Online Learning & Maintaining Student Motivation

Lately, it doesn’t seem to matter which grade a student is in. Everyone is taking virtual classes this year. Some of these classes are going with online learning for the first time. This makes it difficult for everyone involved. So, how do you (as a parent, student or teacher) adapt to these changes? Here are some quick tips and suggestions to keep you focused and stay motivated throughout this school year.

Online Learning & Maintaining Student Motivation

Students & Online Learning

How can you, as a student, find that focus that will help you stay motivated? Here are several steps to take to make sure you get your work completed and turned in on time.

1. Set Goals

Most people hear this advice throughout their entire lives. So, let’s apply it to this school year as well. Take a look at all the classes and subjects you are currently taking. Now, what needs to happen for you to be able to get the grade you want for these classes? Start by writing down what your end goal is. Then, separate these broad goals into smaller ones.

Dedicate a specific notebook to your goal making. After all, the key to achieving your goals is writing them all down. Once you have them in writing, you can refer to your goals frequently so you know you are taking every step to completing them. Accomplishing your goals requires constant follow-up. And when you write everything down, you can always go back to see where you are in achieving your goals.

2. Keep to a Routine

Many students have a small opportunity to attend classes at least once a week. Going to these physical classes offers a structure that normally doesn’t exist for online classes. Many students find that having that structure, even for one day, is soothing and helps them better focus. It’s the routine of a daily schedule that keeps them motivated.

Develop a plan to stay on task so you can complete your coursework while still allowing time to enjoy the things you like to do. Schedule set times to log in to your course and to study, create reminders of due dates on your calendar or phone, and build in ample breaks to give your mind some time to take in what you’re learning. Having a plan will increase your likelihood of success and will help you reach your goals.

So, find that routine for the other days when you are doing online learning. Sometimes it’s as easy as duplicating that in-person routine while you are at home. For example, study math, English or science at the same time every day. Even if you don’t have homework or an online meeting, pull out your textbook and notes and keep caught up on the class studies.

3. Take Breaks

Just like breaks between classes when you’re on campus, it’s smart to take small breaks to help yourself stay motivated. These breaks can be something as simple as standing up and stretching. Or, make them a bit more interactive with quick activities like three-minute exercise routines.

No matter what break activities you choose, make them a part of your daily routine. In elementary, we all had recess breaks, and it’s important to give our brains a little bit of a distraction instead of always staring at a computer or textbook. Your mind will thank you for taking these breaks.

4. Reward Yourself

From celebrating the little achievements to making a big deal for passing a class, every student should reward themselves for a job well done. Figure out a rewards system for meeting goals; match the reward to the success. Doing something nice for yourself will help with your online learning motivation. So treat yourself for a job well done.

Parents & Online Learning

things to do while committing to online learning

While it isn’t your education, you are there to help your children accomplish their educational goals. Make sure you take some time to follow these simple steps to ensure that online learning functions well.

1. Stay Healthy

Part of staying healthy focuses on both the parent and the student finding balance with school work. As a parent, you need to work with your student’s online learning to meet both mental and physical needs.

Taking care of [the student’s] mental and physical health can help [their] academic performance. As you build out your schedule, try to work in regular exercise, healthy meals and plenty of rest and relaxation. If you’re not sure where to begin, contact your school’s respective recreation or counseling centers.

2. Create an Inspiring Study Space

Parents, make sure that your student has a dedicated space in which to study. Make this space accessible and free of distractions so that your child has a fighting chance of focusing and staying motivated in their school work.

Something easy to do is to add motivational signs or name plates for the students to see. Also, keep educational tools on hand. Set up a work station that is inviting for your child. Each child may need something different, so make sure you focus on individuality and personalities.

3. Take an Active Roll in Education

Online learning is hard on everyone. Some students can thrive in an online environment, but more often than not, they will need some assistance to stay on track. Listen to your kids for what they need to accomplish their educational goals. And, find ways to actively support those needs.

