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A Resource-A-Day: Use This Guide to Make This Your Most Prepared Back to School Yet

The arrival of August means summer vacation is almost over, and that also means it’s time to get ready to go back-to-school.

There’s nothing worse than the feeling of not being as prepared as you’d like the week before school is set to begin, so here’s a guide on how you can do a little something every day to feel on-the-ball when that last week of August sneaks up.



The Savings Are Coming!

Brace yourself, the savings are coming. Back-to-school savings can be overwhelming, but don’t be fooled into spending more money than you would have because the savings appear to be good. Be smart by taking a look at all of your options, which Education World has aggregated a few for you here.

August 1 

Check out

Pass the Apple launched on Teacher Appreciation Day last May, signifying its intention to be the educator’s friend. We highly recommend you check this site out before buying your back-to-school supplies, because this online consignment shop offers supplies for 50-80% off.

The site allows you to shop by subject, grade, targeted learning area and more to ensure you can quickly find discounted, gently-used resources for your classroom.

August 2

Office Depot’s back-to-school savings start early, making it a great place to check out to get supply shopping out of the way immediately.

As we reported earlier in the month,

"For educators specifically, they can save 25 percent off purchases by becoming rewards members both July 30- Aug. 2 and Aug 27-30. The earlier savings windows will likely provide teachers access to quality supplies before the mad rush comes in the week before school begins again.”

Don’t miss these windows for savings!

August 3

Be familiar with your state’s sales tax holidays.

There are 16 states that are having back-to-school tax-free holidays in August, so you check out what the states and dates are here to ensure you don’t miss out. 

August 4

Remember the places that care about you year-round. While many places offer deals for educators just during special occasions like Teacher Appreciation, there are many places that offer year-round deals for educators. So many places, in fact, you might be surprised. Such places include Barnes and Noble, Michaels, and J. Crew. Check out the full list here to start utilizing what you might not have known is available to you. 


Sort Through All Those Open Educational Resources

This year saw an unprecedented increase in the number and kinds of open educational resources available to educators. Many of these resources are available at no charge. Prepare for back-to-school by checking out what resources will be available for you this year and decide if they’re worth checking out before the hustle and bustle of school weeks make it a challenge.

August 5

This partnership between TES and Google provides free virtual reality lesson plans and guides for your classroom. If you’re thinking about giving virtual reality a try, these resources alleviate some of the burden of implementing something totally new by providing educator-approved content. Perhaps the best part? It’s free with membership!

August 6

Give Amazon Inspire a try. Amazon is the latest company to offer OERs to teachers in hopes of expanding its influence in education. Seeing as many people are already familiar with how Amazon operates, Inspire is likely to be one of the most accessible resources for finding OERs. Start seeing what it’s all about now to see if you can start cultivating useful resources already.

August 7

Take a look at the Symbaloo marketplace. Symbaloo is a potentially useful resource because not only does it provide educators with free lesson plans, it provides educators with a tool to create their own.

According to Symbaloo, lesson plans made with the resource are gaming-style virtual resources that use the best educational resources on the web to comprise a polished final product.Symbaloo says its products helps educators achieve personalized learning through the tailored digital lesson plans.



Prepare to Work with This Year’s Parents

There’s always room for improvement, including in how you interact with your student’s teachers. As you know, the teacher-parent relationship is an important one and there is much to be accomplished through building good ones.

August 8

Take today to think if making a “parent newsletter” is a good idea to actively engage them in what’s going on in your classroom. This resource includes free monthly templates to boot. 

August 9

Check out these strategies that have been proven to get parents involved before you first meet them.

August 10

Engage with your ELL student’s parents. Open the doors to best interact with ELL parents by using this guide designed by educators for the National Education Association. 

August 11

Looking to read more about why parental involvement is so important after all? Give this report from the Center for Public Education a read today.



Learn How to Best Manage Stress

It’s inevitable you’re going to get stressed out this year- you’re a teacher, after all! Take a look at these resources to learn stress management tips before the year begins.

