Wait, wait, don’t tell me!

It’s August 15th, and you’ve spent the summer thinking you were teaching three preps of 9th grade English and two of 12th grade English.

Surprise!

A voicemail from your principal this morning tells you she’s SO SORRY, but you’ll be switching to 10th and 11th. See you in a week!

Or, wait… stop me if this one is familiar:

You’re a student teacher, and this whole teaching thing isn’t quite what you expected. I mean, you LOVE it. But your timing is just… off. You need something at the ready, so you’re not stuck at the front of the classroom like a deer in headlights.

Hold on… how about this one? You’ve been teaching 10th grade English for more years than your current students have been alive. If you have to read that last scene in Of Mice and Men one more time, you’re going to lose it.

If any of these scenarios describe you, welcome! I hope you find The Oh Sh*t Toolkit very useful. In the meantime, here are some of my favorite resources from those early, middle, and later days of teaching.

And by the way, thank you for doing what you do.

Four Resources Every Teacher Needs

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A World of Short Stories: 20 Short Stories from Around the World, by Yvonne Collioud Sisko

The stories are short, engaging, and impactful. This is a great reference for rainy days, and when I say rainy days, I mean days when you need to fill in some time.

Added bonus: There are perforated pages with comprehension questions after each story. This is a great book to leave for your sub!

Good Poems, Selected and Introduced by Garrison Keillor

There is something really magical about this collection for me. I love the diversity in style and voice, and I love how so many of the poems have sparked endless great discussions in my classroom.

I recommend having this book on standby at all times.

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Breakfast on Mars, and 37 other Delectable Essays, edited by Rebecca Stern and Brad Wolfe

Teachers, do yourself a favor and buy a class set of this book. The essays are funny, thoughtful, and diverse in style. You can use this book in so many wonderful ways!

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Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know, by E.D. Hirsch, Jr.

You don’t need a class set of this one: just one will do. But I promise this will be a book you can refer to over and over again, in a million different contexts.

Keep it right as part of your own personal Oh Sh*t Toolkit!

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