Once you know what each child needs, help them succeed by taking actions that push them in the right direction. Encourage them and show them that they are not alone in accomplishing their goals. If you let your kids know you have their back, they are guaranteed success in their schooling.

Teachers & Online Learning

teaching students with online learning

As an educator, you understand the importance of keeping students engaged and motivated. Online learning complicates these a bit, so here are a few things you can do to help your students stay on task.

1. Create a Schedule

Help your class stay on task by creating a daily schedule for them. Some students may need a little more guidance than others, and without your in-class help, they may not be able to focus like they need to. With a set daily schedule from their teacher, these students should thrive a little better in an online learning environment.

Schedules will also help you when working with assignments and grading. Ensure you are doing things in a timely manner and making yourself available to help your students when they need it. Writing out daily, weekly and monthly schedules will also help you as the teacher stay motivated so that you can do your job well.

2. Eliminate Distractions

As many of your classes will now communicate via video conferences, make sure your environment does not distract from your lesson plans. While you don’t have to remove everything from your background, make sure things behind you are not taking away from what you are teaching. And add items as needed. Use custom ribbon rolls to help keep the background engaging without distracting.

Maybe you find yourself constantly reminding students to mute their microphones or raise their hands before blurting out answers. Custom signs are the perfect tool to have that as a constant reminder behind you. Pick a color that works with your surroundings and add a message that will help with your teaching style.

3. Stay Connected with Students

One challenge of online learning is that students often feel quite isolated. Consider how you can make direct contact, through emails, instant message and video, to as many learners as possible, helping them see how you are invested in their learning. In addition, encourage ways for learners to see each other as resources through methods like peer feedback and peer review, as well as potentially helping students find peers to study with.

Your students need to know that you are there for them. Make yourself as accessible as you can during days that students may be on campus, and especially on days they are not. Everyone’s educational experience will be better knowing that the teachers will always remain accessible.

Making the Transition to Online

While online learning may be difficult at first, use these ideas to make your transition easier. If you still find that you need help, reach out to other teachers and parents. Your local school district is also a great resource. And keep on learning!

Teacher Wellness and Avoiding Burnout

Teachers are the most vital part of any educational system. So, there is no doubt that teachers are of great importance to student success. Without them, students can’t learn, and every system would fall apart. So making sure that teacher wellness is maintained should be central to every school’s operation.

A recent study showed that 77% of teachers said that “poor teacher mental health is having a detrimental impact on pupils’ progress. An overwhelming number of respondents, 94%, said that their energy levels in the classroom drop during periods of poor mental health, and 90% said that their teaching is less creative during these times. Many of the mental health issues were caused by excessive workload and constant work scrutiny.”

“The survey also revealed that a significant number of teachers, 81%, said poor mental health has a negative impact on the quality of their relationships with learners. The same percentage said it affected their behavior management skills, with teachers citing ‘lower levels of tolerance,’ ‘focusing on the negative’ and being ‘quick to anger.’”

Teacher Wellness and Avoiding Burnout

So, we can see that teachers find it hard to communicate and educate students effectively when they feel drained. As with any job, mental wellness is important. Without a little focus on how a teacher is feeling, they can often face burnout or need to miss too many teaching days. Because of this stress, teachers are looking for ways to keep themselves going and continue helping their students.

So, why is teaching stressful?

From behavior problems to mandatory testing procedures, teachers don’t have a lot of time to influence students appropriately, let alone focus on their wellness. As such, teachers often face overlooked mental health issues and end up finding it hard to continue in their chosen career. Research has discovered that over a third of education professionals are expected to leave their job by the end of the year.

There is no question that teachers are crucial for student success. Most teachers and educators know the rewards that come from seeing classroom learning and student achievements. However, teaching is proven to be one of the most stressful and demanding occupations. Unwatched teacher wellness can turn into teacher strikes, shortages and high turnover rates. Research shows that up to 46% of teachers report high stress affects their daily life. This stress contributes to lower teaching performance and poor health.

