Archive for Back To School Shopping

Back to School Shopping: 4th edition

Planner: Check!
Business Cards: Check!
Notebook: Check!

We’ve taken care of some of the essentials of our back to school shopping and now we are left with the extra items that will help you find success in your daily subbing adventures!

  • Colored Markers/Sharpies
  • Stickers
  • Tablet/Post-its
  • Children’s books (1 for primary, 1 for intermediate)
  • Game/Activity (materials or ideas to fill extra time)
  • Whistle (to call in for recess)

[Side note: in addition to these things that will aid in your teaching, you may also want to include these items to spare you from minor disasters — safety pins, asprin, water, tide-to-go pen, mints, tissues, & hand sanitizer]

These items sum up the list of must-haves in your back to school bag! (Though I wouldn’t be surprised if a few other suggestions are added from time to time. Got a good suggestion that wasn’t listed? Comment & share!)

I hope that you are rested & ready to tackle another wonderful school year! Happy preparations & good luck this year!

miss miller


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Back to School Shopping: 3!

I’ve been dedicating several posts to some important back to school shopping picks for substitute teachers. So far, I’ve packed my bag with a planner & personal business cards! Along with those items [and one that I feel is most important]  is a simple notebook!

A notebook?” you ask.

Yes! A notebook! Now let me explain, as a substitute you are going to be walking into some of the BEST and most OUTSTANDING classrooms. You will be surrounded by a wealth of resources, ideas, and examples of fabulous teaching! These experiences should not be left dwelling with the spider webs in the deep recesses of your memories — they should be written down!

So next time you find yourself sitting in the chair of a highly qualified, creative, and resourceful teacher– whip out your handy, dandy notebook and jot it down! Take note of your surroundings, classroom management techniques, unique games/activities, fun songs & movement activities… the possiblities are endless!

Even if you happen to be a part of a less than stellar classroom environment, write down those “do nots” too! Anything that you can reference in the future will help you.

I'm a sucker for Vera, but you can find your favorite notebook at


This past year, I purchased a simple notebook & tabbed it for the different grade levels. It was easy to reference when I had a longer term assignment and needed to find a good weather song or a great creative way to line students up.

Not only is this a smart way to build up your repertoire of teaching tips, but I assure you that it will come in handy when you are preparing for an interview!

miss miller

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Back to School Shopping: Take Two!

Being savvy

is just as important for a substitute as it is for a businessman. I say that because it is very important  that you are making good contacts and establishing a good network.

One thing that will aid in this endeavour is having your own, personal business card! Which is the second on my list of must-haves for your back to school bag!

Business cards: are effective for handing out contact info to teachers or principals as a way to have your number/email address ready & on hand! For those substitutes in a long-term setting, they are also a great way to establish open communication with parents. You never know when you’ll be in a situation where a crisp, clean, and contemporary business card will help convey a professional and prepared impression! [Note: these cards can jump start a side career, such as tutoring! What a great way to start a personal & educational business!]

DIY using heavy cardstock & Publisher. There you will find a great template that can help you outline a stylish card OR check out one of my favorite websites,, to have a card custom-designed for you!

seller poshgirl boutique offers a wide variety of business cards at

It is appropriate to include: Your name, degree/certification, email & phone number

Business cards are practical & polished. It is a way to make YOU stand out as a professional, leaving quite a nice impression, if I do say so myself!

 miss miller

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Back to School Shopping: Part One

So what will fill your back to school bag?

We prepared as a child, and now as an adult. Heading back to school warrants a shopping list for substitute teachers, too! Sharpen those pencils & jot down the first of many suggestions:

Planner: This functional staple [in any teacher’s bag] serves a multitude of purposes! Save school phone numbers & important email addresses, organize your schedule, as well as have a monthly/weekly view of your availability.

It is important to not rely solely on online schedules & calendars. A personal, hard copy always comes in handy! Keeping track of your days can also help to verify accurate payment.

Here are a few functional & fun planners:

Erin Condren Planner for Target

Create your own planner @

Sleek, sophisticated Moleskine Planner

Get organized & get excited! This is just the start of fun things that can fill your back to school bag!

miss miller

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