Back To School Tips for High School Teachers

Back To School Tips for High School Teachers

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Are you Ready for the New School Year?

Welcome to our guide filled with back-to-school tips for high school teachers! This guide provides teaching tips, tricks, and resources to cultivate a dynamic learning environment, with a focus on integrating climate education. Empower your students to excel academically while fostering their role as stewards of the environment. Learn how to prepare for the first day of school with these back-to-school tips for new teachers and veteran teachers!  Click on the tips below to learn more.

Encourage a Growth Mindset
Empower Students
Engage Students in Active Learning
Enjoy Nature Together

Encourage a Growth Mindset

Promote a growth mindset to nurture resilience and a passion for learning from the first day of school. Emphasize effort, perseverance, and learning from mistakes over grades or innate abilities. Integrate discussions, activities, and feedback highlighting the value of embracing challenges. Encourage students to think about how far they have come since last year and where they would like to be by the next school year. By fostering a growth mindset and building relationships with your high school students, you can empower them to fulfill their potential, overcome obstacles, and achieve success. Set goals with your new students using the provided resources.

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

Empower Students

Foster student leadership both inside and outside the classroom starting the first week of school. Integrate interactive activities and discussions to ignite curiosity and enhance critical thinking skills. Cultivate an environment where students feel valued and confident in expressing their ideas and assuming ownership of their learning. By empowering students to take the lead, you nurture a dynamic classroom community where every student feels motivated and prepared to thrive. Explore the following resources to empower your students from the first day of school.

Empower Students
Take Action
Civics Lesson: Climate Action Plan
CFR Education: Climate Change Inequality
Doreen Abubakar: Using Your Authentic Voice to Create Change

Engage Students in Active Learning

Engage students in active learning throughout the school day by utilizing hands-on activities that encourage collaboration. Encourage inquiry-based learning where students explore, question, and solve problems together. Incorporate interactive experiments and group projects to deepen understanding and develop teamwork skills. By actively involving students in their learning, they become better equipped to tackle challenges and retain knowledge. Check out the following lessons, activities, and games for the beginning of the year!

Engage Students in Active Learning
STEM Climate and Our Coast
Solar Relay Activity
Climate Justice and Equity Learning Lab
City of the Future Climate Project Educator Guide

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 good mental health and physical activity while providing a refreshing change of scenery. This can revitalize students' energy and aid in classroom management. Going outside is not just for PE or science class, even Math and English teachers can benefit from outdoor learning! Explore the wonders of nature with your students through the resources provided below.

Enjoy Nature Together
Living Schoolyard Activity Guide
Climate, Weather, and Trees Lab
Healthy Environment, Healthy You
Climate Change Toolkit: Solar Energy & Soil Temperature

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

9-12 Back to School Bundle

This bundle of writing prompts, calendar planning pages, goal planning worksheets, a student survey, and coloring pages will be sure to get your students back into the swing of things this fall. Use the bell ringers as ice-breakers during the first weeks of school. The materials can be customized, downloaded, or printed for use in your teacher plans, as a part of sub-plans, or as homework assignments.

Featured 9-12 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.

Liz Ransom Profile
Greta Stacy Profile
Kara Hisatake Profile

Resources from Our Partners

Ready to take the next step in your climate education journey as soon as school starts? Check out these amazing lessons, student work possibilities, and other resources from our partner CFR Education.

What is Climate Change?
How Do Governments Combat Climate Change?
Sustainable Development Goals
CFR Education: Global Climate Change Policy Simulation

Next Steps

Use these back-to-school tips for teachers to equip your students with the knowledge and skills to make meaningful contributions to their communities and the world. Here's to a rewarding school year filled with exploration, growth, and environmental consciousness! For ELA and Math Resources, don't forget to check out our academic-focused guides for 9th-12th grade teachers: Free ELA Lesson Plans for Grades 9-12 and Free Math Resources for Teachers 9-12. If this is your first year of teaching or your first time teaching about climate, be sure to explore the Professional Development opportunities at

📚 9-12 ELA Guide

📖 9-12 Reading List

🧮 9-12 Math Guide

🎤 Student Journalism