One of the main reasons for teachers leaving the profession is the workload they are required to carry. Burnout often happens when a teacher doesn’t get a break from the complexity of their job. From exhaustion to feeling inadequate, this burnout is happening far too often. Teacher wellness needs to start becoming a priority for many educational systems. 

So, what can teachers and administrators do to make sure good mental health becomes a priority?

Most companies will agree that a happy and healthy employee is one who can do their job and do it well. So, why not take a day to yourself every once in a while. It’s okay to take a mental wellness day. It will make it so that when you are at work, you are putting your best foot forward. And, that isn’t just for business, teachers need this advice too.

And, if larger corporations put in the effort to make sure their employees are finding balance, why not do this for teachers too? From adding zero gravity chairs to a break room to scheduling alone time during a busy school day, teachers need to be aware of their mental health.

There are many remedies for teacher burnout. From taking a mental health day to seeking out therapy, every teacher should find a way to take the necessary daily breaks. After all, teacher wellness encourages school growth and student success. As this English teacher points out, she has four go-to tips to help her unwind and find a way to power through tough days.

A Few Tips from Captain Awesome

1. Get out when you can.

If your school lets you leave during your planning period, do it. Grade papers at a coffee shop. Take a walk. If those aren’t options, just go to the library to do your planning. Anywhere away from your classroom will work. Because if you’re in your classroom, you know what will happen? The teacher across the hall will come in, sit on your newly-Lysoled tables, and start in with, “I don’t know why I even bother with Joselin …” And by the time she’s done, you won’t know either. But you’ll be in a bad mood third period because you spent all of your planning time listening to her instead of making your copies.

2. Do nice stuff for students.

Four kids in my first period had birthdays last week. One of them is a girl who’s really struggling. Under the auspices of celebrating “class birthdays,” we brought in breakfast, organized gifts, and threw a lunchtime birthday dance party. And that was enough to keep me going for the rest of the week.

3. Localize your own whining.

This one is tricky, but it’s essential for the final tip, which is the most effective one. Pick one person to whom you will complain about work. That is the only person you can go to when you’re feeling stressed about the negative school environment.

4. Be a ray of freakin’ sunshine.

This is my favorite. Refuse to participate in negative talk, especially about kids. When your colleague comes in, flops into a seat, sighs heavily and groans, don’t commiserate. Make your response as over the top as you can.

daily affirmations to promote teacher wellness

EXPERT TIP:

Have daily affirmations that you repeat to yourself as needed, but at least once a day.

These are especially helpful when students are difficult or you’re having a rough day.

We have all seen the studies that give findings that teaching is one of the most stressful occupations. However, these studies also find that helping teachers with classroom organization and individual needs will minimize the effect this stress causes. By supporting this type of communication, teachers find that their input can become invaluable. 

And, by being able to give input and have an effect on what is taught in their school, teacher wellness becomes better. There will be fewer teacher sick days, and students will feel that their teachers can care about their success.

However, it is important to remember that not all teachers experience stress equally or for the same reasons. Nor will they respond the same to solutions proposed by their administrators. So make sure there are multiple game plans to help teacher wellness on individual levels. Whether it’s donuts in the break room for the weekly boost of sugar or a simple sit down one-on-one with a colleague, every teacher should feel that their wellness begins with the administration.

Teacher Wellness Solutions

Finding workshops and other programs for teachers is a great way to help reduce the stress put on teachers. Giving them an outlet to learn how to cope with day to day struggles will help every teacher’s well being. And by providing these opportunities, teachers are able to address their stress before it becomes overwhelming. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy can help teachers in a one-on-one setting. This therapy educates individuals to observe their mood changes and how they affect daily interactions. By avoiding triggers, teachers can focus on student achievements and development. 

