How To Write The Best Thank-You Card Your Teacher Deserves

Teachers’ Day is coming up on May 4th, which is just around the corner. Some may know of this day as Teacher Appreciation Day, or even Teacher Appreciation Week, depending on where they live and go to school. No matter what you call it, it’s an important annual celebration of teachers, and the ideal time during the school year to shower teachers with gifts and praise for the wonderful work they do.

Historically, students may have given teachers an apple to show their thanks. Today, it’s more likely to be a gift card or fun Pinterest craft. If students really want to go the extra mile, they might even consider writing a special thank-you card or note. These personal expressions of thanks really do mean a lot to teachers, and many save them over the years. Let’s talk a little bit about what goes into creating a heartfelt thank-you for the teachers in your life.

Teachers had the colossal task of teaching over Zoom for many months. Did your favorite teacher hold class synchronously or asynchronously? Learn the difference here.

What to give a teacher

Teachers’ Day gifts come in many forms. Most teachers are grateful just to receive a token of appreciation in the first place, but there are definitely certain gifts that may be more useful to them than others. Gift cards to Starbucks, Target, Amazon, or other popular retailers are always a good option. Gift baskets of classroom supplies or self-care items are also a useful gesture. And, of course, one of the most sincere ways to show your thanks is with a note or card.

It can be extra cute for younger kids to make a handmade card or gift with a little help from their caregiver. For middle school and high school students, a handwritten note is nice, but there’s also nothing wrong with typing something and printing it out.

Don’t roll your eyes here, but yes, even college students can show appreciation for their professors, teaching assistants, and advisors. A nice email would certainly do the trick. That’s also a good option for any student who’s still doing virtual learning due to the pandemic.

What to write in a thank-you card for a teacher

 

  1. Include dates and names

This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how often people forget to date their letters! Include the date in one of the corners so your teacher can always know exactly when they got your special letter. You’ll also want to be sure to address your teacher by their proper title (like Professor, Dr., Mr., or Ms.) as a way to show respect. And don’t forget that comma after you address them (e.g., Dear Dr. Williams,).

 

  1. Start with a gratitude mission statement

Why are you writing this letter? Don’t let your sincere thanks get lost in the copy. Begin your note by explaining why you’re writing, and make sure you include a clear statement of thanks.

 

  1. Offer up specific praise

Elaborate on the unique qualities you admire in your teacher and what makes their work so invaluable. Need some inspiration to get the ideas flowing? You might consider including:

 

  • Three qualities you admire in your teacher.
  • Something you’ve learned from your teacher that has made a difference in your school work or life outside of school.
  • One way your teacher has helped you grow and develop as a person.
  • A favorite memory from class.
  • Something your teacher has said that will always stick with you.

Remember: Your note doesn’t need to be long, but it should be specific and sincere.

 

  1. Add a nice closing

To close your letter, simply restate why you’re appreciative of your teacher, and then choose an appropriate sign-off. “Sincerely” or “With gratitude” should do the trick. And again, don’t forget that comma after your sign-off (e.g., Sincerely, Aisha).

We have some useful tips for writing thank-you cards for people besides your teacher, too! Take a look.

Here’s an example of a thank-you card

When you put all of those elements together, you should end up with a heartfelt note that thoroughly expresses your gratitude without being muddled by extra verbiage. Need an example? Here’s what a note to a middle or high school teacher might look like:

 

May 4, 2021

Dear Mrs. Johnson,

I’m writing to let you know how much fun I’ve had in your class this year, and to thank you for everything you’ve done to help me grow as a student.

At the beginning of the school year, math was my least favorite subject, and I had a hard time solving equations. Your patience, kindness, and dedication to making math fun has made such a difference. By being patient with me, you helped me understand that it’s okay to keep asking questions until I really “get” it. Your kindness showed me that needing extra help in math isn’t something to be embarrassed about, and the hilarious word problems you create made me actually look forward to math class every day.

I’m truly thankful to have been in your class this year, and I have learned so much from working with you.

Sincerely,
Sarah Smith

 

Grab a template for the younger kids

Younger children may need a little extra help writing a thank-you note to the teacher. To help you out, we’ve created a fill-in-the-blank template preschoolers and elementary schoolers can complete when it’s time to write those all important thank-you notes. Copy and paste the note into a new document, then work with your kids to fill in the right words and choose the best synonyms in the parenthesis before you print it out.

 

Dear (Teacher Title / Name),

I want to say a (sincere / heartfelt / genuine) thanks for being my teacher this school year. As a teacher, you are so (fun / exciting / entertaining), (kind / friendly / helpful), and (inventive / original / creative). My favorite part of class this year was learning about (lesson or subject).

Thank you for (fill in an example)!

Sincerely,

(Student Name)

 

Looking for the perfect, awe-inspiring synonym for your letter?

When you’re writing a note to the teacher, grammar and spelling are especially important—you want to show you’ve been paying attention in your classes, after all! This is a great exercise to help younger kids learn the basics of letter writing. If you’re older, it’s also a chance to challenge yourself to have perfect punctuation and make the most of your growing vocabulary.

Thesaurus.com’s Grammar Coach has a built-in Synonym Swap that will help you find the best nouns, adjectives, and more to say what you really mean, guiding you toward clearer, stronger, writing. Grammar Coach will edit your grammar and spelling, making improvements like pointing out instances of passive voice and suggesting synonyms for overused words.

Teachers work hard for all of their students, and every teacher wants to know when they’ve made an impact on their students’ lives. Taking the time to write a thank-you note is a simple act that lets your favorite teachers know just how special they truly are.

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