Resources for New Teachers

 Start your career with proven tools to make school meaningful and engaging for your students — and yourself.

As you prepare yourself and your classroom for what lies ahead, you’ll want resources and professional development programs you can trust to help build a practice that is authentically engaging and effective. That’s where Center for Inspired Teaching comes in!

Since 1995, we have taught the Inspired Teaching Approach to thousands of teachers. Our methods are founded in data and research, aligned with standards, and have generated nearly 30 years’ worth of results.

And those results are classrooms and schools where students are enthusiastic, active participants in their education, and teachers are empowered to construct systems in which each student is an expert and has a voice.

ABCDE of Learner Needs Guidebook

Whether you are an administrator, teacher, student, or caregiver, we all need Autonomy, Belonging, Competence, Developmental Appropriateness, Engagement, and Fun in order to learn and thrive. We CAN meet these needs in schools and we don’t need to go to extreme measures to do so. This Guidebook includes links to classroom activities, printable reflection and planning sheets, posters for your classroom walls, and a whole section designed to be shared with families. 

Activities & Lessons that are Ready-to-Go

Inspired Teaching’s classroom strategies really work in creating students who are resilient, enthusiastic, and engaged learners. These resources are great for new teachers who are looking for activities and lessons aligned with standards and created for easy implementation, for any grade or subject area.

colorful text that reads "ABCDE of Learner Needs" an assessment resource for parents

An effective assessment tool for understanding your students’ needs — and yours — and figuring out how to meet them

a colorful lightbulb with mutlicolor pencils above it, next to blue text that reads "#Inspired2Learn," which are activities and resources for parents

A collection of engaging, fun, and simple lessons for all subjects and grade levels, that work well in both virtual and in-person settings

an orange sun on a blue background above text that reads "Hooray For Monday," a weekly resource for parents

Timely insights and resources for starting every Monday morning excited and prepared for the week ahead

Instigator of Thought Challenge

The Instigator of Thought Challenge is a collection of activities and tools to help you move beyond your comfort zone and sharpen your skill set. While every Challenge is suitable for any teacher, new teachers may find the following Challenges especially beneficial.

Ask "So What?"

Questioning that prompts curiosity, investigation, and thinking extends to teachers asking ourselves key questions. Why? So what? Who cares? As reflective practitioners, we should ask ourselves these questions about every unit and lesson we plan.

Read more about this Challenge here.

Emotion Continuum

While activities that build social-emotional skills are traditionally relegated solely to the younger years, people of all ages benefit from an environment that supports their emotional needs and development. Through this challenge, students build their vocabularies and build productive strategies for communicating feelings and needs to adults and to one another.

Read more about this Challenge here.

Graffiti Board

A Graffiti Board can strengthen community, elevate student voice, connect to content, and show your students that you care about what is on their minds. Most of all, it demonstrates to students that you—the adult, the teacher—trust them: to be respectful, to figure out what to do with a big blank space without a teacher telling them, to be inclusive, to take the risk of sharing their thoughts publicly

Read more about this Challenge here.

Poster Analysis

Walk into a classroom and you will see posters with information about rules, norms of interaction, instructions, procedures, warning, etc., to communicate expectations to students. Some posters are required by the school. Others are of our own choosing. Have you ever stopped to think about how they tell students about your beliefs about children – intentionally or unintentionally?

Learn more about this Challenge here.

Profile Pages

Profile Pages is a simple yet powerful activity that helps you to learn more about your students, to make sure introverts and extroverts alike feel heard and valued, and to reveal and strengthen meaningful connections between peers.

Learn more about this Challenge here.

Scribe's Record

Filling the walls with student-produced work, questions, and accomplishments – like what they are learning – helps students take ownership over the space. They benefit from spending time in a classroom that reflects both their intellectual and emotional development and their potential for future growth.

Learn more about this Challenge here.

Share Questions with Families

Time and time again, we hear about after-school conversations that go just like this one. Adults grow frustrated by limited responses, and children miss the opportunity to stay engaged in school-based learning after the day is done. But with some tips and practice, families can become skilled at asking effective questions and engaging children in thoughtful conversations about their learning, social interactions, and overall experience in school.

Learn more about this Challenge here.

Snap Inspiration

Lunch Date: Eat lunch with a small group of students.  Talk about something besides school.

Make Room: Look at your room. How much is devoted to your students versus the teacher?

Martha Graham’s ‘divine dissatisfaction’ can guide our reflection and remind us that, as professional learners, we can find joy in our progress while acknowledging we have more to learn.

— Aleta Margolis