Teachers have spent a lot of their time refining and enriching the lives and minds of their students. That is why all people come together annually to celebrate teachers and the remarkable jobs they do. If you are looking for the best inexpensive teacher appreciation day gifts then you have come to the right place.
Everything you need to know about teacher appreciation day is all here: History, PTA celebrations, and many ways to show your appreciation to your teachers.
History of Teacher Appreciation Day
Teachers thank Eleanor Roosevelt for the inception of Teacher Appreciation Week in 1953. She persuaded Congress that there must be a specific day for teachers to be recognized. Actually, before Roosevelt’s proposal to Congress, it is believed that some states already practiced the celebration but it was unclear and unsupported.
The theory states that it was a teacher either from Arkansas or Wisconsin who wrote letters to Roosevelt and asked her help on the teachers’ cause. A teacher by the name Mattye Whyte Wooldridge from Arkansas began communicating with leaders in the education sector to arrange a day for honoring teachers. Ultimately, she began writing letters to Eleanor Roosevelt and the latter decided that the cause should be given attention and took it to Congress.
Eleanor took the case to Congress and got their help and support. However, it took another 27 years for it to become an official national day. The day was nationally recognized when the National Education Association (NEA) collaborated with Kansas State and Indiana State Boards of Education and lobbied it to Congress in 1980.
Are you in a hurry? Here is the editor’s favorite gift for teachers.
March 7: The First National Teacher Appreciation Day
National Teacher Appreciation Day was initially celebrated on the 7th day of March until it was in 1984 when they moved the celebration to May.
The National Parent Teacher Association was behind this motion and, instead of celebrating it for a day, they declared the entire first week of May to be Teacher Appreciation Week. The following year, the NEA followed suit and held this celebration on the Tuesday of the week.
Still, there are a few peculiar cases. For instance, Massachusetts celebrates Teacher’s Day on the first Sunday of June. Perhaps, this is because teachers are out for summer and prefer to relax on their special day.
How to Celebrate this National Holiday
The National Education Association believes that this national holiday does not only honor teachers. National Teacher Appreciation Day is also a way to let teachers know the lasting impressions they have on their students’ lives. Typical gifts given to teachers on this celebration range from thank you notes to small gifts and treats.
Whether you are planning to send a kind word, small gift, or any inexpensive gift for teachers on their big day, make sure that you are letting your teachers know that they are valued and respected.
Parent-Teacher Association Events for Teachers
Parent-teacher associations can also organize events to pay tribute for teachers on this special day. They can host a special lunch for the school’s teachers and staff. School board members, parents, district superintendent, community leaders, and district personnel may also join the event to pay a public tribute for teachers. Having so many people to participate in the event really shows appreciation for the teachers.
The PTA may also create a giant thank-you card for teachers and display it on the campus. Make sure to have markers by the card so that students and community members may add their words of gratitude.
You can also initiate a “teacher feature” on a library or school bulletin board. There, a profile of a different teacher will be featured weekly or monthly. You can also include quotes by the teacher or about the teacher including their picture, hobbies, background, and philosophy of education. Another option would be to use the PTA or school newsletter to publish interviews with teachers and their stories and accomplishments. You can also consider having the students conduct interviews, write, and publish the stories.
Another way to honor teachers is by planting flowers or trees on school grounds and/or public areas. This way, students will be reminded of their teachers when they pass by it. Also, it lasts longer and adds beauty to the school grounds.
Asking the teacher what their favorite book is, buying a copy of it, and giving it to your teacher is another way to show your appreciation. If they already have a copy, you may also donate the book to the school library. Do not forget to add a bookplate with the teacher’s name who chose the book.
PTA can also present certificates of appreciation for all teachers, support staff, aides, and substitute teachers. Finally, you can publish an ad in the local newspaper to thank the teachers in the school or district.
The district can also show their support by creating an event page on Facebook to inform everyone in the community about the activities during Teacher Appreciation Week. They can also ask local businesses to adopt a teacher for the week and display students’ cards, drawings, and stories about their teachers in a nearby store window.
Likewise, community businesses, centers, and families can hang signs and banners that will show appreciation to teachers. Additional thank you notes and messages can also be displayed on community and school marquees.
