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Back to school ideas for teacher appreciation

Posted by  ·  August 11, 2008  ·  Last Updated: August 11, 2008

I found these cool water bottles on clearance at Wal-mart so our PTO purchased them for our teachers.  Do you have an idea for a cute saying?

I was thinking……..

“We are filled to the brim with great teachers”

I thought there was a individual drink powder called “Performance” and I would say, “We hope this year out performs all the others” —but there is not.

I would love to hear your ideas!!

Many of the following ideas could be used by your Parent Teacher Organization” to welcome back the entire teaching staff.

  • Apples “you are the apple of our eye”
  • Container of paper clips “to help you hold everything together this year”
  • Jolly Ranchers ” We hope you will have a happy year”
  • 100,000 Grand Bar ” We know the work you do this year will be worth more than 100,000 Grand”
  • Pencils “Thank you for helping our children write the future”
  • Nature’s Harvest Bar “Thank you for helping our children harvest their potential”
  • Notepads “A note to say we think your school has the best teachers!”
  • Skore BarYour school or child’s name has ‘skored’ big when we got you for a teacher”
  • Can of pop “We are bubbling over with excitement to have you for our teacher”
  • Whopper candy “We hope you will have a ‘whopper’ of a year”
  • Rulers “We hope this year really measures up”
  • Goldfish crackers “We hope this will be o’fish’ally the best year” or ” Your school o’fish’ally has the best teachers”
  • A lottery ticket “We hope this year will be a winner”
  • A battery operated person fan with a tag saying “We are your biggest fan, we hope this year is so great it blows you away!”

More staff and teacher appreciation ideas can be found here.

More sayings for candy and small gifts can be found here.

Last year I gave my children’s  teachers hand lotion to start the year off. I think I will do this again.

Leave a Comment


  1. Avril Blackwood
    Friday, August 16th, 2013
    Awesome ideas!!! As an English as a Second Language teacher, I'm hoping to find pencils or something with the world and write "Let's learn about the world together."

    I'd like to use the bottle idea or cup/glass for the classroom teachers I will be working with and write a toast for an awesome year working with you, cheers!

    Another bottle idea, Thank you for helping my child drink in as much _____ this school year (knowledge, information, good experiences, etc)
  2. laura Grossman
    Thursday, June 7th, 2012
    How about..."Thank you for quenching my thirst for knowledge"
  3. Lisa
    Monday, August 29th, 2011
    We are doing cups with Crystal Light in them. The tag will say "For a great year, just add water!"
  4. Lori
    Friday, August 20th, 2010
    I am thinking of adding some packets of Propel drink mix and saying something like "We are looking forward to helping you "propel" through a great school year." Or something equally corny. :)
  5. Maria
    Saturday, August 14th, 2010
    I'm a retired elementary school teacher of 31 years. This warms my heart to know there are parents out there that appreciate all the work and dedication given to students. Thanks.
  6. Kimmie
    Friday, August 21st, 2009
    Great first school day activity for 1st graders! Have the children sit in a circle on the floor and read a story to each other! Pass the book around the circle and let each child read one page. The rules are simple: 1. A child on either side of the current reader can help if the reader gets “stuck” or the reader can simply decide to “describe” what they see happening in the story based on the picture in the book. 2. Every child gets a turn even if the book has to be read more than once.
    This simple exercise allows a teacher to observe each child as a solo performer and as part of a partnership or team and serves as an excellent first day activity.
    My favorite book for this activity is “Read to me Bo” by Robert Spence, available on Amazon.
    Have fun!!!
  7. Thursday, August 13th, 2009
    GREAT ideas!
    I love giving gifts like these.
    I need to do something like this for my boyfriend. He leave on a golf trip next Friday and I need to pack his bag with notes, etc.

