27 Teacher appreciation quotes & messages to make their day

The 2020-21 school year has been an adventure for everyone, but especially for educators. That’s why this year, Teacher Appreciation Week (May 3–7) and Teacher Appreciation Day (May 4) take on bigger importance. Teachers deserve to be acknowledged for the time and effort they’ve spent to adapt their lessons to work around whatever the “new normal” was in your district. Whether your kids have been learning remotely, in-person, or a hybrid of both, you can send a thank you teachers card personalized with a teacher appreciation message.

How do you compliment a good teacher?

At its core, a thoughtful teacher appreciation message is a genuine compliment. Though it’s easy to give compliments to friends and family when you catch up with them, giving one to a teacher in a note can feel a bit more formal. Instead, think of it as simply recognizing the effort they put into their work and the results that effort created. The results of a good teacher often speak for themselves, and are reflected in your children.

Teacher Appreciation Quotes and MessagesA+ Teacher by Paperless Post


While you can bring up improvements in grades, it’s often the smaller gestures that can have even more meaning. Remember that this past year in particular has been challenging, so add what the teacher did well to continue to engage your child. For example, if the school year unfolded on Zoom, you can say you appreciated the teacher being responsive to virtual education questions, how your child looked forward to the teacher’s creative presentations, that they loved to turn their camera on (if your district had a camera-optional policy for Zoom), or that virtual school inspired your child to clean up their room (a true feat). 

How do you write a message to a teacher?

In general, though, it’s better to err on the side of formality by addressing your child’s teacher as “Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss [Name],” in line with how your child refers to them. (Also refer to how they’ve responded in letters and emails to you or the parents of your child’s class.) Then, open your note with a thank you for their work this year. Next, continue to share your specific compliment, observation and/or quote from your child. Close by simply reiterating your appreciation. 


Teacher Appreciation Quotes and MessagesCertified Teacher by Paperless Post


Your child could also be the “author” of your teacher appreciation message, even if they are on the younger side. (In fact, the younger the kid is, the cuter the message may be.) If you have middle school and high school-aged kids, writing their own thank you teacher card will help them hone a useful life skill, not just the art of writing a note, but cultivating a thoughtful attitude. It’s especially a great exercise when the recipient may have been a teacher that challenged the student in some way. Perhaps the subject didn’t come easily to your child, or the teaching style was quite rigorous. Encouraging your child to think of a good quality in someone they may have found difficult is a lesson in empathy that’ll serve them well both in and out of the classroom.

Teacher appreciation quotes from parents

You can write a teacher appreciation message from your perspective as a parent, focusing more on what you’ve observed from their hard work. The overall tone of the message should reflect the tone of how you have communicated with the teacher. 


From your perspective as a parent, you can tell the educator what you see in your child, what your child says to you about school, or the progress you’ve seen them make in a particular area. Perhaps your child has a love for reading and now goes through books faster than you can get them into your home. Or maybe they have developed confidence in speaking or a new interest that may have started in the classroom. 


You can also always incorporate teacher appreciation quotes and creative expression from your child. Chat with them about what they liked most about their school day. What is one fact they are particularly proud of learning? What was their favorite memory from the school year? Little ones will be more inclined to open up, but you’d be surprised at what a chat with an older child or teen can bring up. 

Teacher appreciation card ideas

Now that you know what to say and how to say it in your note, it’s time to get started on the fun part: choosing a card. We’ll help you get started with a few of our favorite Teacher Appreciation cards designed to suit the occasion perfectly. Whether the recipient is a pun enthusiast or a Zoom virtuoso, our virtual cards make it easy to send your heartfelt gratitude for their good teaching.  


1. Teachers plant the seeds of wisdom – A timeless sentiment that doesn’t feel stuffy thanks to the quirky gold lettering and a smattering of apples in this card by Hello!Lucky. The fruit pattern also winks at the pun in a fun way. 


