Top Must-Have Resources Every Teacher Needs

As educators, having the right resources is essential for creating a positive and effective learning environment. Whether you’re a new teacher, preparing for cultural diversity, or stepping in as a supply teacher, there are specific resources that are indispensable. In this article, we’ll explore the top must-have resources that every teacher needs to enhance their teaching experience and support their students.

Key Takeaways

  • A primer on assessment is crucial for new teachers to understand different types of assessment and how to provide feedback to learners.
  • Technology-integration basics are essential for new teachers to successfully integrate technology into the classroom.
  • Understanding cultural differences is vital for creating inclusive learning environments and promoting diversity in education.
  • Supply teachers should always be prepared with essential items in their bag and a survival kit for unexpected situations.
  • Having a supportive environment and high-quality content is important for new teachers to access resources and plan effective activities and lessons.

Essential Resources for New Teachers


Primer on Assessment

Assessment is the compass that guides the educational journey, providing direction and feedback for both teachers and students. Understanding the different types of assessment is crucial for new educators as they shape their teaching strategies.

  • Formative assessments are like checkpoints, offering immediate insights into student understanding.
  • Summative assessments serve as milestones, evaluating cumulative knowledge at the end of a unit or term.
  • Diagnostic assessments help identify students’ strengths and weaknesses before instruction begins.

Embrace assessment as a tool for growth, not just a measure of performance.

By integrating a variety of assessment methods, teachers can create a dynamic and responsive learning environment. The ‘Resources Toolkit for New Teachers‘ from Edutopia is an excellent starting point, featuring over 30 resources dedicated to this topic. It’s a treasure trove for those eager to learn how to provide meaningful feedback and inform instruction.

Technology-Integration Basics

In the digital age, teachers must be adept at integrating technology into their curriculum to enhance learning. Technology is not just a tool; it’s a bridge to engaging students and preparing them for a tech-centric future. Here are some ways technology can revolutionize the classroom:

  • Streamlining lesson planning and development
  • Improving student engagement
  • Tracking and assessing student progress
  • Enriching the learning experience with multimedia resources

Embrace technology as a dynamic partner in education. It’s not about using the latest gadgets; it’s about creating a more interactive and personalized learning journey for each student.

To get started, consider these simple steps:

  1. Identify the educational objectives that technology can help you achieve.
  2. Select appropriate digital tools that align with your teaching style and student needs.
  3. Plan activities that incorporate these tools in a meaningful way.
  4. Seek feedback from students and adjust your approach accordingly.

Remember, technology integration is a continuous learning process for both teachers and students. It’s about finding the right balance and making technology work for you, not the other way around.

Working With Parents

Building a bridge between home and school is a cornerstone of educational success. Engaging and building trust with parents is not just beneficial; it’s essential. As a new teacher, fostering supportive home-to-school connections can seem daunting, but there are ample resources to guide you on this journey.

The key to parent partnership is understanding that it’s a two-way street of communication and support.

Here are some steps to get started:

  • Begin by establishing clear and consistent lines of communication.
  • Share educational objectives and celebrate student achievements.
  • Provide resources and workshops that empower parents to support learning at home.
  • Create opportunities for parents to be involved in school activities and decision-making.

Remember, the goal is to create a collaborative environment where parents feel valued and invested in their child’s education.

Preparing for Cultural Diversity


Understanding Cultural Differences

In the quest to foster a classroom environment that welcomes all, understanding cultural differences is the cornerstone. It’s about recognizing that each student brings a unique cultural background that enriches the learning tapestry. To navigate this diversity, teachers can turn to a plethora of online resources that offer guidance and practical strategies.

For instance, Edutopia’s Culturally Responsive Teaching resource page is a treasure trove of ideas, tips, and strategies for reaching culturally diverse students, including those with disabilities. It’s a starting point that can lead to profound changes in the way educators connect with their students.

Embracing cultural diversity isn’t just about adding international festivals to the school calendar; it’s about weaving cultural awareness into the fabric of everyday teaching.

A useful resource is the Family Research Project at Harvard University, which provides insightful advice on how to prepare teachers to work with culturally diverse students and their families. Communication is key, and building relationships is essential. Here’s a quick list of resources to explore:

  • Edutopia’s Culturally Responsive Teaching page
  • Family Research Project at Harvard University
  • TeacherVision’s Diversity Resources for Teachers
  • Inclusive Schools Network’s Resource Library

These resources are just the beginning. They serve as a springboard for educators to develop their own strategies for engaging with students and parents from a variety of cultural backgrounds.

Creating Inclusive Learning Environments

In the spirit of creating inclusive learning environments, it’s crucial to recognize that every student arrives with a unique set of circumstances and needs. The goal is to cultivate a space where diversity is not just acknowledged but celebrated, and where every student feels valued and supported.

