How To Thank Teachers Who Wrote Recommendation Letters

Finally, the grunt work of the college application process is over. You have gathered all of the necessary documents, written stellar essays, and submitted your college applications. Now, while you wait, it is time to reflect on those who helped you in the application process.

After all, you were not the only one who worked hard on your applications. Your parents gave you all of the demographic and financial information you needed, your peers or teachers may have looked over your essays, and most importantly, your teachers submitted those required recommendation letters.

Now that you have submitted your applications, you ought to think about thanking your teachers for helping you with your application. What is the most appropriate way to show your gratitude? We at Edbrand have compiled the following guide to thanking teachers who wrote your recommendation letters for your college applications.

How should I thank my teachers?

A Card

Cards are a simple and inexpensive way to tell a teacher that you appreciate what they have done for you and your future. A handmade card is the most thoughtful and shows a teacher that you took the time to think of them and make them something special.

Note that a Hallmark card or a generic thank-you card from the store does not show the teacher that you put any thought or care into the thank you. There is nothing heartfelt or personal about a generic card.

Thus, if you choose to buy a card, make sure you write a sincere message to your teacher. Don’t use clichés like “you mean the world to me” or “words cannot describe how much your letter meant to me.” Try to make the message personal and thoughtful so that the teacher knows how much you care.

A great place to start when thinking about what to write is to recall a specific and fond memory you had with the teacher. Perhaps you two bonded in class over a book you both liked or perhaps there was one lecture in her class that you thoroughly enjoyed and still remember. Adding those fond memories to your message will make your card more thoughtful and personal.

A Gift

Getting a teacher a gift is a lot trickier than getting them a card. First of all, it is important to note that it is by no means necessary. However, if you decide to give a gift, make sure that it would be an appropriate gift to offer a teacher and wouldn’t put them in the uncomfortable position of having to refuse.

Some schools have policies against getting teachers gifts, and some teachers simply don’t feel comfortable accepting gifts from students. Thus, it is important to check beforehand and make sure it is acceptable to get your teacher a gift before you actually buy one.

If you know it’s okay to give a gift and you want to, make sure that the gift is heartfelt. You don’t have to get your teacher anything extravagant like a large gift basket or a $100 massage voucher. In fact, you should avoid being too flashy with your gift. It is not appropriate for the situation, and many teachers may not be comfortable accepting such an expensive gift from a student.

The goal for a teacher gift is to be small but personal. Think about the teacher — what are their interests, passions, hobbies, or obsessions? Perhaps Shakespeare is your teacher’s literary hero, or your teacher loves to put beach decorations around their classroom.

Knowing these little nuances about your teacher will help you get them a simple, personal gift. For example, you could get your Shakespeare-loving teacher a mug with a King Lear quote on it. You could get your beach-obsessed teacher a nice beach-themed magnet or poster for their classroom.

If you can’t think of anything that the teacher would personally like, you can opt to give them a memento of the college that you will be attending. This can be anything from the college banner, a mug with the university logo on it, or even a university sweatshirt. Any gift that is related to the university you are attending will remind the teacher that they helped you get there, which many teachers will appreciate.

Talk To Them

Regardless of whether you give a card or a gift, you should thank your teacher in person. It is extremely rewarding for educators to see that they are making a difference in a student’s life and that students appreciate their hard work. Go up to your teacher and thank them sincerely, and be sure to let them know how excited you are about the opportunity they’ve helped you get.

Also, if you choose to thank your teachers before you have gotten your results back, do not stop contact there. Always let them know the results of your application. Teachers want to see their students succeed and its important to maintain relationships with people who have spent so much time on your personal growth.