Another solution for supporting teacher wellness is meditation. Give the teachers in your school a method to cope by providing a space for them to de-stress. Use those zero gravity chairs or relaxing music in a safe place so that teachers can unwind for negativity or other triggers they may experience throughout the school day.

Making Teacher Wellness a Priority at the Three Village School District

Rich Glasheen, a math teacher at Ward Melville High School on Long Island, New York, usually spends around 10 to 15 minutes, sitting in the zero-gravity chair, maybe drinking a cup of tea and reading while listening to calming music.

Special education teacher Katherine Jimenez is also partial to the zero-gravity chair, but she relaxes to the ambient sounds and images emanating from the 65-inch flat-screen television bolted to the wall. Alyssa Ward, who works in Ward Melville’s attendance office, likes to spend a little time in the oversized massage chair. Speech pathologist Kathryn Fenigstein found a recent “lunch and learn” session with a nutritionist particularly helpful.

Zero-gravity chairs, soothing music, aroma diffusers, yoga, visiting nutritionists. You might ask what kind of staff room is this?

Actually, it’s not any kind of staff room. This is “WellVille,” a wellness center designed for staff in the Three Village School District. Part of the district’s wellness program, WellVille is a reconfigured classroom inside Ward Melville High School. It’s open to all staff to help them de-stress and then walk back to their classrooms feeling rejuvenated.

“WellVille not only allows us to clear our mind from our daily challenges,” explains Jimenez. “It re-charges us with positive energy that we bring back to our students. I have become a much better teacher as a result, and I see how my students have benefited as well.”

District Superintendent Cheryl Pedisich didn’t hesitate to sign off on the project.

“We acknowledge the important correlation between wellness and job effectiveness and satisfaction,” Pedisich explains. “Providing the opportunity to decompress and participate in wellness activities and workshops is not only healthy but rejuvenating. Ultimately, our students benefit from educators who are happy, supported, and devoted to their profession.”

Finding Balance without Burnout

Most teachers, at some point, will experience burnout and worry about their wellness. But, that doesn’t mean burnout needs to define how teachers cope from day to day. There are many things they can do to make sure that their burnout is short lived. Using the above methods and techniques will help any teacher focus on their wellness goals.

From eating healthier to getting a good breath of fresh air twice a day, teacher wellness is important. After all, students are our future, and teachers are the ones making the most significant impact. So, they need to stay at the top of their game. They need to find that coveted balance between work and social life. And, they need to find internal zen that will help them remain confident in their abilities to teach.

So, take that teacher wellness day, and don’t feel bad about it. You work hard and you deserve the break. And, most importantly, those around you (especially students) will thank you for focusing on you so that you can focus more on them. Be proud of your talents and career and take a step forward by focusing on your wellness today.

Teaching Tools for Success in the Classroom

Whether it’s using tablets in the classroom or providing visual aids for students to learn, every educator needs reliable teaching tools.

Learning is more effective and stimulating when you are using teaching tools that are already in front of you. It is up to teachers and other school staff to make sure that every student has the tools they need to learn. When students know what tools they have available and how each one works, they are more apt to pay attention, and in the long run, learn what they need to succeed.

Every lesson taught in a classroom will affect each student’s life. Whether it’s the immediate result of homework, or a life lesson learned while studying. And, when equipping teachers with the right teaching tools, these magical learning moments come effortlessly.

Teaching Tools

When you bring real things and authentic daily-life situations into the classroom, listening becomes discovering, interest becomes wonder, and passive learning becomes active exploration. Lessons come to life with touch, motion and sound. Teacher resources, insights from fellow educators and personalized support help you teach every subject, from reading to coding, in ways that kids really get.

teaching tools can include things like technology and creative aids

Filling Your Teacher Toolbox

Veteran teachers typically already have their toolbox set up and rather full. They can be a great resource to new teachers and those that are still developing their teaching tools. And, isn’t that the main idea? To use every resource you can find? So, reach out to your colleagues for a bit of guidance in setting up your toolbox. This way, you are guaranteed to have aids and materials that are proven to work.

