Module 2: How to Plan Your First 4 Weeks

The Ultimate New Teacher Workshop

The most intimidating unit plan of the year can be the one that starts on day 1.

There are a few reasons for this:

  1. If you were fortunate enough to have a student teaching experience, most experiences don't start on day 1 of the school year. So you may never have actually seen how your cooperating teacher set up that smooth-sailing ship you stepped into.
  2. Teacher prep tends to cover how to create units for your content area, but very few really, truly cover how to create a unit to set up the year.
  3. Your first unit should set up this specific class's classroom--a class that has never existed before--this combination of kids, with you as the teacher. Since it's a completely unique situation, it deserves fresh thought from you.
  4. If I had a nickel for every time I'd heard, "How you start a class sets the tone for the rest of the year..." What a fan-favorite, non-useful piece of "advice"!! (more like a panic-inducer for new teachers that either encourages them to go too strict or too loose to overcompensate...)

This first unit of the year, commonly called the Launch Unit, does deserve some really good thought, but it doesn't have to cause you panic.

This module is here to help you think through, step-by-step, just how you want to set the tone and systems up to run for the rest of the year.

Before my own first year of teaching, so much anxiety came from that nagging voice in my head saying, "But what are we actually going to DO when students arrive to our classroom??" and the peanut gallery that added helpful theories like,

You don't know what you're doing. Kids aren't going to listen. What if you don't actually know how to fill a year with lesson plans and you run out after the first day?

What are you going to teach the day (and weeks following) when students arrive to your classroom?

You're going to teach them how to operate as a classroom, a few content basics, and most of all, facilitate getting to know each other.

You're going to design the unit the same way you design every unit.

By the end of planning the unit, you're going to feel a lot clearer. Those anxious thoughts will quiet down, and my guess is you'll feel a burst of relief.

And by the end of actually teaching the launch unit, your class might just be humming along into your first real unit.

This module's aim is to help get you there--to the magical world of a classroom humming along.


This Course is for YOU if...

  • You want step-by-step guidance on setting up a smoothly running classroom at the end of the year, so you can set that tone purposefully.
  • You're preparing for your first year teaching, re-entering teaching, or want a complete makeover of last year.
  • You're exploding from nerves about teaching and not sure where to put that anxiety.
  • You need help on knowing what to prepare and how to do it.
  • You feel unsupported by your school, underprepared by your teacher prep program, rusty from a break from teaching, or panicked about not having any training at all.

This course is not for you if...

  • You don’t want to work hard to prepare for your first year. Though this course is going to save you a lot of time, setting up an awesome year still takes a lot of (strategic) work.
  • You are cool with spending hundreds hours in scanning thousands of pins, articles, and advice from people with varying expertise to find how best to prepare, or just want to wing it this year
  • You are bent on having that classic horrific first year teaching. Nope. That’s not what we’re about here.

"All summer I’ve been thinking that I need to do things to get prepared for the school year but I wasn’t exactly sure what. I am SOOOOO thankful to have found this that tells me EXACTLY what to do. It has made me feel so much better about the upcoming school year and has made it a lot less scary."

Your Instructor

Jeanne Wolz, M. Ed.
Jeanne Wolz, M. Ed.

Hi! I’m Jeanne. I’m a former middle school ELA teacher, college instructor, and the founder of Teacher Off Duty--a blog dedicated to helping teachers save time, teach better, and live happier. I have 9 years of teaching and instructional coaching, including mentoring as a cooperating teacher, serving as Department Chair, and a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Since founding Teacher Off Duty, I've helped thousands of new teachers along their journey to a smooth and fulfilling first few years teaching.

In my 2nd year teaching, I won an Outstanding Beginning Teaching Award and I didn't feel special enough for it at all. In fact, I knew then what I know now: I owed the early success largely to the strategic preparation I did before them. And now, I want to help you do the same.


Enroll Now and Receive:

- Module 2 to the Ultimate New Teacher Workshop. This is a stand-alone module that will walk you through creating a Launch Unit to get your class running smoothly

- Webinar Replay that will walk you through, step-by-step, through creating a Launch Unit

- Corresponding workbook with an example unit to help you create your own

- Google-Sheets 2022-2023 Planning Calendar

- Lifetime access to the module

"I'm going into education from an engineering background and was clueless where to start. Now, I am already impressing my principal with my procedures and understanding of unit planning! I've already tooted your horn through FB groups and can't wait to dive in further!" - 2018 Alumna

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the workshop start and finish?
The workshop starts immediately!
How long do I have access to the workshop?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the workshop?
I want you to be happy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact me in the first 30 days and I will give you a full refund, no questions asked.
I'm on a tight budget. Is this module worth it?
Real talk: that first year teacher budget is REAL. But, as you're prioritizing things on your budget, have you ever stopped to think about what your time and sanity is worth? Let me give you a hint: a lot. For you, for your family, AND for your quality of teaching. In this year, you’re going to need more time and sanity than you ever have before. This course was made to save you loads of both. That's worth something.
What makes this different than other resources available online?
There is a TON of free resources online for teachers. The problem? That there is a ton of free resources online for teachers. And not all of it is good. Some of it is conflicting. And most times it takes hours and hours just to find the thing you were looking for in the first place, if you can find it at all. You don't have that kind of time this summer. This summer and this year, you’re going to need gallons of a few things: time, organization, calm, and courage. This course is here for you for all of that. That jungle of online resources? Not so much.
Will I have time to complete this workshop?
This module of the full workshop will likely take 2-3 hours to complete, with you walking away with a detailed launch unit plan for your own class.
Is this workshop applicable to my classroom outside the US?
The course is designed to help new teachers set up a classroom that runs smoothly, rather than about following national or state requirements. So most, if not all of it, would be just as applicable for you as a US teacher. Even the Documentation section isn't tied to US requirements--it's just a guide to setting up good documentation practices for your own purposes. In the beginning of the process, the module will ask you to search for your content standards, but there are instructions on what to do if you do not have state or national standards for your content. This is actually the case for many US teachers, too, if they do not teach a core subject. Finally, keep in mind that there is a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you start the course and have any concerns at all, you can contact me and I'll give you a full refund, no questions asked.

Get started now!