Teachers have the enormous responsibility of educating our children. Educators make immeasurable sacrifices of time outside of work as they plan lessons and grade papers.
In addition, they make monetary sacrifices when planning for their students, in order to make up for budget shortfalls in state and private education systems.
That’s why knowing where teachers can get free tools to help them maximize their ability to impact children positively is so important. The resources listed here offer free tools for all educators.
Free Things for Teachers
As a teacher, you or your colleagues may find yourself having to take money from your own family budgets to pay for classroom items for your students.
Even when you create a great budget, taking money from your home budget can put the squeeze on family and personal needs.
These free items for teachers can help you get what you need for your students even if your district’s funding can’t cover it.
Free Subscriptions for Teachers
ABCmouse.com. ABCmouse.com provides a full online curriculum for Pre-K through 2nd grade students.
Teachers get free access to this curriculum subscription. The curriculum subscription shares over 10 levels with 850 lessons and over 9,000 individual activities for your students.
Wall Street Journal. The Wall Street Journal offers a free digital subscription to participating university instructors.
The subscription includes unlimited access to the WSJ website, curated newsletters and WSJ content that can be integrated into your lesson plans.
Visit the website using the link above to see if your university is a part of the free WSJ digital subscription offer.
Free Software for Teachers
Microsoft Office. Microsoft gives educators access to Microsoft 365 Education for free. This package includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, One Note and Teams.
A valid school email address is required. Note that students have access to this package as well.
Basecamp. Basecamp is an organizational software tool that helps you manage assignments, lesson plans, schedules and more.
Just sign up for the service using your school email and Basecamp will apply the discount to your account. This discount is available for students as well.
Canva. Canva is a graphic arts tool that lets teachers create all types of graphic images.
Create social media images, videos and gifs to posters, websites, booklets, multimedia presentations, logos, and so much more. The great part of this tool is that it comes with thousands of templates and images.
Free Classroom Supplies
DonorsChoose.org. DonorsChoose.org has a great program where they work with teachers to get free classroom supplies.
When you sign up to work with Donorschoose.org you can request whatever classroom supplies you need, from pencils to paper to dry erase boards and more.
See the company’s website for more information.
Treasures 4 Teachers. Treasures 4 Teachers is a nonprofit organization that collects free supplies from small and large companies.
Those supplies are then given to member teachers at low or no cost. Along with highly discounted items, the organization has a surplus of free classroom supplies such as pencils and more.
Join this group to get access to an ever-changing supply of free items for your classroom.
If you’re interested in learning how to help parents of your students save money on school supplies, read this article on how to get free school supplies.
Amusement Park Freebies
Many amusement parks around the country will offer free access for teachers. Here are some free amusement park deals for teachers.
Legoland Resort, Florida. The Legoland Resort in Florida will give teachers a free one-year pass to Legoland Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Madame Tussauds Orlando.
The goal of the free pass for teachers is to help assist you as you plan field trips for your students.
Shedd Aquarium. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago offers free passes to educators who live in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
All you have to do is register for the ticket.
New England Aquarium. The New England Aquarium will give free passes to teachers who are members of the Massachusetts Teacher Association or the Boston Teachers Union.
All you have to do is show your MTA card or your BTU card at the ticket booth to get your free pass.
Philadelphia Zoo. The Philadelphia Zoo offers free passes to licensed educators, principals and assistant principals from September 1 through June 15 each year.
Your pass allows you to visit the zoo multiple times during this time period. Note that you must register online to be eligible.
In addition, you must bring your pass, your school ID, union card member or a recent pay stub each time you visit the zoo. Public, private and charter school educators are welcome.
Museum Freebies For Teachers
There are a few museums around the U.S. that offer free passes for educators as well.
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County offers free passes for all California educators of PreK-12 students.
Go anytime and show your official school ID for free admission. Special exhibits will cost extra.
Kennedy Space Center. The Kennedy Space Center offers an educator study pass that gives all K-12 educators free admission to the space center.
You can take advantage of this free pass if you are an educator in the U.S., Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Visit the center’s Will Call box and show one of the following items to get your free pass:
- An active teaching certificate
- A badge with a photo that shows your name and title
- A signed, dated letter on school letterhead from the principal of the school, verifying that you are an educator at that institution.
Bank of America Museums on Us. Although this applies to all Bank of America cardholders and not just teachers, it’s worth a mention.
The Bank of America Museums on Us program offers free admission to over 200 museums nationwide.
As a Bank of America credit or debit card holder, you can get in free to participating museums and cultural institutions during the first full weekend of every month.
Just present your debit or credit card at the ticket window, along with a photo ID, to get your free pass to participating museums.
Free Continuing Education for Teachers
PBS Learning Line. PBS Learning Line offers a host of free professional development courses, most of which qualify as continuing education credits.
Choose from thousands of free videos and get a free education on a wide variety of subjects.
Teaching Channel with Learners Edge. The Teaching Channel with Learners Edge offers free courses on subjects such as:
- Re-Establishing Classroom Routines, Norms and Group Behaviors
- Understanding Anxiety: Schools and Anxiety
- Personalized Learning: The Basics
And more. Just sign up with your name, email, job title and the state you teach in to gain access.
Waterford Reading Academy. Waterford Reading Academy provides free professional webinars to give you tools to help your students become better readers.
Sign up to attend live video sessions, or request recorded sessions if you can attend the live ones.
Free Lesson Planning Tools and Activities
Crayola. Crayola offers free lesson plans and coloring sheets for educators and parents. All you have to do is visit the Crayola website and browse the lessons or print the coloring sheets.
Sign up for the e-newsletter to be the first to hear about new teaching ideas, lesson plans and more.
National Geographic. National Geographic’s Explorer Classroom offers free YouTube and Zoom classes for educators and their students.
Simply visit the National Geographic Education page, browse events and register for events you’re interested in.
Demme Learning. Demme Learning offers free math facts activity sheets and songs that can enhance a student’s ability to learn.
Simply print out the math fact sheets and songs that appeal to you. These sheets are meant to be used with the Math-U-See program but can be used independently of the program.
Teachers Pay Teachers. Teachers Pay Teachers has a lot of free resources for teachers. This is a great resource created by teachers for teachers.
In the Browser Catalog at the top, you will find you can search by subject, price, format and more. Simply select free under prices and then search by grade or subject.
Other Freebies for Teachers
PassItOn. PassItOn gives you free posters to hang in your classroom or around your school. Each request will grant you one set of posters per school or nonprofit.
Colgate Starter Kits. Colgate’s Head Start program offers starter dental health kits for teachers with students up through 1st grade.
Toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes for students are included, as well as brushing charts, posters and lesson planning tools for teachers.
These kits can be great for incorporating into your health lesson plans for your students.
PearlsOnly. PearlsOnly will send you 30 kits of 5 pearls each for free–all you have to do is pay for shipping.
These kits will help your students learn about oysters and about the pearl culturing process in a hands-on way.
The kits come with care cards, storage pouches and certificates of accomplishment for your students.
Kids Need to Read. Kids Need to Read is an organization that grants free books for schools that serve kids living under the national poverty level.
If at least 50% of your school’s students live below the national poverty level, your school and/or classroom can qualify to get free books shipped to it. Click on the link above for more information.
Another option for freebies for your students: Learn how to get free stickers that you can decorate your classroom with or share with students.
Being a teacher truly is a gift to students everywhere. Having resources to do their jobs is important.
Free things for teachers are available in abundance if you know where to look. Save some money and expand your students’ knowledge base by finding teacher freebies that fit your classroom.