Other teaching tools you can add to your toolbox include textbooks, bulletin boards and even art supplies. Get the teaching tools that will stimulate your students. Whether that is a textbook or a box of ribbons, it doesn’t matter. Just know your tools and how to use them. Here’s a great example.

Roll with the flow in your classroom with custom ribbon rolls.

custom ribbon rolls are great for adding into your teaching tools

From creative bookmarks to classroom decorations, ribbon rolls are sure to prove useful. And, don’t forget to customize these ribbons. Add a room motto or a teacher’s name to each roll, then use them as a border for bulletin boards. Or, make unique gifts for each student to use throughout the school year. Custom ribbons are also perfect as thank you gifts for support staff at your school.

Using Old School Teaching Tools

Pen and paper are the simplest of tools you can have as a teacher. From making your students take notes to grading papers, that pen is mightier than any sword. Your pen can create so many worlds and provide a vast amount of knowledge. So, make sure that your students know how to use their pens to benefit their learning.

From writing things on a chalkboard (or whiteboard) to using index cards for studying, these tools are fit for every teacher’s toolbox. No matter the size of the paper or writing medium, use its space. And use it well. Bring your lessons to life with posters. Create a stimulating learning environment with colorful drawings and words that explain why you are using this teaching tool.

Other old school techniques include one-on-one time with each student. During an average day, teachers often don’t have time to speak individually with every student. But, it is crucial to make sure that each pupil knows that they are valued. Students thrive when their teacher knows what they are good at and how they may struggle. And, while you may not have time every day to reach out to every student, make it a point to reach out to a few of them each day.

Classroom Etiquette

Get to know your students before that first day back. If you need to, find their class picture from last year so you can know what they look like. Then, memorize their name and face. Every student is sure to feel shocked and pleased that you know who they are. They are also more likely to behave well when they know you are that observant.

Greet every student, every day. While this may at first seem daunting, your students are sure to see your effort to make them feel welcome. And with this comes the respect for your ability to see them as individuals. Some teachers go as far as creating secret handshakes with every student. While you don’t need to take that much time, make sure every student knows you respect them as a person.

Teaching Tools Should Include Technology

While most of the time technology use in the classroom is looked down on, from a teacher’s perspective, it can be useful. Take a classroom set of tablets, for example. By using these computers, you are encouraging the growth of young minds while they explore educational games or other monitored activities. Not only are the students learning how to use technology, but they are also learning concepts that need to be covered in school.

Often schools have computer time or classes they offer to the students. These classes teach students how to work with a world that is full of technology. So, while cell phones might be an unwanted distraction, having structured time on monitored technology can be helpful.

From learning about 3D printers and their uses to using immersive environments that only computers can supply, technology does have its place in the classroom. And don’t forget about online teaching tools. Use Google to teach students how to perform research for projects and online exploration. The internet is continuously helping teachers, so why not help students as well.

25 Teaching Tools For The Digital Classroom

The use of smart phones, tablets, and other tech items in the classroom do not necessarily have to have a negative impact on student achievement. On the contrary, the increasing accessibility and growth of technology presents teachers with the unique opportunity to take advantage of those once distracting gadgets, and use them to facilitate academic achievement in new and innovative ways. In this capacity, teachers do not need to be constantly fighting for student attention, but can freely accept it, by introducing a new educational environment that will automatically encourage student participation.

Using Identification as Teaching Tools

From name tags to ribbons, custom identification is here to help every teacher create and sustain their toolbox. These items not only help with providing direction in the classroom or school, but they can also help with learning. Students can use name tags for a hands on approach to learning about colors, dimensions and so much more. Ribbons are perfect for creative projects. Use ribbons to create a bright and friendly environment for your classroom.

