Digesting a 3-inch-thick textbook, fumbling through a group presentation at 2 a.m. and writing until your hand cramps up: These moments can make students want to throw in the towel (or maybe just the book itself).

But what about the compliments scribbled in the margins, the office-hours pep talk and the push to try something new?

During the third annual Thank a Teacher Week, kicking off today, the University of Maryland encourages students to thank the professors, lecturers, instructors and graduate assistants who helped them grow and succeed.

The celebration, coinciding with the National PTA’s Teacher Appreciation Week, includes Thank-a-Gram stations for handwritten notes, a link to send a virtual card and events all week.

“This is our way to express gratitude for the positive impact that teaching has on the lives of our students,” said Scott Roberts, acting executive director of the Teaching & Learning Transformation Center, which organizes Thank a Teacher Week.

Today, students can celebrate with instructors and teaching assistants over a free serving of a special flavor at the Maryland Dairy—“My Favorite Assign-Mint” with mint ice cream, crushed Andes Chocolate Mints, brownie bits and a fudge swirl—from noon to 2p.m.

On Thursday, graduate students are invited to enjoy complimentary coffee and doughnuts in the Stamp’s Graduate Student Life Lounge from noon to 3 p.m. All are welcome to the Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center for a 7:30 p.m. screening of “Mean Girls,” along with a prize raffle.

Thank-A-Gram postcard stations are in 11 buildings across campus all week, and pop-up postcard stations will appear through Thursday at selected sites. See the full list here.

Sending a thank you or posting a selfie with the hashtag #TeachTerps automatically makes students, along with the teacher whom they're thanking, eligible to win prizes.

Want to thank a teacher, but not sure what to say? See how these students last year expressed their appreciation.