Another great way for the community to show their support is by partnering with local coffee shops, restaurants, and stores to offer “free 1 item for teachers” during Teacher Appreciation Week. This can be done on the first day or the last day of Teacher Appreciation Week.
12 Inexpensive Teacher Appreciation Day Gifts
**Disclosure: There are Amazon affiliate links below, meaning that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
A great way to show your appreciation and gratitude for the teachers in your life is by thanking them in the most thoughtful way. This may involve leaving a small gift, kind note, or even just a hug or high five. There is no better time to value your teachers than during Teacher Appreciation Week. I have prepared a list of the best inexpensive teacher appreciation day gifts and creative ways to thank your teachers.
1. Willow Tree You’re The Best! Angel, Sculpted Hand-Painted Figure
Give your teacher this Angel figure that communicates through gesture, representing an emotion, or to mark a memory. This is sculpted and painted as a gift to be displayed on a shelf, mantel, or table. It will surely remind a teacher of your appreciation. It comes with a “Thank you for making a difference” sentiment that is written and enclosed on a card.
This 5.5” hand-painted resin figure has wire wings and is packaged in a fitted box ready for gift-giving. Giving this precious item will really express your gratitude and appreciation for teachers.
The angel figure is holding a large and shiny apple with two hands, which is a metaphor for health and wisdom. Like how the apple stands out in the figure, it also represents your teacher who stands out and offers the best of themselves.
Moreover, like any other Willow Tree sculpture, this design expresses healing, closeness, courage, hope, love, and all other emotions of a life well-lived.
This figure is super pretty and worth the money. It is beautiful and comes exactly as described which your teacher will surely love. This thoughtful gift is durable yet delicate and teachers who I have given this gift were very happy. They said they are calming to look at and brings a smile to their face.
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2. Teacher Nutritional Facts White Coffee Mug
Here is an inexpensive teacher gag gift. This 11-ounce white ceramic coffee mug has an easy to grip C-handle. The design shows teacher nutritional facts similar to what you will see from food product labels. This design is imprinted and displayed on both sides of the mug and has an approximately 1 inch apart from both sides of the C-handle.
The premium full-color sublimation imprint creates a vibrant design that is long-lasting and lead-free. This mug is also dishwasher and microwave safe for your teacher’s convenience.
Whether it can be used for drinking morning coffee before class or sipping on a hot cup of tea at home, this mug is up for the task. Your teacher will definitely use this on different occasions and will surely remind them of you.
When I personally saw this mug, it really is unique and highly presentable. These mugs were bought as gifts for two of my favorite teachers and they loved it. The wordings on the mug are top-notch and if your teacher sees this, they will thank you for the funny and encouraging message it brings.
Also, every time your teacher drinks from this mug, they will be reminded of how they are appreciated for all their hard work and dedication. Mugs really do speak volumes!
It is definitely an inexpensive and perfect gift for teacher appreciation day especially if your teacher loves sipping on coffee or tea and has a knack for humor.
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3. O. Riya Teacher’s Bracelet Jewelry
If you are looking for a piece of inexpensive jewelry for your teacher then here it is! This bracelet is made of stainless steel and is polished for shine. It is an adjustable bracelet and the stamping on it gives a nice deep impression. The adjustable cuffs are measurable and can fit nearly any wrist size.
You do not need to worry about allergies since there is a lower rate of skin reactions with stainless steel compared with sterling silver. Stainless steels never tarnish and do not leave green marks on the skin like other metals.
By the way, this is a custom hand-made bracelet that is a perfect gift for your favorite teacher. The words on the outside say “Love. Inspire. Teach.” Meanwhile, the inside of the bracelet says, “You have made a difference in my life. Thank you for helping me grow.” These words will definitely give your teachers goosebumps when they read the inscription.
This bracelet will surely make a wonderful gift for your teacher, instructor, professor, or even your coach for Teacher Appreciation Day/Week. It can also be given on a simple “just because” moment.
What makes this a unique gift is the stainless steel material which is a great choice for jewelry. It does not tarnish nor rust and is very durable making this a treasure for a lifetime! However, you must make sure that your teacher is not allergic to this type of jewelry before buying this item.
The manufacturer, O.RIYA JEWELRY LTD pays great attention to the shopping experiences from its customers. Thus, this product was built with you and your teacher’s satisfaction in mind.
