Back To School Tips for Middle School Teachers

Back To School Tips for Middle School Teachers

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Are you Ready for the New School Year?

Welcome to our guide for middle school teachers going back to school! This guide offers tips on teaching during the first weeks of school and resources to foster an engaging learning atmosphere, emphasizing climate education. Included in this guide is some of the best advice to get students excited about learning and protecting the planet. Whether you are a new teacher or a veteran teacher, we hope that you will find these teacher tips useful and empowering during the first day of school! Click on the tips below to learn more.

Encourage a Growth Mindset
Foster Classroom Community
Foster an Inclusive & Supportive Community
Enjoy Nature Together

Encourage a Growth Mindset

Promote a growth mindset with your students to nurture resilience and cultivate a passion for learning. Emphasize the power of effort, perseverance, and learning from mistakes rather than focusing solely on grades or innate abilities. Incorporate discussions, activities, and feedback that highlight the value of embracing challenges and seeing them as opportunities for growth. By fostering a growth mindset in your classroom and building relationships with your students, you empower students to develop their potential, overcome obstacles, and achieve success both academically and personally. Set goals with your middle schoolers using the following resources.

Encourage a Growth Mindset
Growth Mindset Posters
PYP Learner Profile Posters
Goal Setting from Back to School
Encourage a Growth Mindset

Engage and Empower Students

Encourage middle school students to take leadership roles in and out of the classroom environment. Incorporate interactive activities and discussions that stimulate their curiosity and critical thinking skills. Create an environment where students feel valued and confident in sharing their ideas and taking charge of their learning. By empowering students to lead, you cultivate a dynamic classroom community where every student feels motivated and empowered to succeed. Check out the following resources that can be easily integrated into your back-to-school plans.

Foster Classroom Community
Environmental Justice & Air Quality
Civics and Climate Action Learning Lab
Your Place in Focus | Adaptation
Engage and Empower Students

Foster an Inclusive & Supportive Community

Fostering an inclusive and supportive learning environment from the beginning of the year involves prioritizing culturally responsive teaching methods and social-emotional learning (SEL) practices. Encourage collaboration among students, motivating them to learn from each other's diverse perspectives and backgrounds. Additionally, prioritize mental health and well-being by creating a safe space where students feel comfortable expressing themselves and seeking support when needed. By nurturing a sense of belonging and community, you empower middle school students to thrive academically, emotionally, and socially in the classroom and beyond. Explore the following resources to support your students in and out of the classroom.

Foster an Inclusive and Supportive Community
Developing Climate Change Community Solutions
Taking Action and Self-Care Worksheets
Climate Justice and Equity Learning Lab
Climate Emotions Wheel

Enjoy Nature Together

Take advantage of the back-to-school season and bring learning outdoors! Outdoor learning offers students valuable hands-on experiences with the natural world. Engaging in activities like nature exploration, conducting experiments, or reading amidst nature fosters curiosity and a deeper connection to the world. Outdoor learning also promotes physical activity, provides a refreshing change of scenery, revitalizes students' energy, and aids in classroom management. Going outside is not just for PE or science class, even Math, English, and Social Studies teachers can benefit from outdoor learning! Explore the wonders of nature with your students through the resources provided below.

Enjoy Nature Together
Tree Identifier
Making a Solar Oven
Ecosystem Observer
Living Schoolyard Activity Guide

Looking for More Free Teaching Tips, Bundles & Classroom Resources?

6-8 Back to School Bundle

This collection of short writing prompts, bell ringers, planner pages, monthly calendars, goal-setting worksheets, a student survey, and coloring pages will help get middle school students ready to start the school year by reflecting on the last year and thinking about what they’d like to accomplish as school starts.

Featured 6-8 Back to School Bundle

Our Educators!
Lesson Plans by Teachers, for Teachers

Click on the profile photos to explore lesson plans written by our team of teacher-creators.

Ben Charles Profile
Effie Wolters Profile
Mallory Swafford Profile

Resources from Our Partners

Ready to take the next step in your climate education journey? Check out these amazing lessons, activities, and student work possibilities from our partners, Children's Environmental Literacy Foundation and Climate Science.

What's the Big Idea?
The Do Nothing Machine
Fighting Climate Myths
Climate Change: How Does it Really Work?

Next Steps

Help your new students gain the knowledge and skills to contribute positively to their communities and the environment. Wishing you a rewarding school year filled with exploration, progress, and environmental consciousness! For ELA and Math Resources, don't forget to check out our academic-focused guides for 6th grade-8th grade teachers: Free ELA Lesson Plans for Grades 6-8 and Free Math Resources for Teachers 6-8

📚 6-8 ELA Guide


📖 6-8 Reading List


🧮 6-8 Math Guide


🌎 Climate Change Teaching Resources