning: could be cooking, could be solving math problems, could be dancing.

9. Provide art materials like paper, crayons, markers, paint, cardboard, play dough, or sidewalk chalk to create a visual gift. Send the artwork or creation using a scanning app or a simple camera app on your phone.

10. A video thanking them for all they do. A simple, one-minute phone video of your child and your family telling the teacher how much they are appreciated is a simple way to show thanks when it can’t happen in person.

11. Teaching resources. Teacher Pay Teachers offers gift cards sent by email for their materials that are created by educators, for educators.

Don’t forget other educators and school staff.

All of these people support students and families throughout the school year.

  • Principal
  • Assistant principal
  • Music teacher
  • Librarian
  • PE teacher
  • Counselor
  • School nurse
  • Art teacher
  • Speech-language pathologist
  • Social worker
  • Secretary
  • Administrative office staff
  • Janitor
  • Teacher aide
  • Cafeteria workers
  • Additional support staff

Teacher Appreciation

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Rhonda is a writer and editor who creates content and rights the wrongs of misspelled words and grammar gone awry. A born city girl, she raises three lively boys with her husband in the rural woods outside of Springdale. She loves sharing other people’s stories with the written (and edited) word via her freelance work at She holds Arkansas teacher licensure and offers advice, tips, education, and humor while telling true tales of parenthood and the pilot wife life at She schleps her children all over Northwest Arkansas and occasionally works on freelance projects in parking lots from the back of her minivan.

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