Teacher Appreciation Quotes and Messages Wise Fruit by Hello!Lucky 


2. Thank you teacher for an unexpected year – This teacher appreciation quote comes from one of the most classic films about the impact of good teaching (a quote from the film “Dead Poets Society”), but it also amazingly applies to the past year of life in “extraordinary” times. 


3. In teachers we trust – Show your enduring support for one of the hardest-working, dedicated groups of professionals in our society. This card by Hello!Lucky dazzles with a bold, colorful design that will stand out to your amazing teacher.

Teacher Appreciation Quotes and MessagesTrusty Teacher thank you teacher appreciation card by Hello!Lucky 


4. Teacher, thanks a ton – One glance at this cheerful little elephant is guaranteed to bring a smile. While it’s a natural choice for those who teach younger students, this Hello!Lucky card can also show appreciation for any teacher who has a fun sense of humor. 


5. Thanks for bee-ing a great teacher – Sometimes, the best thank you teacher messages are the simplest. This sweet card by Hello!Lucky is also more than its pun. Just take a look at that bee confidently conducting a virtual learning session!


Teacher Appreciation Quotes and MessagesBusy Bee teacher appreciation card by Hello!Lucky


6. Thanks a ton, Teacher – Another riff on a straightforward teacher appreciation message, this card by Hello!Lucky pays a fun homage to the balancing act this year delivered in (or out of) the classroom. From face masks to virtual classes, this is a card that will perfectly mark a highly unusual year.


7. Teacher, you make the world a better place – Sure, the bold illustration style by Hello!Lucky makes this card a standout, but it’s the sentiment that makes an impact. Acknowledge the dedication and hard work they put into their work — and the way all that effort has a greater effect even beyond the classroom.

Teacher appreciation quotes and messagesBetter Place teacher appreciation card idea by Hello!Lucky


8. Sharper because of you – The thank you teacher message in this card by Cheree Berry couldn’t be more on point. It’s a witty way to show your appreciation for the effort involved in sharpening the minds of the next generation, and how teachers awaken the joy of learning.


9. Happy Teacher’s Week – Take a trip back to the days when cursive was a big part of the curriculum with this nostalgic card by Cheree Berry. The message couldn’t be more perfect for Teacher Appreciation Week!


Teacher appreciation quotes and messagesRepetition teacher appreciation card idea by Cheree Berry 


10. Grateful for teachers – A classic pink eraser delivers a short and sweet message for your favorite teacher. This card by Cheree Berry is ideal for customizing with your favorite teacher appreciation quotes. 


11. Thanks for making school rule – Send a precise teacher appreciation message with this fun ruler-themed design. It’s perfect for the teacher who doesn’t take themselves too seriously, or for the teacher who does take precision seriously (but still has a sense of humor). 


Teacher appreciation quotes and messagesYou Rule thank you teacher card by Paperless Post


12. World’s best teacher – Make it official with a card for a teacher unlike the others. You can customize the certificate with just a few of their accomplishments, or let it simply speak for itself. 


13. Bookbag essentials – Teachers who have spent the year in a virtual classroom will enjoy this reminder of the real-life learning that’s (hopefully) just around the corner. The thank you teacher card has plenty of room for adding an encouraging message or quote.


Teacher appreciation quotes and messagesBookbag Essentials teacher appreciation card by Paperless Post


15. Wildly grateful – This Hello!Lucky card is a pun on top of a pun. Why? The “wildly” grateful animals are also a way to say “Thank Zoo”! It’s a lighthearted way to show your appreciation to pre-K and elementary school teachers.  


16. A+ Teacher – For the teacher who easily makes the grade, this assignment-inspired card awards a flurry of “stickers” for their A+ efforts. Elementary school teachers are sure to get a kick out of this one. 


17. Can’t thank you enough, teacher – This elegant yet playful design by kate spade new york says it all. The simple sentiment means that it can work for a variety of teachers, and the back has plenty of room to customize with a well-chosen teacher appreciation quote. 