These are only a couple of items and ideas on how to use them. But, don’t forget that there are so many more options: signs, lanyards, plaques and badge holders. And each item has boundless uses. A teaching aid is a tool used by a teacher so that students can learn inside a classroom. So no matter what that tool is (example: ribbons), every teacher needs to know how to use it in multiple ways.

Upgrade your Classroom with Custom Signs

custom signs are great to add to your teaching tools

From bulletin boards to homework stations, signs are a convenient way to get decorating started. Use them to help students know where to hang their coats and backpacks. Place a sign on a desk for an easy sign-in for volunteers in your classroom. They are also the perfect tool to help create order in the chaos of a supply closet.

Update your classroom’s look with new decorations using signs. Customize them with nearly any message you can think up. Add your favorite quote with a suitable graphic to hang on your wall. Or, create a custom sign to hang on the outside of your room door so others can enjoy it as well.

Teacher Specific Resources

Don’t underestimate the importance of attending professional development classes. They are there to help teachers in their progression toward a practical toolbox. These courses teach where to find teaching tools and how best to use them. Just remember that not all tools will work for every classroom. So, pick the tools that will work best for you and figure out the best uses for your students.

For your students to continue learning, as a teacher, you must also continue learning. When talent is shared or practiced, it becomes stale and useless. Expand your brain so that your students can expand theirs. Personalized learning is an essential part of engaging students. So, use your tools and make sure that your students feel valued in your classroom.

There is no doubt that these teaching tools play a prominent role in each student’s learning process. With more tools in your toolbox, the better your students will learn. So, what are the easiest ways to connect with students? Find the tools that work best for you and best for your students. These tools may work one way for one student and a different way for another. The important thing is to remember that each student needs a personalized education that only you can provide.

Other Online Resources

25 Great Online Education Tools Modern Teachers Love Using

Teacher toolboxes in the modern teaching environment are many and diverse. Most include trusted standbys like Evernote, Google tools, Edmodo, Wikispaces, and others. Of course, everybody has their own favorite sites and tools, but the fact remains teacher toolboxes need terrific education tools. If you’re looking for something different, though, you might be interested in them.

Instructional Tools

A variety of tools can be used in the classroom to support student learning, ranging from traditional to high-tech options. Examples include the whiteboard, index cards, posters, audience response systems (e.g. clicker technology), Google collaboration tools, 3D printing, and wikis. Depending on course learning goals and outcomes, instructors may choose to use one or several of these tools to augment the teaching and learning environment in their classroom.

6 Cool Educational Technology Tools for Teachers

Educational technology tools hold great potential to improve the classroom environment. But simply adding them to your classroom isn’t enough — consider the context, your students’ needs, and your reasons for wanting to use a particular technology.

Teaching Aids and Instructional Materials

Psychologists, designers, educationalists, and many professors around the world work on improving the quality of education because a lot depends on the education of a whole generation. The resources a teacher uses while teaching play a role in how students learn. Motivation, stimulation, retention, interest, actionable learning, etc. can vary based on how the act of teaching occurs.

Going Back to School and Classroom Etiquette

Things to do for preparing for the first day of school: organizing paperwork, finding and prepping classroom materials, writing lesson plans…the list goes on and on.

Going Back to School and Classroom Etiquette

Every teacher is currently feeling the stress of the upcoming first day of school. And, preparing a school classroom can sometimes be overwhelming. With a list of things to do that is a mile long, it can be a hassle deciding where to start.

From writing a welcome letter for the students and parents to drawing up lesson plans, most teachers are exhausted before they even start with their back-to-school preparations. And, thinking about this first day back can leave many teachers feeling out of sorts. With so many things to consider and tasks to accomplish, many wonder where to even get started.

And, while a Google search will yield hundreds of planning options and ideas, it can be daunting. So, here are some guidelines that will fit every classroom need. From large classes at a university to smaller K-5 classes, no teacher should start their back-to-school planning without first reading this.

