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The 9 Best Things You Can Say to a Teacher

4 Minute Read

Teachers are some of the most unsung heroes we have. You can tell by taking one look at what their jobs require.

To even be a teacher, a person needs to go through additional schooling and testing to get the right credentials. It also doesn’t hurt if they have a knack for holding on to their sanity while dealing with other people’s kids!

Since educators don’t get a lot of props for their efforts, why not pass along some praise to them? A kind word is all it takes to make a teacher smile and say, "It’s all worth it!"

Here are some of the best compliments you can give to the teachers in your life.

Best Things to Say to a Teacher You Know

Whether it’s your child’s favorite instructor or a neighbor who teaches at the school down the street, you probably know an educator somewhere. Brighten their day the next time you see them with one of these compliments.

1. Thank you. It’s a simple but meaningful phrase that people in this profession just don’t hear often enough.

2. We appreciate you. Teachers don’t just teach children. They help prepare kids for the road ahead in life. Saying you appreciate that effort reminds a teacher that their impact goes beyond the classroom.

3. You deserve a break. Remind a teacher to keep their batteries charged! That could mean they treat themselves to a spa day or a round of golf. Or better yet, tell them to enter Dave Ramsey’s Teacher Appreciation Giveaway for a chance to win an all-inclusive vacation!

4. Your sacrifices don’t go unnoticed. Teachers give up their personal and family time to grade papers, prepare lessons, and attend workshops. Tell them their extra work means a lot to you. The compliment will certainly mean a lot to them.

Best Things to Say to Your Former Teachers

Admit it—back in the day, you probably rolled your eyes at that one teacher who "nagged" you to do better. But now you understand the bigger lessons they were trying to teach you. Look up one of your old instructors and tell them how they made an impact on your life. Here are some things you can say.

1. You’ve made a positive difference in my life. Did your teacher’s words or actions inspire you to never quit? Always try to improve? Never stop learning? Tell them how their positivity motivated you.

2. I never forgot this one thing you said to me. Educators love to hear how a phrase they uttered—like "double-check your work" or "learn from your mistakes instead of dwelling on them"—stuck in your mind. They’ll also be happy the words didn’t go in one ear and out the other.

3. You saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. Award-winning actress Hilary Swank told the Academy of Achievement that she found her calling when her fifth-grade teacher, Mr. Sellereit, had her write and perform a skit for her class. Imagine how good Mr. Sellereit felt when he heard that!

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4. I’m still using a skill you taught me. Maybe it’s the memory tricks that helped you recall the answers to your final exams or the time-management tips that aided you in balancing homework with your after-school job. It’s awesome for your teacher to hear how those skills are still helping you today with your job and your family.

5. You’re the reason I accomplished this. Running your own business. Getting out of debt. Starting a charity. What teacher wouldn’t get a kick out of knowing they motivated you to achieve those kinds of things?

The next chance you get, tell a teacher why they rock. It will make them feel amazing—and that alone makes it worth it!

Dave Ramsey’s Teacher Appreciation Giveaway, sponsored by Zander Insurance Group, runs throughout the month of April. Teachers can enter for a chance to win an all-inclusive vacation for two, a $500 gift card to use in their classroom, or a school assembly with Ramsey Personality Anthony ONeal. Teachers can enter at