Attention Teachers! 10 Epic Freebies and Deals for Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation Week is observed during the first full week of May. Here are the places that offer teachers exclusive freebies and deals.

Ade Hennis - Author

May 1 2023, Updated 2:07 p.m. ET

A young elementary school teacher in a lab coat experimenting with students.
Source: Pexels

Educators do so much for children and adult students, and most of us wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for them. In an effort to recognize teachers for their hard work and dedication, we observe Teacher Appreciation Week during the first full week of May.

While its customary for students to spoil their teachers with gifts during Teacher Appreciation Week, businesses further extend the gratitude held for teachers by offering them exclusive freebies and deals.

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While most associate teachers with elementary, middle, and high school settings, educators can be found in all types of environments. This includes prisons, sports facilities, private afterschool and summer school programs, driving academies, the military, and more.

So, if you're an educator and want to take advantage of the exciting freebies and deals being offered during Teacher Appreciation Week, keep reading to find out where they are being offered.

A male teacher in an ivory jacket lecturing a class.
Source: Pexels
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How did Teacher Appreciation Week get started?

Teacher Appreciation Week originally started as only National Teacher Day in 1953. The day was celebrated on March 7 every year until 1984, where the National Parent Teacher Association (NPTA) reportedly changed it to May, and also dedicated the first week of May to be Teacher Appreciation Week.

The National Education Association (NEA) would help emphasize the importance of the day and made National Teacher Appreciation Day on the Tuesday of that first week of May.

While different states privately practiced the week and days dedicated to teachers in earlier years, Congress didn’t make the country-wide appreciation day nationally recognized until 1980. The national recognition came to fruition largely due to the NEA lobbying with multiple state education boards to convince Congress to do so.

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The NEA was formed in 1857 and has been supporting teachers around the U.S. for decades. Teacher Appreciation Week also became nationally recognized with the help of Eleanor Roosevelt, who helped convince Congress that there should at least be a dedicated day for educators.

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Where can teachers get freebies during Teacher Appreciation Week?

Teachers can score big during Teacher Appreciation Week. From free items to discounts, these are the places that are offering the best freebies and deals to educators of all types.

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The retail franchise that’s known for being the one-stop shop for students and teachers, went big for Teacher Appreciation Week in 2022 by giving away free teacher gift boxes (while supplies last). The gift boxes included school supplies, coupons, and more. Teachers should check with their local retail location to find out if the teacher freebie boxes are being given out this year.

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Academy Sports

During Teacher Appreciation Week, teachers and those in the field of education can score 10 percent off their purchase from Academy Sports. The deal can be applied both online and in stores and runs through May 14.

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Chick-fil-A has been known to recognize educators during Teacher Appreciation Week by offering a free chicken sandwich to those who present their faculty ID. It is recommended that you contact your local Chick-fil-A first before heading over to confirm whether the deal is being offered.

TGI Fridays

TGI Fridays is giving teachers a free meal on National Teacher Appreciation Day (May 2) when they dine in at a participating location. You will need to show a school or employee ID before you’re given the opportunity to choose from one of four meals.

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The fast food franchise is offering a free cheeseburger with any purchase for those who are in the Sonic Teacher’s Circle, which is a free rewards program for teachers. Educators can sign up on the Sonic App to join the program.

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During the entire Teacher Appreciation Week, teachers can receive a regular-sized fountain drink when purchasing an entree at participating locations. Educators just have to show their school ID upon purchase. Again, you should confirm the deal is being offered at your local restaurant before going.

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Great American Cookie

In the past, Great American Cookie offered teachers a free Original Chocolate Chip Cookie during Teacher Appreciation Week. Check with your local Great American Cookie location to find out if the teacher freebie is still being offered.

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Barnes & Nobles

All day long on National Teacher Appreciation Day, teachers can choose between a free cup of coffee or tea at eligible Barnes & Noble Cafes. All you need to do is provide your faculty ID to snag the deal.


The fast food restaurant will be giving away free breakfast items at participating locations between 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. during Teacher Appreciation Week. To take advantage of the Whataburger deal between May 8, 2023, and May 12, simply provide your school ID. Teachers can also save 25 percent off their purchase of retail items bought from a Whataburger store using promo code WHATATEACHER23.

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Although Apple doesn't offer an annual recurring deal for Teacher Appreciation Week, the tech giant does offer discounts of up to $200 off on computers and accessories, which include iPads. Whether you teach in a public school or homeschool your child, these deals are certainly worth checking out.

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