To begin, educators can explore the Resource Library at the Inclusive Schools Network, which offers a wealth of information on diversity and equity, particularly for students with disabilities. The ‘Inclusion Basics’ section is an excellent starting point for understanding how to foster an inclusive classroom. Additionally, the ‘Culturally Responsive Teaching’ page is a treasure trove of ideas and strategies tailored for reaching students from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Remember, the journey towards inclusivity is ongoing and requires a commitment to continuous learning and adaptation.

For a structured approach to inclusivity, consider the following steps:

  1. Review your curriculum to ensure it reflects a diverse range of perspectives.
  2. Establish clear classroom norms that promote respect and understanding.
  3. Engage in regular self-reflection and seek feedback from students and colleagues.
  4. Integrate social and emotional learning (SEL) to support a holistic educational experience.

By embracing these practices, teachers can create a learning environment where all students have the opportunity to thrive.

Must-Have Supplies for Supply Teachers


What to Pack in Your Bag

As a supply teacher, your bag is your mobile command center. Be prepared for the many unknowns that can be thrown your way with a well-stocked resource kit. Your kit should include activities for all grades and subjects that require minimal resources to implement. Avoid relying too much on photocopied sheets or unpredictable technology; instead, pack items that are versatile and can be used in various teaching scenarios.

Pack essentials that keep you self-sufficient and ready for any classroom situation. This includes a water bottle to stay hydrated, a hat for playground duty, and a whistle for managing large groups. Don’t forget a lanyard to keep keys organized and a watch to track time effectively.

Here’s a quick checklist of items to ensure you’re always at the top of your game:

  • Resources: One or two favourite books, blank A4 paper, grid paper/book
  • Tools for engagement: Hacky Sack or small soft ball, two dice for math games
  • Personal items: Hat, water bottle, lunch and snacks, whistle, lanyard, watch
  • Tech essentials: USB for saved resources, HDMI cord (if bringing your own tech)

Remember, a well-packed bag is the key to a smooth and successful day as a supply teacher.

Survival Kit Essentials

As a supply teacher, your survival kit is your lifeline. Always be prepared for the unexpected twists a school day can throw at you. Your kit should be a tailored collection of essentials that ensure you can handle any classroom situation with grace and professionalism.

  • Two Dice: A simple pair of dice can be a versatile tool for engaging students in math games.
  • Hat: A staple for outdoor duty, it’s a non-negotiable item in your kit.
  • Water Bottle: Stay hydrated to keep your energy up throughout the day.
  • Lunch and Snacks: Pack non-perishable items that you can eat quickly during short breaks.
  • Whistle: Essential for managing outdoor activities or PE classes.
  • Lanyard: Keep keys and ID cards secure and accessible.
  • Watch: Time management is crucial, and you can’t always rely on classroom clocks.
  • USB: Store resources and music for various lessons.
  • Grid Paper/Book: Ideal for impromptu activities like word searches.
  • Pens, Pencils, and Erasers: Always have writing materials on hand for you and students who may need them.

Remember, the goal is to minimize disruptions and maintain a learning environment that is both effective and adaptable. Your survival kit is not just a bag of items; it’s a reflection of your readiness to tackle any teaching challenge.

Incorporate these items into your kit, and you’ll be the superhero of supply teaching. For more detailed ideas, consider exploring the Teacher Survival Kit Ideas Guide for over 100 suggestions to enhance your kit.


In conclusion, the resources mentioned in this article are essential for every teacher, whether new or experienced. From educational platforms like Open School to practical toolkits for new teachers, these resources provide valuable support for planning, teaching, and engaging with students. Additionally, the emphasis on technology integration, assessment, and working with parents reflects the diverse needs of modern educators. By utilizing these must-have resources, teachers can enhance their teaching practices and create a positive learning environment for their students. Remember, a well-equipped teacher is a confident and effective teacher.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Open School and what does it offer?

Open School is an educational platform that offers a wide range of services to support learning and personal growth. It provides engaging lessons, eBooks, and educational GIFs to enhance the learning experience. The platform also organizes scheduled events and activities to promote socialization and interaction among students.

What is the Resources Toolkit for New Teachers?

The Resources Toolkit for New Teachers offers a collection of resources meant to help new teachers plan effective activities, lessons, and units. It includes a Primer on Assessment, Technology-Integration Basics, and Working With Parents, among others.

What should supply teachers pack in their bag?

Supply teachers should pack essential items to ensure a successful day, including survival kit essentials and necessary supplies for teaching.

How can teachers prepare for cultural diversity?

Teachers can prepare for cultural diversity by understanding cultural differences and creating inclusive learning environments to support students from diverse backgrounds.

What is Teacher for a Day and how does it help teachers?

Teacher for a Day is an all-in-one resource that requires no photocopying and little to no prep. It provides prepared materials for teaching any subject on a whim, making it user-friendly and convenient for teachers.

What are the essential resources for new teachers?

New teachers should focus on essential resources such as a primer on assessment, technology-integration basics, and working with parents to ensure a successful start in their teaching career.

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