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4. “I Teach, Therefore I Drink” Wine Glass
This is another thoughtful gift that will bring a smile to your teacher’s face. This funny stemless wine glass is the perfect gift for teachers who love to drink wine or liquor.
The funny wine glass which reads “I teach therefore I drink” is a conversation starter. They will enjoy a relaxing evening with their favorite stemless wine glass which holds 15 ounces of their favorite wine. This gift keeps on giving and every time they drink their precious wine, they will remember you.
This is not an ordinary wine glass. It is made with the highest quality materials which guarantee long life and constant satisfaction. This witty wine glass will ensure an enjoyable evening dinner for so many years.
This durable wine glass is dishwasher safe. The printed inks are superior and ceramic which were fired on at a temperature of up to 1200 degrees. This is truly a permanent imprint that never fades nor loses its glow.
Upon ordering and arrival, this wine glass is carefully packaged in a durable gift box. This guarantees you that it will arrive safely on your doorstep.
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5. 13oz Spill Proof Ceramic Coffee Travel Mug with Lid
This coffee mug on the go is definitely a great idea for a teacher. It is a spill-proof ceramic coffee travel mug with lid and has imprinted words, “Best Teacher Ever”! This will definitely send a message about their teaching and the great impact they have on you.
The words are presented in bright shiny gold and silver. It is well packaged in a durable box upon arrival, ensuring that it is handled with care.
When I bought this as a gift, I knew it was worth the money. In fact, I wanted to keep one for myself and ended up ordering one for myself. It is a very beautiful product and the lid that comes with it is a big help. It keeps the beverage hot or cool, whichever it is that your teacher will be drinking from it.
Also, the lid on the mug really helps when traveling. It prevents spilling and keeps the contents safe. Your teacher will surely be reminded of you wherever they are if they bring this coffee mug with them.
You can also give this with a thank you note attached to the C-handle to make it more personal. I’m sure your teacher will be excited to use it.
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6. Teacher Appreciation Keychain
Give this pink metal keychain by Christian Art Gifts to your most amazing teacher to show them you appreciate their tireless work in instilling the joy of learning. This “Touches a Heart” keychain features a stainless steel split key ring that is lovingly adorned with a small green apple enameled charm.
The quote is the highlight of this keychain and sends a valuable message. It says, “A good teacher takes a hand, opens a mind & touches a heart.” Also, when it is flipped around, you will find a popular bible verse that is taken from 1 Corinthians 16:14.
This inspirational keychain definitely showcases a simple yet heartwarming message that brings positive inspiration to all of the hardworking teachers in your life. It has a durable design and your teacher will need not worry about losing their keys. Their keys will be within their reach thanks to the metal split key ring that measures 1.5” in diameter. It is made with glossy enamel for durability and shine that lasts for a long time.
The keychain is manufactured with a polished chrome disk and is super lightweight, making it perfect for decorating a backpack or purse. This delightful teacher appreciation day gift features thoughtful quotes in hot pink design that will instantly make them smile and remember you.
Christian Art Gifts are packed in a gift-ready tin box, making it an easy and practical gift for any occasion. Moreover, they offer a wide variety of personalized Christian products including bible covers, coloring books to planners, key chains, mugs, and other products that stand for compassion, truth, and love.
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7. I’m a Teacher Superpower Mug
This mug will serve as a daily reminder that your teacher is a hero and that you are thankful for their existence. This durable ceramic mug is designed with a message on the front, recessed in black “I’m a Teacher. What’s your Superpower?” Further, it is a deep black mug with cream trim on the rim and on top of the handle.
This considerate and thoughtful mug weighs above-average and everything about it feels like a high-quality pottery mug that will definitely make your teacher smile.
Imagine this, your teacher gets up early in the morning, arrives early to school, and makes him/herself a nice cup of coffee. As he/she drinks from the mug, they see the embedded words and smiles. Suddenly, they feel excited to do their job that day.
We cannot recommend this enough if you are looking for a nice gift for your teacher on the teacher appreciation day.
It is also dishwasher safe. Upon arrival, it is well packaged ensuring that the product was made and handled with care. I was personally impressed with how it was well made, well-proportioned, and well designed.
