Although I have been working all summer long, the inevitable school year start date suddenly looms up before me, scary and overwhelming. To honor teachers also feeling the weight of the new school year on their shoulders, I want to share some of my favorite back-to-school printables. Hopefully these free resources will help you check off a few items from your to-do list.
FREE BACK-TO-SCHOOL PRINTABLES FOR TEACHERS
PRINTABLE 1: MENTORING ADVICE TO NEW TEACHERS
I mentor many new teachers each year, both formally and informally, and my favorite resource for them is the Advice to New Teachers printable. I encourage them to hang it up by their desks or to put it in their teacher planning binder to remind themselves that their early years are hard, and that they need to be kind to themselves.
PRINTABLE 2: TOP THREE MISTAKES TEACHERS MAKE
I also like to give my mentees the Top Three Mistakes (New) Teachers Make printable, as it is a good reminder for them to stop talking and to let the students learn for themselves. I find I also need to print this handout for myself as I, too, tend to think that if I just talk, my students will absorb everything I say!
PRINTABLE 3: GLOW/GROW FEEDBACK FORM FOR OBSERVING NEW TEACHERS
Although my state has many official forms for new teachers to fill out, I like this Glow/Grow Feedback Form for observations because it gives me a chance to both highlight what the teacher is doing well, as well as to reflect on how they can grow. I like the positive terminology used, rather than “Right” or “Wrong” because I find that new teachers can be both hypercritical of themselves and can also become defensive when being critiqued.
PRINTABLE 4: SUBSTITUE TEACHER BINDER RESOURCES
One of the hardest things a teacher has to do is plan for a substitute. Likewise, one of the hardest jobs a person can have is to be a substitute teacher. To make the experience as positive as possible, have a substitute teacher binder ready for those unexpected sick days! Download my free Substitute Teacher Binder Resources to get started.
PRINTABLE 5: CLASSROOM LIBRARY GENRE SIGNS
As we set up all aspects of our classroom, the most important back-to-school resource for my classroom library is the Library Genre Shelf Talkers printable. These helpful signs can be printed on cardstock, folded, and then attached to bookshelves to clearly indicate each shelf’s genre.
PRINTABLES 6–8: OTHER WAYS TO SAY... POSTERS
The Other Ways to Say... Posters are also incredibly important back-to-school resources. I print them out onto cardstock, tape them together, and then hang them down my wall. As students walk into the classroom, they can immediately see my passion for words. More importantly, students will learn alternatives for the overused words and a resource to reference during writing assignments.
PRINTABLE 9: BACK-TO-SCHOOL INSPIRATIONAL POSTERS
I also have created some awesome back-to-school posters that I love to have in my room, in order to answer the inevitable questions “Why do we have to do ____ activity?” and “Why do I have to learn a new word if I already know this synonym?” I like to just point to my posters — ‘nuff said. Download three inspirational posters for the English Language Arts classroom.
PRINTABLE 10: TEACHER ORGANIZATION KIT
Ask any veteran teacher what got them through the many years of teaching, and they will most likely mention organization in their answer! These ready-to-use printables will help you keep your classroom, lesson plans, and paperwork organized. My kit of resources includes:
My Notes Printable: Write down notes from staff meetings or conferences in designated note sections
This Month Printable: Use this blank monthly calendar to plan out daily activities, lesson plans, and objectives
My Class Printable: Catalog important student information on cards for easy access
Labels Printables: Use labels to mark assignments that need to be graded, returned, copied, filed, recorded, and more
PRINTABLE 11: REASONS TO MAKE VOCABULARY A WHOLE-SCHOOL ENDEAVOR
Vocabulary learning does not take place only inside the English department. All disciplines, from Art to Science, require that students learn discipline-specific academic vocabulary. However, too often this learning takes place in silos, but is never connected across disciplines.
Whether you are a teacher, specialist, or principal, download two tip sheets that will assist you in implementing a school-wide vocabulary focus!
PRINTABLES 12–14: WRITING SUPPORT ANCHOR CHARTS
Download three anchor charts and student handouts that will support writing assignments in your classroom. The first poster highlights five common uses for commas, the second poster highlights homophones, and the third poster features adverbs that don't end in –ly.