Teachers play an important role in shaping all of our lives. So in honor of National Teacher Appreciation Day today we've come up with 5 awesome ways to honor them for the hard work, dedication and for teaching us the lessons beyond math and science. We're talking about life lessons.

1) Handwritten love: If your child is old enough, have them write a thank you note, in their own words, letting their teacher know what, specifically, they appreciate about them and what they've learned from having them in their lives. If they're not old enough to do it themselves, it's a perfect opportunity to open up a dialogue about gratitude and appreciating small, happy things. Chances are your little one will come up with some awesome (and potentially hilarious) anecdotes for you to include on their behalf. Melty hearts all around.

2) Get your DIY on: Prefer to express your appreciation through art? Your teacher (any teachers, not just art teachers!) will love it. Anything that's authentic and speaks to their dedication to education means the world to someone who does so much so often for so little financial reward.

3) Take to the kitchen: This is a win-win for everyone. It's a great excuse for a family bake-a-thon, plus: who doesn't love homemade cookies?!

4) Coffee Hero: Their days start early and they may have dozens of children in their charge for hours. Yes, they need coffee! And a small gift card to a local coffee shop or favorite chain will make them think of you when they grab that much needed morning latte. Do you take your coffee with DIY? Include a custom decorated mug.

5) Be spontaneous: National Teacher Appreciation Day is a great reminder of their hard work, but that doesn't mean you need to follow a pre-determined calendar to show your gratitude. When they least suspect it, your thank-you note, art project or homemade cookies could be the small happy thing that lifts them out of a difficult week. 

Need even more ideas? Check out 15 ways to say thank you that will instantly make someone's day.