Creative Ways to Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week 2024

Teacher Appreciation Week - Two Teachers

Teacher Appreciation Week is more than just a calendar event; it is a heartfelt ode to the mentors, role models, and champions of education who infuse each day with inspiration and possibility. It is an opportunity to pause, reflect, and shine a spotlight on the incredible work of educators, showering them with the gratitude they so richly deserve.

As we think about the educators who shape our students and schools, equity and inclusion must guide our efforts. Appreciation should always include all staff–assistants, paraprofessionals, specialists, before and after-school support–as a school community works as a team and each and every faculty member plays an important role in supporting students and families.

From breakfasts and luncheons to handwritten notes and gifts, there are so many creative and meaningful ways to honor the dedicated teachers who enrich our lives and communities. Here are some ways that Montessori schools across the U.S. are celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week, illuminating the immense impact of educators.

Montessori School of San Antonio

At the Montessori School of San Antonio (MSSA) in San Antonio, TX, parent volunteers collaborate with the development office, communications, and the administrative assistant to plan and execute a full week of festivities! They begin by choosing a unique theme that guides their planning of events and gifts; last year was a Hawaiian theme and this year is a fiesta theme.

Here is their plan for this year:

  • Monday: Personalized stationery/gift sets
  • Tuesday: Customized cups with assorted sparkling ciders and charcuterie boards
  • Wednesday: Breakfast catered by Corner Bakery and Panera Bread with 15-minute chair massages provided by Oak Haven Massage
  • Thursday: Coffee bar and custom cookies provided by Scooter’s Coffee
  • Friday: Benjie’s Munch food truck for lunch

Teacher Appreciation Week - MSSA - CardsParent volunteers also collect thank you notes from the students and parents that are displayed at the luncheon on Friday. MSSA’s director of communications also gathers quotes from the school community and shares them in posts, videos, and reels on social media. MSSA’s head of school, Emily Lund, recommends adding personal touches like these to make the week more meaningful for teachers.

She also shares some helpful words of wisdom for other schools who might be interested in offering similar Teacher Appreciation events and activities:

  • Plan ahead and get your students and parents involved
  • Provide sign-up sheets so teachers can come when they are available throughout the day
  • Provide classroom coverage from other staff members so teachers can participate and enjoy the day

Community Montessori School

In Reston, VA, Community Montessori School (CMS) has been celebrating their teachers each day of Teacher Appreciation Week for the last twelve years by providing a meal or a snack for them and a small gift. This year, they have a focus to be more health-conscious, so their food includes fruit and sandwich platters, a charcuterie board, and fresh bagels. The gift items include a candy bar, candles, a tea tube with a small honey jar, individual charcuterie boards, and gift cards. CMS also does a “shout out” board where parents can leave post-it notes for the teachers with messages of gratitude and encouragement. Bonnie Redmond, CMS’ program director, shares that their community does different things each year to celebrate their staff, but it is always such a motivating week for the entire community!

Anchorage Montessori School

Anchorage Montessori School (AMS) in Anchorage, AK is hitting the high notes of gratitude for their incredible teachers with a Swiftie-themed Teacher Appreciation Week! Just like Taylor Swift’s lyrics inspire millions, they recognize how their teachers’ dedication, passion, and unwavering support inspire students each and every day. They are working together to create a memorable celebration that shows teachers the love they deserve and allows them to “shake off” any challenges they have faced this year. Here is a look at their week’s events:

  • Monday: *You Need to Calm Down* Hydration Station
  • Tuesday: *Our Teachers Make the Whole School Shimmer* Gift Bags
  • Wednesday: *Shake It Off* Smoothie Bar
  • Thursday: *Look What You Made Me Brew* Coffee Bar
  • Friday: *Red* Hot Taco Bar and Bracelets Lunch

This incredibly clever Taylor Swift theme was developed by a parent volunteer who has agreed to spearhead the event. In previous years, the school repeated these daily themes:

  • “Donut how much we appreciate you!” - Donuts, coffee, tea
  • “Let’s taco bout how awesome our teachers are!” - Taco Bar
  • “Bar none you’re the best!” - Soup and Salad Bar
  • “Our Teachers are the sweetest!” - Desserts and treats
  • “You have a pizza of our hearts” - Pizza and salad

The school uses Sign-Up Genius to make it easy for families to sign up for volunteer times and to contribute food items, drinks, paper products, decorations, etc. Their goal is to make it as easy for families as possible.