    As for your water bottle... Hmmm... How about.. "Sipping on success"


    "Water for the mind"

    It could also be, " (Teachers name)'s Healthy Drink"
  8. Julie M
    Wednesday, August 12th, 2009
    I love the idea. Tag with the colors, which could be used on another colored gift too, I guess.
    Tickled pink to have such a great teacher.
    I'd be blue without you as my teacher.
    Others are green with envy that you're my teacher or such a great teacher.
  9. Tina, Texas
    Thursday, June 18th, 2009
    We may use some of these ideas this coming year! Thanks for sharing! Here is what we did for our teachers this past year: http://photos.christinashaw.com/thumbnails.php?album=9
  10. Thursday, May 7th, 2009
    I bought clear plastic re-usable tumblers from Starbucks (they look like their cold drink cups). I made inserts to show through the cups that say "We think you are a great TEA-cher!" along with a quart sized tea bag for iced tea (Lipton), and the paper insert has a recipe for making Iced Tea. I also included a hand made coaster. the web-link has a picture from Flickr!
  11. Karen
    Tuesday, May 5th, 2009
    Any cute sayings for a door with flowers on it? All of the kids wrote notes of appreciation on flowers.
  12. Tina
    Friday, May 1st, 2009
    "Wat-er" (What are) we without you?
  13. brandy
    Friday, March 13th, 2009
    I cant claim the idea is mine but we did a cool gift at Valentines this year. I got the idea from a website but I cant recall which site it was. In any case, we took a clear bottle of hand sanitizer and removed all of the stickers. I did have to spray some goo-gone on it to remove the sticky residue.

    After that was done, I had the kids decorate them with ribbon and foam heart stickers. The teachers seemed to really like it. You could adapt it for any occasion though.
  14. Monica
    Tuesday, March 10th, 2009
    I've already decided next year's teacher valentines will have lotto tickets and the saying "Hope you get lucky this Valentine's Day."

    They're used to our family being funny/weird. ;)
  15. Friday, September 5th, 2008
    I'm sure it is too late now, but you could make really cute lightly-padded velcro enclosed cozies out of cute fabric for them...
  16. Christina D
    Thursday, August 21st, 2008
    Thanks so much for the great ideas!!! We have our "Back to School Teacher Luncheon" tomorrow and this is just the idea I needed.

  17. care-in
    Wednesday, August 13th, 2008
    What a great useful gift! I don't have any clever sayings though. You could simply personalize them or decorate with polka dots and attach a note with ribbon. That's what I thought of when I first saw them.
  18. Tuesday, August 12th, 2008
    I did this idea during teacher appreciation week. I said "Wat-er" great teacher you are! Thanks for quenching my thirst for knowledge." I attached a packet of Kool-aid with ribbon. You can check out my blog under gifts to see the packaging. Thanks for all the great ideas.. I love them.
  19. Tuesday, August 12th, 2008
    I really like Rhonda's idea for the water bottles.

    Light Bulbs or Sunglasses with a Tag that says "Thanks for
    giving our children a bright future"

    or for Christmas

    Light Bulbs with Tag "Hope your Holidays are Merry & Bright"

    I did gloves one year with Tag "Hope you have a Warm and Wonderful holiday season"
  20. Rhonda
    Tuesday, August 12th, 2008
    How about to go inside the water bottle..."there must be something in the water that makes our teachers so special" or "we can't bottle out excitement...best wishes for a great year" or "to have a great school year, just add water" or "thank you for quenching our students' thirst for knowledge" or "cheers to you for all you do."

    It's after midnight here so maybe these ideas won't sound nearly as clever in the morning. ;)
  21. Tuesday, August 12th, 2008
    OH that is cute!
  22. Tuesday, August 12th, 2008
    Your blog is FABULOUS! I'm totally linking to your crayon roll tutorial in tomorrow's Daily DIY. It's such a great (and easy!) project!
  23. Kim H
    Monday, August 11th, 2008
    What a cool idea! I love it!
  24. Monday, August 11th, 2008
    I love all of these ideas. What a cool gift to give water bottles. I can't think of a cool saying right now but I will try later.
  25. Monday, August 11th, 2008
    I struggled with this for preschool teachers, and this year brings kindergarten. I feel like I'm being thrown into a whole new pool....thanks for the clever ideas!
  26. Monday, August 11th, 2008
    anti-bacterial soap from bath & body works "if you need a hand this year..." blah blah blah
  27. Kat
    Monday, August 11th, 2008
    Oh how I wish you were one of my pupils' parents! We don't have teacher appreciation in the UK, and I'm not just talking about the gifts ideas!