To celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week (which is May 6-10), we thought we’d take a look at what businesses are doing to show teachers a little love. Most of the Teacher Appreciation campaigns we’ve seen this year, fall into one of three categories- discounts, freebies, and cause marketing partnerships.
Some stores and restaurants only offer a teacher discount once a year, either for the whole week or just on Teacher Appreciation Day, which falls on May 7th this year. Other companies, like Jo-Ann’s, generously offer teacher discounts year-round and sweeten the pot for Teacher Appreciation Week with an even deeper discount than usual. Teacher Appreciation Month is also a terrific time to launch a brand new everyday teacher discount, like The Hook Up Bar and Restaurant in Biloxi, MS is doing this month. Take a look at who is offering discounts this month.
- Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts Stores: Save 20% with a Teacher Rewards card through May 11 for Teacher Appreciation Week.
- Amazon: Deep discounts on select academic software sold through Amazon.com like Sony and TechSmith. Academic software products sold through Amazon.com.
- Costco: Join Costco as a new member or upgrade an existing membership and receive over $50 in savings if you are a teacher.
- Norton: Deep discounts on select Norton Symantec academic software sold through Amazon.com. Norton Student Edition software products are for teachers, school staff, and other educators who meet Norton eligibility guidelines.
- HDR Soft: 60-75% off Photomatix Pro or the Photomatix Pro Plus Bundle for faculty members. Photography teachers are eligible for a complimentary teacher’s license.
- Bunion Bootie: 10% off Bunion Bootie bunion treatments for teachers and school administrators.
- ABBYY: Save 30% on top-rated software for educators from ABBYY. Use ABBYY’s Educator Advantage Program to get discounts on software that turns information trapped in paper into digital content to repurpose for reports, lessons, and research.
- MAC PHUN: Pay It Forward rewards students and faculty members by offering a generous 50% discount on qualifying products like Snapheal Pro, Intensify Pro, Focus 2 Pro, and the best-selling Creative Kit bundle.
- A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts: From now through Saturday, teachers can receive 20 percent off their entire purchase (including sale items) at any A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts location. While the discount can be used during each shopping visit, the discount can’t be used to purchase gift cards, classes or custom framing orders.
- New York and Company: All teachers are eligible for a 30% discount in stores through May 8 when they show valid ID.
- Branchfire: In addition to offering a 50% discount on iAnnotate, an app for reading, editing and sharing documents and images, during Teacher Appreciation Week, Branchfire is encouraging people to nominate their Teacher Hero on Twitter or Facebook to win Teacher Hero gift baskets, free apps, or an iPad.
- Staples: Teachers can shop for erasers, glue, pens, and markers for only a penny each through May 11 for Teacher Appreciation Week using their Teacher Rewards cards.
- Ben Franklin Crafts: From May 5-9, teachers save 20% on regularly priced arts & crafts supplies for Teacher Appreciation Week.
- Chipotle Mexican Grill: Bring a valid school faculty ID to any U.S. Chipotle on May 6th, to get a free salad, burrito, bowl, or tacos with the purchase of any entrée.
Giving away a small token of appreciation to teachers once a year is not only a nice way to say thank you, but it increases customer loyalty in this key target market. For inspiration on how to create a free offer that teachers will love, take note of this weekend’s Teacher Appreciation Event in Naperville, IL. The local shop owners in downtown Naperville collaborated to create a memorable event for teachers and school employees in their community. Not only did every teacher who showed ID get an orange wristband that qualified them for discounts (see above on why teachers love discounts!), but they gave away $10 gift cards to the first one hundred teachers who checked in.
- Downtown Naperville Event: The first 50 District 203 school employees and the first 50 204 school employees received a free $10 gift card.
- Waterway Carwash: Locations across northeast Ohio and in St. Louis, MO are treating teachers to a free car wash during the month of May. In St. Louis, teachers also score 10 cents off every gallon of gas and a free fountain soda every Wednesday in May.
- Chick-Fil-A: Select locations offer a freebie on May 7th to teachers who present a valid teacher ID. Free offer may vary by location.
- Wendy’s: Get a free Jr. Hamburger on May 7 if you’re a teacher in Tucson in honor of National Teacher Appreciation Day.
- McDonald’s: Teachers in Arizona who show their school ID or pay stub at their local McDonald’s will receive a free Extra Value Meal on May 7 from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Famous Dave’s BBQ: Famous Dave’s BBQ locations in Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert, and Peoria are thanking teachers with its BBQ Two Meat Salute for National Teacher Appreciation Day. On May 7, teachers and educators can enjoy a free meal with a main dish, corn muffin, and a choice of one side.
- Bojangles’: Teachers in South Carolina can head to Bojangles’ anytime in May to enjoy a free Legendary Iced Tea or other beverage and receive a promotional gift card with a “secret” value of anywhere from $1 to $100.
- Applebee’s: Choose from one of six entrees on May 7, and if you’re a teacher in Wisconsin, your meal is free.
- Learning A-Z: During a week-long tribute to teachers, educators can enjoy free access to online resources like Reading A-Z, Raz-Kids, Writing A-Z, Vocabulary A-Z, Reading-Tutors, and Science A-Z. Learning A-Z is also giving away 10 free classroom licenses each day of Teacher Appreciation Week.
- Study Blue: As part of their “2013 Thank a Teacher a Latte” students, former students, and parents can create a free digital thank-you card that sends their teacher a digital “badge of honor” to display on Pinterest and other social media outlets. They’re also giving away $5 coffee cards in random drawings during Teacher Appreciation Week
- WebTeach.com: Between May 6 and May 10, any teacher who registers as a WebTeacher in WebTeach.com’s education marketplace will receive a $5 Starbucks® e-gift card and be entered into a drawing for a Free iPad.
Some companies see Teacher Appreciation Week not only as an opportunity to thank individual teachers, but to support our educational system as a whole by partnering up with educational organizations or nonprofits to make a difference.
- Office Depot and REAL Change Productions: Participants can log onto www.officedepot.com/realchange to register a teacher who needs school supplies or support a teacher who is spending his or her own money on supplies for the classroom.
- Bojangles’ and South Carolina Future Minds: In addition to giving away iced tea and gift cards to teachers, the restaurant chain is also partnering with South Carolina Future Minds. From May 20 to June 2, Bojangles’ customers can purchase a symbolic apple in honor of their favorite teacher to be featured on the wall of the restaurant. Proceeds go to South Carolina Future Minds.
Hopefully, these companies’ support, combined with the efforts of thousands of PTA’s, parents, students, and community groups across the country, is enough to give every teacher in the United States a case of the warm fuzzies this year. Happy Teacher Appreciation Week, teachers! We heart you.
We couldn’t help but notice how many of these Teacher Appreciation discounts and freebies are limited to specific, participating locations and require teachers to bring documentation like their pay stubs along when they go clothes shopping or go out to dinner. Maybe by May 2015, more retailers will know they can use SheerID to verify teachers’ eligibility automatically, which allows them to confidently offer teacher their well-deserved discounts and freebies online or in person without requiring any extra effort from teachers themselves.
If you know of any other teacher appreciation events or offers this year, please post them in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!