Creating and Keeping Classroom Etiquette

Good manners and classroom etiquette should be common sense for most students. However, there are simple things that you can do as a teacher to help your students be more courteous to others.

FOR THE TEACHER:

Get to know your students before that first day back. If you need to, find their class picture from last year so you can know what they look like. Then, memorize their name and face. Every student is sure to feel shocked and pleased that you know who they are. They are also more likely to behave well when they know you are that observant.

Make your classroom environment engaging. From bulletin board decorations to names on desks, make sure to capture each student’s attention as they enter your room. Take time with your decorations so that they are neat and uniform. Doing this will help students stay focused and add to your teaching methods.

Greet every student, every day. While this may at first seem daunting, your students are sure to see your effort to make them feel welcome. And with this comes the respect for your ability to see them as individuals. Some teachers go as far as creating secret handshakes with every student. While you don’t need to take that much time, make sure every student knows you respect them as a person.

Set expectations and classroom rules. Then, write them down and put them somewhere that the students can see them daily. By having your rules visible, it is easy to refer to them when a student steps out of line. And, with visibility comes conformity. Students are more likely to follow rules to which they have quick access.

So, keep your students in line and respectful in your classroom by using these guidelines every day. And, remember when you show them respect, they are more likely to show you respect. Common sense isn’t so common anymore, but with these simple rules, your students will help you and themselves to maintain your classroom etiquette.

FOR THE STUDENT:

It is, after all, your education. Take responsibility for it. And, make sure that you are learning everything you can. Yes, sometimes it is hard to pay attention to classroom instruction, especially when you think you know what is going on. But, it is important to remember you are not the only student there. Here are some quick guidelines to follow as a student to help be more respectful in your classroom.

(Your teacher will thank you for reading this!)

Attend class, every time and on time. Start your school day off on the right foot by getting to class on time. Not only will this help you, but it will help your teacher and other students as well.

Speak in turn and only when acknowledged. Your teacher asks you to raise your hand for a reason. If everyone in the class decided to all talk at the same time, the room would fill with voices. And, once that happens, everyone soon thinks that they must speak louder to be heard. So, make sure you only talk when you get permission. It will help with the volume in the classroom, and it will also make sure you stay on task.

Respect your teacher and your classmates. Yes, everyone in your classroom deserves your respect. From the janitor to your teacher and the principal, respect is the key to have a great school experience. Remember to show others the same respect that you want to receive. It goes both ways, so show respect to earn respect.

Come to class prepared and have your homework ready to turn in. It’s that simple. Don’t show up to class without your books, pencil, note-taking paper and especially your homework. Your teacher assigns homework so that you can learn. Respect them and do your homework and get it in on time.

From raising your hand to keeping a working pen in your bag, as a student, you have tremendous responsibility for the quality of your education. So, remember that what you do in class affects you and everyone around you. Respect, preparation and basic good etiquette are a must to make the most out of your school year.

Pro Tip #1: Write Down Everything

Any time you think of anything you need, something you need to add to lesson plans or anything else, WRITE IT DOWN. While this may seem a simple task, it is your greatest tool. With so many things to remember and do, writing down your tasks is important. Keep a notebook or planner handy, and make sure to keep it neat. Don’t trust yourself to remember everything. Your brain is currently on overload, and you may overlook necessary things you need for your classroom.

So, take a moment every time you think of something that needs to be done and write it down. Free up your brain for more important tasks and things you are working on immediately. And, by writing everything down the moment you think about it, will give you a hand up for next year. Keep this notebook as a reference for every first day back you have. So, whether your thought is that you need more crayons or that your lesson plans for your chemistry class need to be updated, write it down!

From name tags to ribbons, we have all your classroom needs!