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8. “A Teacher Shapes the Future” Trimmed Box Sign
This gift is a great addition to your teacher’s desk and will remind them of who they are as a teacher. The Primitives by Kathy 21495 Polka Dot Trimmed Box Sign is a 3” x 6” crafted box with the words “A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind, touches a heart, shapes the future.”
These words will surely inspire your teacher every day and bring a smile to their face. It is designed with a color/pattern look, a rustic black and white with polka dots on the side.
This gift is designed with distressed paint on high-quality wood. The box is also specially designed to freely stand on its own or be hanged on the wall. It definitely makes the perfect teacher appreciation day gift for any amazing professor, teacher, or even coach.
This small wood plaque is a perfect gift that is enough to be placed on a desk or other surface. It also has an aged look to it making it look vintage that is aesthetically pleasing. If you give this to your teacher, it will truly send a heartfelt message that you appreciate their important job.
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9. Teacher Travel Mug w/ Card
Here’s another travel mug that is a perfect gift for your favorite teacher. It measures 7”, an insulated plastic mug that features a brushed silver metal interior and trims. In addition, it features a slide open/close travel lid and foam bottom. It holds 16 ounces of beverage, perfect for any teacher who likes to have their coffee as they go to school.
If you are looking for a great gift for your teacher or a professor in the family, then this is it. The teacher travel mug is designed with the words “Teacher: Opening minds, Inspiring hearts.”
This product also comes with a gift card that says “God grant me Serenity to appreciate the unique gifts of my students, Courage to challenge them to do their best and Wisdom to help them become all that You created them to be.”
Moreover, it is very durable and lightweight. The teacher who I gave this mug to was really pleased and absolutely loved the design. I am sure your teacher will feel the same when she sees this gift!
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10. “Best Teacher Ever” Canvas Teacher Pencil Bag
If your teacher brings a lot of pens, school supplies, and other small items, then this small bag is a perfect gift. It is a teacher appreciation bag that can be used for many purposes like a pencil case or a makeup bag. The bag has the words “Best Teacher Ever” printed in vibrant colors which definitely stands out and makes a teacher’s heart flutter.
The bag is professionally printed to ensure vibrant images. This great gift for any teacher is brought to you by Moonwake Designs who are known for manufacturing products by using only the highest quality inks so the bags hold up against normal use. This adorable bag is simple, but will still stand out. It has a perfect size that can hold all of your teacher’s school supplies, pens, or even beauty products.
It has a natural beige color and features a sleek black zipper with a silver pull. The material is 100% Cotton Canvas. Further, it is low maintenance for it only needs to spot clean with mild soap and water. Also, for it to be a bit more personalized, you can insert some thank you notes inside the bag.
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11. Bath Bomb Gift Set – 6 Vegan Essential Oil Natural Fun Fizzies Spa Gift
Here’s an inexpensive gift for your teacher that will give him/her a relaxing bath after a hard day’s work. This Bath Bomb Gift Set is made from 6 vegan essential oils that are purely natural and organic. The ingredients are of superior quality and add a nature garden feel to their bath. Also, it has no toxic fragrances.
This set comes with 6 unique ultra-moisturizing fizzy bombs. It will surely take your teacher to bath bomb heaven. The six essential oil blends will treat their senses. They are individually wrapped and presented in a unique gift tin.
The 6 bombs are namely: Yoga Sunrise, Garden of the Gods, Sinus Congestion Relief, Pink Energizing Grapefruit, Stressed Moms, and Vanilla Surprise. These bath bombs are fun, fragrant and will leave the skin ultra-moisturized.
Moreover, the bath bombs are about the size of a golf ball and weigh approximately 2oz. These are highly addictive bath products which your teachers will surely love and enjoy. The best thing about these bath bombs is that they do not leave any oil ring around the tub.
Give this wonderful bath bomb gift set for your teacher so they could have the awesome benefits of Organic Sunflower Oil, Cocoa Butter, and Organic Shea Butter.
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12. Jumbo Tote with Adjustable Shoulder Strap Great Boss Thank You Gift
Finally, this wonderful tote bag will be very useful for your favorite teacher. This is a colorful microfiber jumbo tote teacher bag that is a great way to show your appreciation to your teacher. It measures 21” wide, 15” high, and 6” deep at the bottom. It is big and sturdy enough to carry essential items like books, binders, purse, lunch, and so much more.
