Write a Thank You Note to a Teacher

Thank You Notes have always been a thoughtful way to express your gratitude and appreciation for a teacher. The best way to thank someone who has made a difference in your life is to state your feelings clearly and with sincerity.[1] Learn how to write a Thank You Note to your child’s teacher, or learn how to write one to your own teacher by following these easy steps.


Sample Thank You Notes

Doc:Thank You Note to Elementary School Teacher,Thank You Note to Middle School Teacher,Thank You Note to High School Teacher

Writing a Thank You Note to Your Child’s Teacher

  1. Start with a blank piece of paper. Brainstorm and write down memories or words that come to mind when you think of this teacher. Use this time to organize your thoughts and really get to the heart of what you want to thank this teacher for, and why. Think about:
    • Your child’s experience in this class and any positive things they told you about this teacher.
    • Your own interactions with this teacher. What positive experiences have you had?
    • What you know about this teacher. What is this person like?
    • What words would you use to describe this person to someone else?
    • What might this teacher write in a Thank You Note to you, if they were to?
  2. Write your note by hand. Hand written notes add a personal touch that is often more treasured than a computer typed document. Office supply stores are a great way to find cheap stationary. Some stores also sell packs that include decorated cards and matching envelopes.
    • You can also use blank paper! This gives you and your child an opportunity to add artwork later. Personal art work is just as appreciated, if not more so, than stationary.
  3. Address the teacher formally. Start with “Dear _____,” It is always better to err on the side of professionalism when writing to a teacher. Address the teacher by the same name that students use.
    • Say “Dear Mrs. Smith,” instead of “Hey, Diane!”
  4. Formulate your Thank You. Look back at the notes you made in step one to help you write your letter. Use words you are comfortable with and keep your sentences short. There is no need to feel like you should use flowery language. Say what’s on your mind. Try things like:
    • Thank you for an incredible year!
    • My son/daughter learned so much from you (you can include specific examples here if you have any)
    • We really appreciate (give a specific example of something the teacher did, or a fun memory you share)
  5. Put it all together. Think about ways you can customize this letter so that it couldn’t be for anyone else besides this specific teacher. Take the opportunity to be gracious. Even if you didn’t particularly get along with this teacher, there must be something specific you can praise them for.
    • If you and your student loved this teacher, sum up your positive experiences into just a few sentences like, “James really enjoyed the board game project. He still plays the board game he made in your class, even today.”
    • If you and your student had a frustrating year with this teacher, strive to find the things they did well, and thank them for those things specifically. You may be able to say something like, “Thank-you for all the extra time you spent with Maria on her math homework. She has always struggled with math and she has learned a lot from your class.”
  6. Sign your card. Thank the teacher again and sign your name. Add a formality to your signature like:
    • Sincerely
    • With Kind regards
    • Warmest regards
    • Yours truly
    • Best regards
    • Our deepest thanks
  7. Get your child involved. No matter what grade your child is in, they can help add an additional personal touch to your letter. Individual drawings or artwork are great suggestions. A separate Thank You Note or phrase written by your child is also great. You can also help your child gather some cut outs from classroom received material to color, decorate, sign and include.
    • If your child is in Elementary School, help them write a short thank you (about ½ a page) at the best of their writing abilities. Or, if you’ve got an artist on your hands, help inspire them. Suggest they draw a portrait of their teacher, or pictures of things they remember from the class. Doodles are great too!
    • If your student is in Middle school or High school, help them write ½ to 1 page about their favorite memory from that class.
    • If your child has special needs, help them write notes or draw pictures to the best of their ability.[2] Decorate the card with them using stickers or glitter. You can also draw a picture for them to decorate.
  8. Include a small gift (optional). If you decide to include a gift, make sure to keep it small. Don’t spend a lot of money. There are a lot of great gift ideas for Thank You cards that don’t cost very much. Try:
    • Flowers. If you know a great place to pick wildflowers, you can arrange a bouquet with your child and present them to the teacher. Or, you can go to a local nursery and select a plant. You may want to consider a plant that thrives indoors. You may also want to include a self-watering pot or a small vase with your plant.
    • A goodie bag. Find a high quality tote bag from a bookstore or office supply store and work together with your child to fill the bag with goodies. You can include highlighters, post-its, etc.
    • Gift cards. What teacher wouldn’t appreciate a gift card to Starbucks? Make sure to keep the card value reasonable. $10-$20 is good.
  9. Deliver the Thank You Note. You can send the card in the mail, but delivering it by hand is great too!