Reusable Name Badges

reusable name badges to meet all of your school and classroom needs

With as many choices as we have for these name badges, we’re sure to have what you’re looking for! Use adhesive name badges for the new students as name tags on their desks to make them feel welcome. Customize a Mighty Badge for each of the hall monitors. Or use a name badge as your hall pass. With magnetic fasteners, it will be easy just to have the student attach the badge to their shirt, and you’ll never lose another hall pass.

And, don’t underestimate badge holders. While they aren’t quite in this product category, they are instrumental in schools. This simple way of displaying credentials is as convenient as they come. The lightweight vinyl allows for everything to be seen through them. You can add pictures, schedules, names and so much more. Use them for students, teacher and visitors.

Custom Badge Ribbons

badge ribbons to meet all of your school and classroom needs

Whether it’s for a new teacher in your school or a way to identify different grades, badge ribbons are here to be the best solution ever. With double-sided tape ready to stick to anything (like a name tag), these ribbons are super easy to use. Great for labeling things in the classroom, these ribbons are incredibly versatile.

Use them as labels when storing classroom supplies like markers or crayons. Or, give them to students as you are trying to learn all the new names for this school year. So, no matter what you need these wonderful ribbons for, they are perfect for nearly everything!

Custom Lanyards

custom lanyards to meet all of your school and classroom needs

Whether it’s hundreds or thousands, it doesn’t matter how many kids are coming back to your school this year. Security is always an issue. Yes, there are name tags and photo ID badges for the teachers. But how do the children keep their things safe and secure?

Lanyards are a convenient way of displaying identification and other things while at school. And these lanyards don’t have to be boring. Choose from a variety of colors to match your school and mascot!

These lanyards are also perfect for fundraising events, sporting meets, and any other time your school gets together. Help your students stand out from the rest with bright colors, logos and messages custom imprinted on these lanyards.

Pro Tip #2: Emergency Folder

Every teacher, at some point in their career, will need to use a substitute. Whether it’s for a personal day or to take a continuing education class, you will need a sub. So, make it easy for them to function in your classroom.

Make sure that you have an emergency substitute folder already in place by the first day of school. There will come a time when an unforeseen circumstance arises, and you may not be able to have time to leave the substitute lesson plans. In this packet include: quick lessons, worksheets, class list, schedule and routine, behavior management plan, school policies and procedures, important student information such as food allergies and teaching colleagues’ contact information. Always keep this packet on your desk in case of an emergency. This is something quick and easy that you can do before school even starts.

In your packet, welcome the substitute to your classroom and provide them with a map of the room. Tell the sub in this letter what your room rules are and the punishments that go with breaking a rule. This way, the sub doesn’t need to rely on the students for this information.


Also, make sure that the sub has access to pictures and names of students. Help your substitute feel like they belong in your classroom. Give them all the daily tools that you usually have so they can feel adequate in their teaching abilities.

Pro Tip #3: Preparing the Classroom

From desk placement to student homework, there is a place for everything. So, make sure you know where that place will be by creating an organized space. Once you have an organization plan, write it down. By doing this, you will help the students in your classroom know where things go and you will stay organized.

And, don’t forget to decorate. Use posters, banners, ribbons and other tools to make your classroom a pleasant place for learning. Don’t go overboard, but make sure that your classroom is inviting and stimulating.

Be purposeful with posters and bulletin boards. As teachers, we often make the mistake of feeling proud of ourselves for making awesome-looking, themed posters or bulletin boards, but then never referring to them with our students. Posters and bulletin boards are only as effective as the teacher who uses them. That said, posters and bulletin boards can be an awesome way to invest your students so long as you make sure to refer to and update them regularly. For student work boards, this is really easy if you use sheet protectors, which can also be used as whiteboards by sticking a piece of paper in them.

Now, it’s your turn in your classroom.

Take these tips and tools and make them your own. Make your classroom a place where every student can learn. By doing so, you will touch the lives of those around you. Go forth and be the best teacher you can be!