Teacher appreciation quotes and messagesCan’t Thank You Enough by kate spade new york


Thank you teacher quotes

If you need more inspiration to get your creativity flowing for your card, lean on these teacher appreciation quotes. These cute sayings may prompt you to craft your own message. Add one of these verbatim to your teacher appreciation card, or use another favorite quote of your own: 


18. “The best teacher in the world is someone who loves what he or she does, and just loves it in front of you.” — Fred Rogers


19. “I hope you’re proud of yourself for the times you’ve said ‘yes,’ when all it meant was extra work for you and was seemingly helpful only to someone else.” — Fred Rogers


20. “Real strength has to do with helping others.” — Fred Rogers


21. “Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.” — Japanese Proverb


22. “Most of us end up with no more than five or six people who remember us. Teachers have thousands of people who remember them for the rest of their lives.” — Andy Rooney


23. “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” — William Butler Yeats


24. “Every child deserves a champion—an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.” — Rita Pierson


25. “I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.” ― John Steinbeck


27. “One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is a vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.” ― Carl Jung


If you’re looking for a “blank slate,” our back-to-school cards give you more bookish themes to choose from. Simply customize your pick with thank you teacher messages or the above inspirational quotes. 

Teacher appreciation quotes and messagesApple In Season by Indigo Bunting and Library Card by Paperless Post


What to do for Teacher Appreciation Week?

First things first: say thank you. Send an ecard to all the teachers in your life, thanking them for all they do. Want to take your appreciation for great teaching a step further? Organize a surprise “Thank the Teachers” car parade during Teacher Appreciation Week! Inspired by the drive-by birthdays you may have seen throughout the year, this fun idea turns parents’ cars into decorated “floats” during pick-up.

First, say thank you teachers

More than ever, it’s important to express your gratitude for the education your child’s teacher provides. Of course, that’s much easier said than done. When you’re sitting down to write down something thoughtful, it can be tricky to find the right words. This is true even if you know the educator very well—there’s just so much to say about the importance of education that it’s hard to narrow it down. Or, if your child has multiple teachers, there’s the challenge of writing multiple (and unique) messages without lapsing into a generic thank-you. There’s also the very 2020–21 challenge: if your child has spent the year doing virtual school, you may not have had a chance to get to know their teacher very well.  


The key to perfecting the art of a thank you teacher message is to break down what you want to say, decide how you’ll say it, and then put it all down in the perfect card.

Organize a Teacher Appreciation parade 

Putting it all together will involve more organizing, but the happy smiles standing in the school door will be well worth it. Coordinate with your PTA/PTO to find a day that works for the parents and to share ideas about decorating the cars. Keep it simple by using chalk markers to turn your car into a moving thank you card, or go over-the-top with a few themed decorations that nod to teachers’ specialties, like “painted” effects for the art teacher, bug drawings for the science teacher, a book motif for the English teacher, etc.


The PTA/PTO can also give teachers a heads up that there will be a big surprise outside on that date as well. Encourage parents to show up to pick-up with posters, cards, balloons, or flowers as tokens of appreciation for teachers’ hard work in keeping your kids engaged in school and learning over a tough year. After pick-up, get in the car for the real fun! Honk, play music and yell out a thank you to send them off with good cheer.


Teacher appreciation quotes and messagesBalloons for the Bug (Invitation) by Mr. Boddington’s Studio


If your school year has unfolded remotely, a car parade will be extra meaningful for kids and teachers alike. When you coordinate a date with the PTA/PTO, also figure out the starting point for cars to gather, then the parade route. Some car parades will go by teachers’ homes, while others can happen in front of the school (with teachers outside, socially distanced), depending on your school’s policy. Have the PTA/PTO send a surprise heads up to teachers on when the fun starts and where to be. (Hint: Our “Which Way to the Car Parade?” card perfectly suits the theme.) Once everyone has arrived, drive slowly, crank up the music, and get honking for your brilliant teachers!


Ready to express your gratitude to the special teacher in your child’s life? Choose your favorite from our teacher appreciation cards and schedule your thoughtful message to get to their inbox just in time for Teacher Appreciation Day on May 4th! 



Thank a Teacher