Many of you have likely heard of the concept of love languages, popularized in the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I haven’t read the book, but I have held it, so I can explain that there are five love languages, and people should try to find out the way their friends/spouses/etc. receive and give love so that they can have stronger relationships. There’s a quick test you can take online (https://www.goodnet.org/articles/5-love-languages-which-one-are-you) to find out which one you are.
Finding this information out about your child’s teacher (or your staff, if you’re in leadership) will help them deeply feel the gratitude you have for them during this year’s Teacher Appreciation Week. If they like words of affirmation, having a letter expressing your gratitude would mean so much to them. I have saved nearly every card, letter or email I received with positive comments to review as I get older, or when I am feeling down.
Maybe your teacher enjoys receiving gifts. This one can be easy to fill, if you know what they would like. Do they want a food gift or a candle? That will require another quiz. One that might be easier to accomplish and is definitely a kind of gift is providing a service for the teacher. You could offer to grade some papers, take their car for a wash, or bring them a coffee (you’re hitting two languages for one!).
Having guests in the classroom is often a treat for teachers, especially if you are willing to be consistent with that gift of time. I would bet that every single elementary classroom could use another adult who could read with kids. Upper grades might be receptive to some time helping students with particular math or English skills. Offering your time to help a teacher in a way that benefits students too shows genuine appreciation.
The last love language Chapman references is physical touch. Given we are in a professional setting, I’m leaving it out of the mix. We’ll let their family and friends work on that!
There are dozens of ways you can thank a teacher, and they will appreciate them all!