Additionally, families are asked to create an extra-special tribute by sharing a brief note of appreciation for their child’s teacher or a staff member. Their memo to parents offered these Swiftie-themed ideas to get their creative juices flowing:

  • "Love Story" – Share a story of how your child's teacher has made a difference in your family's life
  • "Shake It Off" – Express your appreciation for their ability to handle challenges with grace and positivity
  • "Fearless" – Describe how their support and encouragement have empowered your child to be fearless in their learning journey

AMS’ executive director, Laura Roark, shares that having someone who is detail oriented and well acquainted with the staff who serves a single point of contact for the celebration has made it easier. She believes that families want to honor and celebrate their teachers; they just do not know where to start. Laura recommends finding the person who can spark your community. She notes, “It only takes a spark to get a fire going.”

Montessori Global Research Institute

Teacher Appreciation Week - MGRI Teacher Appreciation Week CalendarEach year’s Teacher Appreciation celebration is unique at Montessori Global Research Institute (MGRI) in Ormond Beach, Florida. This year, they have mapped out a special calendar filled with activities and themes to honor their dedicated teachers. Each day they will be focusing on a different theme, starting with Monday’s “Donut know what we would do without you” breakfast bar and culminating in Friday’s “Fortunate to have you” Asian inspired lunch to wrap up the week in style. Parents will be invited to join in on these celebrations, offering their gratitude and support for staff.

As a token of their appreciation, each teacher will also receive a personalized tumbler from the school which they hope will serve as a daily reminder of how much they are valued and appreciated.

Sophia Dorman, MGRI’s director of operations and admissions shares, “It is important to us that every teacher feels loved and appreciated throughout the week…We are excited to celebrate our amazing teachers and show them how much they mean to us.”

St. Dunstan’s Montessori School

In Carmel, California, St. Dunstan’s Montessori School has been celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week since their school was founded in 1997! Lauren Leonoff, school director of St. Dunstan’s, shares, “As a small school (10 staff and 48 students), it is wonderful to be able to dedicate time to honor our staff. Everyone feels good when they are acknowledged for their efforts and appreciation is shared. Given the challenges with burnout and less people entering the early childhood field, it is even more important to recognize the incredible impact our teachers have on our children and families.”

St. Dunstan’s room parents work together to coordinate meals and gifts for teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week. At the beginning of the year, each teacher fills out a “My Favorite Things” form which asks questions about their favorite foods, stores, drinks, colors, scents, authors, etc. to allow gifts given to be tailored to their interests. Parents use these lists to provide breakfast and lunch, daily flowers or cards, and special gifts each day. The school also celebrates each teacher by giving them a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant. Last year, the teachers’ gifts were a massage and a relaxing day at a local spa with hot tubs, cold plunges, saunas, and steam rooms!

Outside of Teacher Appreciation Week, St. Dunstan honors their teachers with chair massages during lunch breaks, birthday celebrations with breakfast, flowers, and cards. They host regular happy hour dates and staff luncheons at local restaurants together, arrange quarterly staff yoga, go on beach walks, and look for many opportunities to connect outside of the classroom. This year they are looking forward to going to see a Giants game in San Francisco!

Lauren remarks, “As a teacher and director of our school, I understand the role very well and the level of selfless giving that is required when working with young children. Post-pandemic, I recognized my own increased need for self-care and have made it a priority for our staff - whatever that looks like for them… No one can pour from an empty cup, so I think it is about knowing your staff as individuals and helping meet their needs in a supportive environment, just as we do for the children.”

Join us in celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week by making a donation today. Your generosity will make a lasting impact on both teachers and students alike.

Need More Ideas?

Teacher Appreciation Week: Inspiration and Ideas for Supporting Educators

How to Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week: A Daily Guide

About the Author

Heather White

Heather White, EdS, is a Montessori coach and consultant, content creator, and educator for adult learners, as well as a moderator and manager for the Montessori at Home (0 – 3 years) Facebook group. Formerly, she was a Montessori teacher, in-home caregiver, Lower Elementary coordinator, and associate head of school. She also has experience as a school psychologist intern. She is AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood, Elementary I) and is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP). Contact her at

Interested in writing a guest post for our blog? Let us know!

The opinions expressed in Montessori Life are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of AMS.

Results for:

More from Montessori Life