If you’ve been up at night trying to figure out the best ways to keep your students safe for in-person learning, you’re not alone. Teachers everywhere are finding clever ways to promote social distancing, mask wearing, and other safety precautions. They’re using all kinds of random materials from zip ties, photo albums, and shoe organizers for storage that complies with CDC guidelines and to make sure students don’t share materials. As always, teachers are putting their creativity and resourcefulness to keep their students safe.

Here are 23 back-to-school hacks that teachers are raving about!

Just so you know, we may get a small share of the sales made through the Amazon affiliate links on this page.

1. Prevent condensation on desks and make sure those water bottles don’t touch anything they shouldn’t!

Via: @hilaritywithmrshorst

Most schools won’t be using water fountains this year, so this water bottle hack will be a must! All you’ll need for this hack is a cut-upshoe organizer, duct tape, and zip ties!

Don’t want to invest in a shoe organizer? Plastic cups from the Dollar Tree and zip ties will do the trick!

Via: @Teachersbrain

2. Turn your dividers into something more attractive, like Jeeps!

Via: @jenniferpierson11

The teacherbehind this awesome classroom used lamination, cardboard boxes, poster board, and card stock to turn her students’ desks into Jeeps! She’s also created a free template for other teachers to make their own. You can download it HERE.

3. Use caddies to separate clean and dirty shared supplies!

Via: @mrspridgenteaches

Get your caddies at Target or grab a set on Amazon.

4. Create a safe zone space where students can take mask breaks.

23 Back-to-School Hacks _ Bored Teachers_ Mask-free zone

Via: @mrscessacsclass

On rainy or cold days when we just can’t get outside, the kids will still need mask breaks!

5. Create welcome bulletin boards that also remind students of the new expectations

23 Back-to-School Hacks _ Bored Teachers_ bulletin boards

Via: @littleyellowclassroom

Check out more bulletin board ideas for your classroom here!

6. Send postcards/letters to students to welcome them to the new school year!

Send postcards/letters to students to welcome them to the new school year!

Via: @simply.first

Need more ideas to build a classroom community online? Click here. Do you want to create your own Bitmoji classroom but don’t know where to start? Check out these 10 easy steps!

7. We may not be able to pop into our colleagues’ classrooms leisurely anymore, but walkie talkies will do the job to ensure communication is always available!

23 Back-to-School Hacks _ Bored Teachers_ walkie talkies teacher friends

Via: @justpeachyinelementary

You this set of 3 walkie talkies on Amazon!

8. When teaching in-person and virtually, create an easy system for families to pick up materials once a week while also dropping off completed work!

pick up drop off system

Via: @truelifeimateacher

9. Put social stories into Dollar Tree photo albums for students who need a better understanding of new safety precautions.

23 Back-to-School Hacks _ Bored Teachers_ wearing masks social stories

Via: @prekwithmsu

Find those at your local Dollar Tree or grab a set of 5 on Amazon for under $10.

10. Create your own sanitation station out of inexpensive PVC piping.

Even though districts are required to provide sanitary products, we could always use another DIY project!

11. For our virtual teachers, use tap lights to set expectations when teaching remotely!

23 Back-to-School Hacks _ Bored Teachers_ Tap lights mute mics on

Via: @learningwithmsluna

This teacher used a Cricut to label her tap lights. If the lights are on, it means mics and cameras should be on. If the lights are off, mics and cameras should be off! You can also use tap lights in-school to display voice-level expectations.

12. Hide prizes inside soap to encourage hand washing!

23 Back-to-School Hacks _ Bored Teachers_ Bracelet soaps

Via: @happi.crafts

Some teachers have been hiding mini erasers inside their bars of soap. Others, like @Happi Crafts create them with bracelets or other prizes inside! Each student receives and stores their own bar (no sharing!) Hand washing just got super fun!

13. Use zip ties to attach baskets under chairs for extra storage

23 Back-to-School Hacks _ Bored Teachers_ baskets under chairs

Via: @teachersbrain

Grab some baskets at your local Dollar Tree or on Amazon!

14. Quarantine books for at least 72 hours in between student use with this bin hack.

23 Back-to-School Hacks _ Bored Teachers_ Warning books under quarantine

Via: @theclasstobee

You can purchase those labels and up to 30 different designs here!

15. Give students all of their logins on a key ring that can be brought between home and school.

23 Back-to-School Hacks _ Bored Teachers_ Log in information card keyring

Via: @lonestarclassroom

In case of an emergency shut down, it’s important students are able to access all of their online learning tools. Having login information at home is essential!

16. Hang up a sign on your door before beginning to record a lesson or hosting a live meet.

23 Back-to-School Hacks _ Bored Teachers_ hanging sign door

Via: @thesweetlifeofteaching

17. Create individual early finisher activity boxes.

23 Back-to-School Hacks _ Bored Teachers_ Early finisher activity

Via: @madeforfirstgrade

Get these fun labels HERE.

18. Bedazzle your face shields because we still deserve to look our best!

23 Back-to-School Hacks _ Bored Teachers_ Face shields

Via: @teachingthewholechild

19. Use tape to show where desks need to be to ensure at least 6 feet between desks.

23 Back-to-School Hacks _ Bored Teachers_ Tape to show where desks go

Via: @ausomelyasd

Check out these genius washi tape hacks for your classroom!

20. Create a sanitation station to keep all your cleaning supplies in one place.

23 Back-to-School Hacks _ Bored Teachers_ Sanitation station

Via: @amandas.apples

21. For teachers who are traveling this year from classroom to classroom, use a small cart on wheels to cart around only the essentials

Via: @grade5greatness

22. Use Dollar Tree containers to separate students’ manipulatives

23 Back-to-School Hacks _ Bored Teachers_ Math kits

Via: @first_in_sweet

23. Teacher mask tip: Order these silicone mask brackets ASAP to help you breathe and make your voice more clear under the mask.

23 Back-to-School Hacks _ Bored Teachers_ Teacher mask tip

Via: @itskindie

Order them hereand also check out these 20 fun teacher masks to add to your school wardrobe!

Just like every other school year, there’s so much to prepare for a new start. Hopefully, these hacks make your life easier going into this uncertain year ahead!

23 Back-to-School Hacks For Teachers During the Pandemic