Teacher Supports 101

No matter where you are along your teacher journey, you’ll need help from time to time. Maybe you’re a brand-new teacher struggling with classroom organization or a seasoned veteran who is looking to revamp your classroom management style (I mean – the kids are different these days!). Teacher needs seem to never end, but if you look in the right spots, you can find resources to help you meet your goals. We’ve gathered up a few here to try and point you in the right direction today with Teacher Supports 101, no matter where you’re headed:

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Grant Writing

Submitting an application for a grant is an often-overlooked resource available for educators. Opportunities for specific open-ended project grants are out there. Grants can be found for anything from a new classroom library to constructing an outdoor classroom for your school. You can even receive grants to further your own education.


Bonus resource:

If grant writing seems like a foreign concept, check out these tips to get you started. 


This buzz word often evokes a groan in educators, given the lack of time you realistically have to take care of yourself. But self-care doesn’t have to mean getting mani-pedis or spending an expensive day at the spa. The idea is to recharge a bit, to give yourself a little boost to get you over the midday sag or midweek slump.

For example, organizing a junky supply drawer or making a week’s worth of copies ahead of time can be self-care. Spending your prep period in your classroom with lights out, door shut, and your favorite meditative music in your ear buds can be self-care.


Similarly, zoning out of life’s everyday stressors while watching a couple of episodes of your favorite show can count, and so can taking a brisk, 20-minute walk outside. Brainstorm some new ways to sneak in a little reset at least once a day to see what works for you. Need more ideas? Take this helpful self-care quiz for personalized recommendations.


Bonus resource:

Check out our very own wellness section of the Teachers’ Lounge.


Next up in Teacher Supports 101; Is your desk covered in leaning towers of papers? Does your classroom resemble a sloppy teenager’s bedroom? Do you often lose important items such as graded papers or make-up work? A little bit of organization can eliminate moments of panic and create a space that feels calm, not overwhelming. If you aren’t a natural organizer, we’ve got some help for you! Check out this article for tips from a real pro. Offer your teacher buddies an after-school snack to help you sort through your closet, or recruit some students to come before school to lend a hand. Not sure where to start? Adopt the simple, age-old mantra of “everything has a place,” and go from there.


Bonus resource:

Digitize your life and minimize paper clutter with Evernote.

Time Management


Teachers often feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. And with all that they really do in addition to teaching, it’s no surprise. But there’s good news: there are ways to streamline your tasks to create more space to do the things you need and maybe even the things that you want to do. Click here for some classroom-focused time-saving tips to help you maximize your day.


Bonus resource:

Tips to save time in your grading


Planning is such an important part of teaching, but it can take a few years to feel confident in these vital skills. Even seasoned teachers can feel like they are starting all over again when they’re asked to teach something new to them or when the district hands them a brand new curriculum. One of the best things I ever heard as a new teacher was “Don’t reinvent the wheel.” Use what’s there for you, what other teachers have left behind. Work with others to build something if needed. Find free resources (like our FREEsources) to fill in gaps or to get you started. You can tweak just about anything to suit your personality and teaching style. 


Bonus resource:

In a hurry? Search our low-prep/no-prep Grab & Go lesson plan database!


Classroom Management

No matter your teaching style, classroom management is an integral part of a successful school year. And it may need to change from time to time, depending on your particular student group(s) or the things that are most important to you. Check out these simple yet effective classroom management tips. Don’t be afraid to try something new, even mid-year!


Bonus resource:

Click here for more advice for managing your classroom with grace and love.

And as always - if you work at a school where 50% or more students are enrolled in the National School Lunch Program, you can apply for FREE classroom supplies year-round through the Kids In Need Foundation Supply a Teacher program (check out our other supply programs here).  


Wherever your needs may lie, we hope this list has helped get the gears moving to get you exactly what you need!

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