The Thankless Job of Teaching and How to Thank Your Teacher

By Billie •  Updated: 02/23/14 •  6 min read

Teaching is one of the most important jobs in the world. Teachers are the ones who shape the minds and futures of the next generation, yet their hard work often goes unnoticed and unappreciated. It’s a thankless job, but it doesn’t have to be.

In today’s fast-paced world, we often forget to take a moment to express gratitude for those who have made a difference in our lives. We get caught up in our own busy schedules and forget to stop and thank the people who have helped us along the way. Teachers are no exception. They work long hours, often sacrificing time with their families and loved ones, all to help their students succeed.

But how can we show our appreciation for their hard work? How can we let our teachers know that we value their contributions to our education and our lives? Here are a few ways to thank your teacher:

teacher smiling at whiteboard

Remember, expressing gratitude is not just about making your teacher feel good. It’s about recognizing the value of their work and the impact they have on your life. By taking the time to thank your teacher, you are showing them that their hard work has not gone unnoticed, and that they are making a difference in the world. So take a moment today to thank your teacher. It may be a thankless job, but with a little gratitude, it can become a job filled with meaning and purpose.

math is hard journey

As a student, have you ever stopped to think about how much your teachers do for you? They spend countless hours preparing lesson plans, grading papers, and giving you the tools you need to succeed. And yet, how often do we stop to say thank you?

Do you think she’s having a fantastic time lecturing to the back of your heads as you text your buddies about that latest episode of The Last of Us?

No, she’s having almost as much fun as you aren’t. She wants you to succeed. She wants you to “get it”, as impossible as that equation may be without sufficient information. She’s there to inspire your innate creativity to come out to play. The curriculum sometimes gets in the way of this, yes, but that’s not your teacher’s fault. 

Pretend you are your teacher. You’ve stayed up late, sacrificing time with your family so you could coach volleyball before coming home to mark papers. You love your job, but you want to know that it’s worth your time. You want to see that somebody, somewhere, is better for the effort you’ve made. You want to see that somebody is building on the value you share.

let your teacher know she's made a difference, with a thank you note

Of course, the best way to show thanks is to internalize what you’ve learned and to act confidently with that knowledge by engineering a safe and economical solution to humanity’s most pressing challenge. Second best, but more meaningful emotionally, is to simply let your teacher know. By telling them. The smallest act of thoughtfulness goes a long way. Even if you write, “Hey, thanks for that extra study session during your lunch break,” or, “I’ve never felt so free to be me than I have while sharing my life’s aspirations in your drama class,” your teacher will be touched.

Many days, that’s all we need — to connect. You’ll find great pleasure in being the one to reach out and thank someone first, and know that years later, your teacher will find your note in an old dusty box of keepsakes, and know that it was all worth it.


Q. How important is it to show appreciation to teachers for their hard work and dedication?

Answer: It is essential to recognize and appreciate the hard work and dedication of teachers as they play a vital role in shaping the future of our society. Teachers spend countless hours planning, preparing, and teaching lessons, and their efforts deserve recognition and appreciation.

Q. What are some effective ways to express gratitude from parents to teachers for their contribution to a student’s education?

Answer: There are many ways to express gratitude to teachers, such as writing a heartfelt thank-you note, creating a video message, presenting a small gift, or nominating them for an award. It’s also important to recognize their efforts throughout the year, such as during Teacher Appreciation Week.

Q. How do teachers feel when they receive recognition and appreciation from their students and parents?

Answer: Teachers feel valued and appreciated when they receive recognition and appreciation from their students and parents. It motivates them to continue to do their best and to know that their hard work and dedication are recognized and appreciated.

Q. What are some unique and creative gift ideas to express appreciation to a teacher?

Answer: Some unique and creative gift ideas to express appreciation to a teacher include a personalized thank-you card, a customized mug or water bottle, a potted plant, a gift card to a local bookstore or coffee shop, or a classroom supply kit with their favorite teaching tools. It’s also thoughtful to give a gift that reflects the teacher’s interests and personality.

Remember, Teacher Appreciation Week is just one week out of the year. But by showing our appreciation in meaningful ways, we can make a lasting impact on the educators who shape our children’s futures.


Thank-You Notes for Awesome Teachers

Responding to a Teacher’s ‘Thank You’


I like to climb mountains, read Nietzsche, and explore the West Coast. I have a BA from York University (2003) in Toronto, Canada, and yet on this site I sometimes spell like an American (know your audience). Thank you. Thank you very much.

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