Writing a Thank You Note to Your Teacher

  1. Write the note by hand. If you can, a hand written note will likely be more appreciated. However, if you have ended the semester, graduated, or are unsure how to find your teacher again, you can type the letter and email it.
  2. Brainstorm. Think about how this teacher made a difference in your life and what you want to thank them for specifically. Make a list of words to describe your experience with this teacher.
    • Keep your letter sincere and light.
    • Avoid stating the obvious or being redundant. You don’t need to say why you are writing the letter.
    • Avoid saying things like, “I’m writing to thank you for…”
    • Just thank them!
  3. Start your letter. Begin your letter with a formal hello to your teacher. Address them the same way you would in class. If you have established a first name relationship with them, use that name in your letter.
    • Saying “Dear” instead of “Hey” or “Hi” is more professional and respectful.
    • You may want to write your letter on a nice piece of stationary. You can purchase stationary for a cheap price at Target or any office supply store.[3]
  4. Say thank you. Take a few sentences to simply tell your teacher, plain and simple, why you are thanking them. Using specific examples and instances will make your letter more powerful and personal. Include phrases like:
    • You really helped me understand when I was struggling.
    • Thank you for encouraging me when I was struggling.
    • You’re class taught me how to be a better student.
    • Thank you for your patience.
    • You helped me see what I could be.
    • You are the best teacher ever!
    • I will never forget you.
  5. Connect with your teacher. Express to them how their class really impacted you. Often teachers go home wondering what, if anything, their students retained from their lecture. Tell your teacher how they matter. At the end of the day, everyone wants to be appreciated for their hard work.
    • If your professor inspired you to seek out more education in their subject, tell them!
    • Whether you are your teacher were best friends, or had your share if differences, they still performed a service for you. Let them know that you are grateful.
  6. Establish further contact. Express to your teacher how much you would enjoy networking with them in the future. Invite them to contact you and offer methods for them to do so.
  7. Sign your letter. Thank your teacher again and sign your name. Include your contact information if you would like to keep in touch. Add a formality to your signature like:
    • Sincerely
    • With Kind regards
    • Warmest regards
    • Yours truly
    • Best regards
    • Our deepest thanks
  8. Deliver your letter. Hand deliver your letter if possible. You may also be able to leave the letter in your teachers mailbox on campus, or mail it directly. If you have no other choice, email your letter.
    • If emailing your letter, make sure to use a recognizable email address (like a campus email if possible) and write a clear subject line like, “Thank You Note from Eric.”
    • If your teacher doesn't recognize your email, they may not open it.

Adding a Personal Touch

  1. Add an inspiring quote. If you are writing a Thank You Note to an English or History professor, this is an especially great idea. Include a quote from the classroom reading that stuck with you.
  2. Include a joke. Make fun of something you learned in class. Target your joke to the subject matter. Or, include a fun memory you have of that particular class.
  3. Tell a story. Reminisce with your teacher about what the first day of class was like or how you felt before and after a difficult exam. Let them see their class from your point of view in an encouraging way. If your perception of them changed over time, in an uplifting way, express this to them.


  • Remember that the note doesn't have to be long to be meaningful. It is the thought that counts.
  • When writing your note, pay attention to grammar and spelling - even if it's a letter to your math teacher.
  • Recounting a specific incident is much more meaningful than relying on glittering generalities. A precise description of, for example, the difficult process of learning the "Rule Against Perpetuities", will mean more to your teacher than statements like "You have helped me in so many ways."
  • Be personal to the specific teacher.


  • Never write a Thank You Note as a way to try to get a better grade in the class. This is considered disrespectful and likely won't work. Even if your grades were bad, you can still thank your teacher for their time, as long as you are sincere.
  • Don't expect to get something back. Only write the letter to give the gift of appreciation to your teacher. They may not give you anything back and that's okay. Remember, they already gave you a whole class worth of time!
  • Never use a Thank You Note as a place to blame or insult a teacher. If your letter isn’t completely sincere, don’t write it at all.
  • Never buy an expensive gift from a teacher expecting to get something in return. Keep any gifts low cost and don’t purchase something that you can’t afford.

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Sources and Citations