August 12

Use this resource to read about why being stressed can be so bad for you- and how one experts recommend educators cope. 

August 13

For all you administrators reading this, we know you have your own share of stress to deal with, too. Check out these 30 tips from fellow administrators on how to best reduce stress.

August 14

Don’t take life too seriously; you’ll never make it out alive! Have a laugh with these 20 teacher-tested ways to reduce stress during the school year. The tips themselves might not actually reduce stress, but reading them certainly will. 

August 15

Have you ever considered yoga? Maybe you should! Yoga has been proven to be a reliable method of reducing stress, and there are ways you can even integrate it into your classroom. Not convinced? Check this out. 

August 16

Finally, use this list of the ultimate tips for fighting stress to set up a plan for how you’ll manage this school year. Tips include keeping a joy journal, making time for sleep and more. 



Keep Up with the EdTech Trends

EdTech trends are constantly changing and updating, so if you took a break from staying in-the-know this summer, now’s a good time to catch up. Use these resources for seeing what’s trending in education technology right now.

August 17

Is virtual reality right for your classroom? Virtual reality is without-a-doubt one of the most talked about edtech trends right now, so use this resource to see if it has a place in your classroom. 

August 18

Familiarize yourself with what went on at this year’s ISTE. At the ISTE conference, 16,000 educators unite to discuss the power of technology in learning. Checking out highlights from the conference is a good way to update yourself. 

August 19

Search Twitter for the #edtech hashtag. There’s no better way to see what’s trending in edtech than to literally see what’s trending. 

August 20

Scroll through EdTechTeacher, a blog designed to update teachers on edtech trends. Not only just a back-to-school resource, this site will likely be of use to you later on, as well. 



Strengthen Your Professional Learning Network

Another important piece of the teaching puzzle, check out these resources to grow your PLN this year.

August 21

Take a look at this resource to find out how to boost use Google+ and Twitter to boost your PLN. 

August 22

This list of prominent educators is a great list to check out to find a new crop of interesting peers to connect with. 

August 23

Are you not convinced you even need a PLN in the first place? Read this expert’s opinion on why you do. 

August 24

But not every way you can learn from your colleagues involves having a PLN. This resource gives you tips outside of a PLN that still helps you connect with your peers, which is the end goal any ways. 



Prepare for the First Day

Because first-day-preparation deserves a week of its own resources.

August 25

This extensive, educator-written resource from Education World to prep for the first day back. This resource helps you get in the right mindset, prepare your classroom, and address your new crop of students on the big day. Check it out here. 

August 26

Explore the Icebreakers Archive. Education World has 12 volumes of icebreakers that are sure to be of use to you as you get to your know your new class or classes this school year. All in all, the volumes include dozens of activities for you to choose from and adapt to what grade you teach. 

August 27

Give the supply list a final look-through. If you’ve been following this resource, then you probably took our advice and started supply shopping early. But chances are, there are still one or two things you forgot to get- and there’s nothing worse than figuring that out in the classroom when you need it! Use this back-to-school supply list to make sure you’ve got it all covered.

August 28

Are you an administrator that is feeling left out? Fear not- this resource offers a series of tips from veteran principals who want to help you feel prepared for the first day of school, too! 

August 29

Do you have some extra time on your hands after all this preparation? Think about putting together an activity that helps introduce staff. For the new teachers entering the building, this is a great way to get them acquainted from the beginning. This adaptable and quick activity is a scavenger hunt that helps staff get to know each other a little better.

August 30

Alright, by now we should be feeling pretty good and ready for the school year to start if it hasn’t already. For our first-year teachers, you might be looking for just one or two additional resources to take off the nerves. Check out this resource that includes the ABCs for first-year teachers: 

August 31

And don't forget this educator-written resource, which is designed to be a first-year teacher’s primer.

Enjoy, because before you know it, it will be this time again:


Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

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