This tote bag is designed with zippered inner and outer pockets making it easy to organize and separate supplies. It also features a 26” adjustable shoulder strap that will allow the teacher to customize for added comfort.
What makes this the perfect teacher appreciation day gift is the inspiration quote printed that reads “Yes. I teach. So, I inspire, manage, coach, engage, solve problems, listen, detect, explore, belief, care, worry, & always make time to laugh with my kids.”
This tote bag is truly inspiring for all teachers out there. Most importantly, it has plenty of pockets making it very useful to put other small items such as gadgets or eyeglasses.
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11 Other Affordable Ways to Show Teachers You Appreciate Them
Teachers have been preparing the next generation for the future and they do this daily, year after year. Perhaps this year, you have a special teacher who has done great things and has ignited your love of learning. Showing your gratitude can be best given to them on Teacher Appreciation Day.
Genuine acts of kindness and gratitude do not need to be expensive. You can show your teachers that they are appreciated and important by simply writing them a letter. Further, check out these eleven ideas for helping your teacher feel appreciated and valued.
1. Write them a letter
Tangible things are a nice gesture, but another great way to show your gratitude is by writing a heartfelt note that expresses how much your teacher’s hard work meant to you. Make the time and effort to make a handwritten letter. You can also give them a card if you want but never settle for an email.
2. Gift Cards or Monetary Gift
A gift card to their favorite coffee shop, book stores, or even a nearby department store can be a special treat for your teacher. Make sure to ask them what their favorite coffee shop is, or know where they buy their school supplies. Whatever it is, it is one way to help them in their expenses since most teachers spend their own money on supplies and books. Gift cards or a small monetary gift can help lessen their expenses at the end of the school year.
3. Home Baked Treats
Another inexpensive but heartfelt way to show your appreciation is by making them home-baked treats. Most teachers like those as well as bakery products. If you can, make them cookies in the shape of school supplies or anything related to your teacher.
4. Special Artwork
If you have a knack for art, mount a piece of artwork for your teacher. Likewise, you can find a wonderful piece of artwork that will inspire your teacher daily in the classroom.
5. Gift Baskets
Does your teacher love sewing, crafts, chocolates, or gourmet coffees? You can always put together a gift basket that contains treats or supplies that your teacher will definitely love.
One way to make your favorite teacher smile on national teacher appreciation day is by giving her humorous posters and books. A book entitled F in Exams: The Very Best Totally Wrong Answers can make your teacher smile after a long and productive day in the classroom.
7. Restaurant Gift Certificate
Even if the school’s out at 3 o’clock, most teachers do not get home until dinner time or later. You can treat your teacher to a nice dinner by buying them a gift card to their favorite restaurant or nearby eatery.
8. Housecleaning Service
Teachers have a busy schedule and those who their own families usually have less time to take care of the house. Even for just one time, you can send in a maid to clean their home. Your teacher will definitely appreciate that.
You can create a class scrapbook that includes letters, drawings, and pictures of the class. There are so many ways to make a DIY scrapbook. Gather all your creative classmates and work on the most thoughtful scrapbook for your teacher.
You can also write here an essay on things that you have enjoyed most about them and how they helped you. Mention the qualities that you appreciate and tell them what they have contributed to your journey in learning.
Do not forget to put special attention and care into creating a scrapbook that not only looks beautiful but will also last for a very long time. Laminating all the pages of the scrapbook is one way to make it more attractive and durable.
Another great way to appreciate your teacher is by making a “Thank You, Teacher” video. A simple video of you or the entire class saying thank you will really let your teachers know how much you value them. You can express in the video how much your teacher has inspired you. You can also upload it on social media to let the entire world know how much you appreciate your teachers.
11. Contact Your Teachers
Never forget your past teachers who have also made an impression in your life. Get in contact with them through social media, have a chat with them, and see how they are doing. Also, do them the kindness of personally expressing your gratitude. Even after many years, you should thank your old instructors for the positive impact they had on your later life.
12. Audio Recordings
Collect audio recordings from different people who also appreciate your teacher. Compile all of those in one audio and forward them to your teacher. Tell those people to record a positive and heartfelt message for their teacher.
