This year’s Teacher Appreciation Week, which occurs the first full week in May, got a nod from Google with its innovative Monday doodle. As chains and restaurants say thank you with special freebies and deals, there are also plenty of ways for students to show their appreciation.

Monday’s Google Doodle specifically explored the theme of what it means to be a teacher. Jonathan Juravich, 2018’s Ohio Teacher of the Year, shared a note on his own experiences as an educator for Monday’s doodle, writing: “Teaching is about forming genuine relationships built on mutual respect. […] I challenge my students to find ways to quietly shine each day: greeting others with smiles and warm hellos, respectfully listening to other people’s stories, and coming to school open to ideas and perspectives.”

Google Doodle
Google Doodle for Teachers Appreciation Week 2018.

All week long — and particularly Tuesday on Teacher Appreciation Day — students will have opportunities to return acts of kindness to instructors at every education level. Inverse has rounded up a handful of DIY ways to say “thank you” in a meaningful way.

Handwritten Letter

There are countless ways to show gratitude, but a handwritten note or card can go the distance when it comes to meaningful gestures. Particularly for those on a budget, students looking for unique ways to show their appreciation need only remind their teachers of their impact to make their day.

Potted Plant for the Classroom

Teachers often spend the majority of their time in their classrooms, and nothing brightens up a room like a quality potted plant. According to former NASA research scientist Bill Wolverton, as Time reported in January, leafier plants can also help with air purification — an added bonus for all involved!

Breakfast Before Classes

Another great way to say thank you to educators is with an in-school breakfast for teachers before classes begin. With pooled funds, a group of students would need to throw in only a couple of dollars each for a bagel and fruit spread, with plenty to go around.

Contact Local Officials for Education Reform

The Washington Post ran a column in 2016 that explored why Teacher Appreciation Week can be bittersweet for some educators. Though the annual event offers plenty of opportunities for communities to give back to their local educators, low pay and a shortage of funding for things like school supplies are just two of the massive hurdles teachers with which many teachers are faced.

One way to say thank you to teachers, and perhaps in tandem with one of the aforementioned gestures, is to contact your local legislators and advocate for action that supports education. The National Education Association has tips on its website for how best to email or write a letter to legislators about a particular bill or concern around the education system.

Photos via pixabay