How to Write a Teacher Appreciation Letter

The Pinterest boards are full of ideas for cute, homemade teacher appreciation gifts.


Mason jars filled with candy, personalized hand sanitizer bottles, and teachers’ initials made out of crayons.


Been there, done that.


You know what teachers really want?


(Hint: It isn’t more stuff to clutter up their desks. It isn’t a gift card to a store they never visit. Or flowers that wither and die in two days.)


What Teachers Really Want

Teachers want cash (who doesn’t?), and they want sincere appreciation in the form of a card or letter.


They want you to recognize their hard work and acknowledge the ways they’ve impacted your child’s life.


For some parents, the task of sitting down and writing a heartfelt letter comes naturally. For others, it feels like a chore.


If you’re looking for guidance, here are six simple steps to writing a genuine thank-you note to the teachers in your life. It’ll only take you about ten minutes from start to finish.


Writing a Letter of Appreciation

Step 1. Take out a piece of paper and brainstorm words or memories that come to mind when you think of this teacher.

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2. Get some pretty stationery or note cards. Target has some nice ones that are inexpensive.


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3. Start with “Dear __________,” It’s best to keep the tone respectful and on the formal side, rather than beginning with something like “Hey, Diane!” Stick to using the same name her students call her (i.e. Mrs. Smith or Miss Diane).


4. Use the list of words and memories from step 1 to help you write your note. There’s no need to use flowery language or include quotes and poetry. Just say what’s on your mind and in your heart. Here are some phrases to help you:

Thank you for an incredible year!

Jenny’s learned so much from you…(give specific examples)

We appreciate that you (how you)…

We’re going to miss…

We’ll never forget…


5. Put it all together. Here’s an example with some additional words/phrases to use:


Dear Mrs. Brown,

Thank you for helping to make fourth grade so special for Jack.

You were patient and understanding when he fell behind in math, and we appreciate that you stayed after school to give him extra support.

We’ll never forget how he came home beaming with pride from the A he received on his final exam! We’ll miss you next year. Have a great summer.


Jane & John Smith


Haven’t had the best relationship with the teacher?

You can politely acknowledge this, and still find something to appreciate about her. For example, “Although we don’t see eye to eye all the time, I always know you have the students’ best interests in mind.


While we’ve had our differences, I appreciate that you were willing to talk things over with me in a respectful way.


6. Hand-deliver the note, if possible.


Click here for more tips on The Best Ways to Show Teacher Appreciation. How do you show teacher appreciation? Did you find these letter-writing tips helpful? Leave a comment below!


Marissa and her AMAZING kindergarten teacher in January 2013.


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Showing 11 comments
  • Helen Butler

    Beautiful article Pam. I was a teacher in my early working career and the things I remember the most were the personal touches from parents and students. I remember receiving a beautiful hand embroidered table runner one year from a gorgeous family with a lovely hand written note. I still have both!

  • Robin Chellis

    Thanks for the reminder that teacher appreciation week is coming up. Now I have it on my calendar so that my kids and I can give a special touch to their teacher. Simple, easy steps. And, I love giving fun and beautiful cards. Great post, Pam!

  • Nicholette von Reiche

    Oh it’s easy to take our teachers for granted.

    I love this beautiful reminder w. well thought out action steps to personalize, and make it a fun quick exercise that you feel confident about writing and remembering why you are so grateful.

    Thank you for another great post Pam.

    • Pam Howard

      Glad you liked it, Nicholette! Thanks for reading!

  • Nancy

    A note really does go a long way. My husband is a classroom teacher and I’m a private instructor. While we are always pleasantly surprised and grateful to receive gift cards and other gifts, it’s 2 short handwritten notes from a parent (to my husband) and a student (to me) that I keep on the refrigerator. It’s always good for a little reminder that we are making a difference each day.

  • Kristy

    As a previous teacher, I can honestly say that the best presents I ever received were letters and cards. In fact, I kept most of these cards and letters. They fill me up to the brim (even now that I am no longer teaching). Honestly, they made (and still do) my heart sing. It made all the hours and effort worth it, when you read one of those heart-felt cards.

    I actually bumped into a previous student at the shops the other day. It is 8 years since I taught her. When I told her that I still have the card that she made me when she was in Year 1, she was chuffed!

    So go ahead and write your teacher a letter- they will appreciate it so much!

  • Emilie

    FROM both sides…a mom of 4..and pre school teacher for more than 20 years…#sorry for the times I gave candles etc. ( pre teacher days) I still have some parents’ notes from way back..whi ch were very personal and touching. $ is always nice..but being really appreciated. ?..priceless!,,,

  • Kelly - Project Me

    Such a great reminder that a good old fashioned Thank You is so appreciated by teachers 🙂 I love how you’ve taken the guess work out of what to say. A bit of hand holding always helps!

    As a Room Mom at school I know how much the teachers love notes from the parents and kids. I usually get all of the kids in the class to hand make cards and write what they like most about their teacher or any fun memories of the school year. I put them all into a giant envelope and I’m told the teachers love getting home and going through them all.

    • Pam Howard

      Kelly, what a beautiful idea. I’m sure the teachers LOVE going through all of their students’ letters. Thanks for sharing that!

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