In summary, Teacher Appreciation Day is an important event in keeping your teachers’ spirits high. Your gifts and gestures will surely make them love their job more and inspire them to keep having a positive impact on their future students.
Remember that being a teacher is not a straightforward job to control unruly children. Some teachers even find that they are spending too many hours daily just to prepare for lessons, checking papers, and grading their students’ work. A lot of teachers find themselves changing a career path.
Showing appreciation to our beloved teachers reminds everyone that being a teacher is a tough job but they have helped kids for many years. Teacher Appreciation Day will surely energize teachers and thanks to your kind words and gratitude, they will be more inspired to be their best at doing their job.
1. Are there any other ways to express gratitude to a teacher without buying gifts?
Of course! There are many ways you can express your appreciation by showing them kind gestures and assistance. For starters, you can put flowers, coffees, teas, and snacks in your teachers’ lounge. Another way you can “give” gifts without actually having to buy them is by filling out a survey for teachers asking them about their favorite colors, books, flowers, restaurants, etc. Then, the information you have gathered can be used by other students and other people who wish to buy gifts for teacher’s day celebration.
Another kind gesture to show appreciation is by giving the teachers’ lounge a makeover. You can volunteer to clean your teacher’s desk, rearrange or reupholster the furniture in the lounge, or give the walls a new coat of paint.
School organizations can also organize a car wash service and invite the school teachers and staff to have their vehicles washed for free.
2. What are other ways parents can show their appreciation for teachers?
It is good that parents also want to thank their children’s teachers and there are different ways to show their appreciation. They can take their time to write personal thank you notes or say thanks the next time they talk to the teacher personally. If it cannot wait, they can send a quick e-mail expressing their appreciation.
Parents can also offer small tokens of appreciation such as bookmarks, fruits, homemade crafts, and goodies. They can also produce coffee mugs with the words “World’s Greatest Teacher” printed on it. Likewise, parents can contribute to classroom materials including chalk, stamps, paper, stickers, books, and more.
Teachers will also appreciate receiving gift certificates that will help them purchase the little school supplies they need in their classrooms. Another idea is by having the parents to organize a simple coffee reception for teachers.
Teacher Appreciation Day/Week should be a launching point to develop stronger parent-teacher partnerships. Parents showing expressions of appreciation builds mutual respect and opens doors to better communication about student performance and expectations.
3. How do other countries celebrate Teacher Appreciation Day?
Teacher Appreciation Day is celebrated on different dates in different countries. Thus, they are celebrated in different ways. In most countries, cultural programs are also held including play performances, and dancing and singing competitions. The students also offer kind gestures and gifs such as flowers, greeting cards, and their token of affection to their favorite teachers.
China – Teacher’s Day is celebrated on September 10. However, it was first held on August 27, the same day as Confucius’ birthday but the People’s Republic of China government revoked the celebration. Now, more people are trying to revert it back to Confucius’ birthday.
India – In this country, they celebrate Teacher’s Day on September 5 in honor of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the second President of India. During this day, senior students in schools take the responsibility of teaching their juniors as a way to show their appreciation for their teachers. Meanwhile, this day is not considered a holiday and it involves plenty of activities in educational institutions.
Russia – This country celebrates Teacher’s Day on the Tuesday of the first full week of May. It is considered a non-official holiday that is celebrated with ceremonies and merriment. Also, a number of activities are organized in school campuses to show honor to their teachers. Actually, the celebrations may extend for the entire week of May
Thailand – Meanwhile, this country celebrates Teacher’s Day annually on January 16. It was a holiday adopted in the island nation by a resolution of the government on November 21, 1956. All schools declare this a holiday.
Iran – Teacher’s Day in Iran is celebrated on May 2 and commemorates the assassination of Iranian professor Ayatollah Morteza Motahhari. On that day, students offer flowers to teachers as a way to also honor the sacred profession.
Turkey – November 24 is Teacher’s Day in this country thanks to Kemal Ataturk who wanted to honor teachers and their profession. This country regards the profession of teaching as something incomparable and sacred.
Malaysia – This country dedicates May 16 as a day to celebrate teachers with great enthusiasm. In fact, this day is called “Hari Guru” and is considered a working day.