16 New Teacher Survival Hacks and Life-Savers


You’re a new teacher. You’re not in it for the teacher salary. You’ve headed into the world of teaching for any number of personal reasons and you’re pumped. Here are 16 hacks and life-saver ideas to help you keep your head afloat your first year of teaching… and keep your tool belt full of ideas to try.

16 New Teacher Survival Hacks and Life-Savers

You’ll find beginning of the year tips, organization ideas that’ll save the day and classroom management ideas that work!

Keeping on Top of Planning

Teach Junkie: How To Create a Sub Plan, Sub Binder and Emergency Sub Plans

How to Create a Sub Binder and Emergency Plans – Create a sub plan so that you are good to go in the event of needing a substitute teacher with little to no time for making preparations.

There are many tips on putting together a sub plan from veteran teachers and I’ve collected lots of ideas for you.

These ideas will cover tips on preparing for a sub, tips for writing sub plans, ideas for lesson plans, seeing sample sub plans and free resources to pull it all together.


How to Create a Teacher Planning Binder – Create a teacher planning binder that can go wherever you go. This is my secret weapon when doing my teacher planning for the week, month or year.

I keep it all in one place so that it goes and is all in one place. Creating a teacher planning binder that fits your needs truly is as simple as 1-2-3.

Ultimate Teacher Organization

Teach Junkie: Back to School and Parent Nights - 3 Simple Ideas

Back to School Parent Night – Back to school time is filled with parent nights and parent open houses! Here are three great parent night at school resources to get you started on preparing for the parents.

You’ll find free presentation resources, ideas on materials to send home and cute student displays.

How to Organize Materials for the Week – Get some teacher organization flowing through your veins as you set up your classroom. Set up your classroom to have a system for the things you do most often and use on a regular basis.

Quick Parent Communication – Technology. You either love it or hate it. Or is it possible to love it and hate it all at the same time?!

I have several apps that hopefully you will love! The first is a quick way to communicate with parents.

Classroom Organization Made Simple

5 Ways to Make Cubbies Work for You – Getting your classroom set up usually means creating student cubby (cubbie) spaces. Cubbies hold student papers and/or sometimes larger items depending upon the need for storage in a classroom.

Here is how to make cubbies work for you so that you have a classroom system to store items easier, give flexible options and make labeling cubbies easier.


Procedures for Leaving the Classroom – Classroom management is something teachers must pay attention to all day. Its part of the job requirement!

Here are some simple classroom management procedure ideas for when students leave the classroom to go the the bathroom, nurse, office or for services. If you’ve got students leaving the room then you may feel the need for some levels of accountability, especially from older students.

Hopefully these ideas from creative teachers will help give you a system or spark and idea that may work for you.

Teacher Organization Made Easy Supply Labels

Teacher Organization With Supply Labels – Being a teacher and in the field of education means that generally our classrooms are filled with stuff.

Feeling the need for teacher organization is something we all go through if you’ve been a teacher for longer than 3 months. Learn how to organize for classroom systems, materials, teacher storage and volunteers using labels.

Teaching Tips for Pencil Management

Tips for Pencil Management – Teaching tips come in all shapes and sizes. Finding a teaching tip that works for you is golden! Find out how to create a pencil management system for your classroom and for lost or extra tools.

Golden Ideas for Classroom Management

Teaching Lunch Procedures

Teaching Lunch Procedures – Here are three ideas on making learning back to school lunch procedures or teaching brand new procedures to kindergartners less painful and even successful.

I’ll go over using a video, a social story and an activity to make this part of your back to school experience helpful as a new teacher.

Making Group Work Happen – How to teach students to work in groups! Just as we approach everything in our classrooms, teach what is expected for group work – desired behaviors and set expectations.

This set of free printable group work expectation posters are a great way to introduce, review and remind students of the privilege that working in groups truly is.

Writers Workshop Headphones {DIY}

Quiet, Focused Writers – Use headphones to quiet and focus students during writers workshop. Use old, broken headphones or get some donated from your school’s technology department.

When you cut off the cord, you’re left with a great tool for writers workshop.

Whole Brain Teaching Strategies

Whole Brain Teaching – Classroom management is the other name for what we do all day as teachers. We create classroom systems that allow students to learn to their fullest potential.

Here are two ideas that help clarify classroom expectations and the why behind classroom procedures.


Classroom Safe Spot – It is very important that you have a place in your room, whether general education or special education room, that a student can go to when they just need a few minutes away.

10 Positive Behavior Ideas and Procedures

10 Positive Behavior Ideas and Procedures – Here are some tips to set up systems in the classroom for a new teacher so you are both motivating students and applying your strategies for teaching!

Why I Hope I Never Want to Give up Teaching

And lastly, find a way to not let yourself get bogged down by all of the stuff that comes with the job that truly isn’t “teaching.”

Any job out there has these unwanted attachments and sometimes in teaching it can feel overwhelming. Here’s how one teacher has resolved to never want to give up on teaching.

I hope you found these ready to go life-saver tips to be helpful in getting you through your first year of teaching in elementary school. Thanks talented teachers – your printables and lessons are great! Feel free to share your “I’m a Featured Teach Junkie” badge on your blog, facebook or instagram. You earned it! {{boo-yah}}

Share your teaching idea here on Teach Junkie. We love hearing from teachers, teacher-bloggers and from you! Join the Teach Junkie Community and be a part of this collaborative blog.


More Helpful Tips

Leslie {aka the original Teach Junkie} loves learning new things to make teaching easier and more effective. She enjoys featuring creative classroom fun when she's not designing teacher shirts, making kindergarten lesson plans or planning her family's next trip to Disney World.