Calling all middle school ELA teachers who are overwhelmed, overworked...or just over it!
What's the BIGGEST difference between ELA teachers who show up to class every Monday feeling like they've got this...
...and those who are dreading the start
of the week (hello, Sunday Scaries)?
If you guessed that they magically operate on 28-hours days you'd be wrong.
If you guessed that they somehow stumbled onto a secret Pinterest board that has all of the "good" worksheets, you'd be wrong.
And if you guessed...
...that they somehow got a full set of lesson plans and some jam-packed file cabinets from their predecessor...
...or that they're just the sort of people who wouldn't be stressed out by a herd of stampeding elephant students...
You'd still be missing the mark.
Here’s what’s really up.
It’s totally possible to reach your breaking point, even
if (maybe especially if) you’re a great teacher.
Chances are pretty good that you became an ELA teacher because you’re passionate about connecting with your students and watching them grow.
But the warm, fuzzy feelings tend to evaporate when you’re sitting at home for the fifth consecutive Sunday, staring down a pile of ungraded persuasive essays on Tuck Everlasting.
Monday is looming...and you don’t have a lesson planned, either...
...so you’re frantically looking for ideas on TPT and Pinterest, hoping to find something that’s fun and rigorous and addresses at least one or two state standards and will take up the full 50-minute class period.
(Oh, and can it also teach grammar? Pretty please?)
Meanwhile, you’re sitting out another family event. Today it’s a baseball game, but next week it might be a picnic with good friends.
And if you’re being honest, weekdays are no better...
You manage to duct-tape things together for a few hours to help your own kids with their homework, but the second that 8 PM rolls around, you’re back to plugging numbers into the ol’ online gradebook.
Isn’t It Time You Started Feeling Good About Teaching Again?
Most of us want the same things from teaching:
🍎 We want to roll into the classroom on a Monday morning full of energy (because we had a relaxing Sunday at the park, instead of spending six hours down the Pinterest rabbit hole).
🍎 We want our students to have fun—the kind of fun that has them raving about our class at the dinner table each night.
🍎 But we also want them to improve their writing skills so that they leave our classroom fully prepared for whatever the next school year holds.
🍎 We want to feel confident and excited about everything we have to cover—even when it’s time to do That Novel (the one we secretly can’t stand) or dig deep into parts of speech.
🍎 We want to be able to move beyond the tedious routine of planning and grading into truly improving our craft as teachers.
🍎 And let’s be honest: we wouldn’t mind if our principal stopped us in the hallway to let us know that we’ve been knocking it out of the park lately.
4 Things You Need to Understand if You Want to Take Back Control of Your ELA Teaching Career
It IS possible for ELA teachers to achieve work-life balance.
We know. It takes hours to plan lessons that incorporate all of the topics you need to teach...and if you’re honest with yourself, part of the reason is that you’re picky about making sure that the resources that you use are rigorous.
And lesson planning is only half the battle.
Grading means providing actionable feedback on stacks of 3-page essays...not running Scantrons through a machine.
But...hard as it may be to believe…
It doesn’t have to be that way.
With the right techniques—and resources—at your fingertips, you can win back those nights and weekends.
Lessons can be challenging and engaging.
Not every fun activity you find online is tough enough to challenge your students.
On the flip side, students can get easily frustrated by being asked to do challenging work that doesn’t actually speak to them.
But if your resources can do 3 things:
- Incorporate the standards that your kids need to meet
- Focus on topics that they’re going to enjoy learning about
- Teach writing, literary analysis, and more through cutting-edge strategies that are fun to put into practice
...then you’re going to see that outcomes can improve while students are having a blast.
You can find the time to teach everything you need...if you structure your lessons right.
One of the biggest challenges ELA teachers face is that we have ONE class period to teach grammar, writing, vocabulary, reading comprehension, literary analysis…
When you start thinking about it, it can make you question if you really are hitting all the standards.
(Especially if all you were given to start with was a printed PDF of those standards and a couple boxes full of novels that you need to teach.)
You can’t control every aspect of teaching...but you can be more strategic about your approach.
There are always going to be wild cards (wait, why are we even telling you that when you’ve survived all the challenges 2020 threw at you??) but you can set yourself up to handle them easily.
What you can’t do is fend off all of these challenges while trying to lesson plan, grade, and manage a classroom on a day-by-day or hour-by-hour basis.
Otherwise, your work life starts to look a bit like this:
If you think that you can keep doing things by the seat of your pants, we need to talk.
Chances are you know deep down that it’s not working...you just aren’t sure what to do differently.
That’s why we developed The EB Teachers’ Club.
We know from experience that you’re facing near-endless demands on your time, your energy, and your expertise.
As far as resources go, you’re often starting with empty file cabinets (and minimal guidance).
And the challenges of 2020-2021 mean that your students may not have achieved the same outcomes they would have in a traditional classroom.
Let’s pause here to celebrate the fact that you and your students got through the year. 🎉
Now it’s even more important to be ready to face the coming school year head-on.
Inside The EB Teachers’ Club, we’ll show you how to:
- Teach writing using a clear progression and a “recipe” that helps kids see critical patterns
- Strike the perfect balance between rigor and engagement (say “so long!” to boring seat work)
- Understand what to focus on and how to present it to students in an accessible way
- Make your own effective lessons when you need to adjust for your grade level or your curriculum
- Lesson plan so that you can get back your nights and weekends
- See the big picture so that schedule changes no longer cause you to panic
In other words: you’ve heard the saying that you can’t pour from an empty cup.
Consider us the ones in charge of refills.SIGN ME UP!
We’re Caitlin and Jessica.
And this all started when we were both teaching ELA across the hall from one another at a school in L.A.
One summer, we launched an ELA camp to help students get ahead for the summer, using the frameworks we’d developed for our own classrooms. It was a runaway success, and we realized that we wanted to share what we’d discovered with other teachers.
Because frameworks didn’t just make us better teachers...
They also simplified our planning and grading processes, so we had time to do the other things in life. Like read bedtime stories to our kids, squeeze in a long run, or just sit back on the sofa with a new episode of Grey’s and a glass of Pinot Grigio.
Caitlin says: Jessica is the queen of batch planning—and the brilliant creative mind that makes sure both students and teachers have a blast with our activities. (Those escape rooms? All her.)
Jessica says: Caitlin always has big, HUGE ideas—and the organizational skills to pull them off. She’s also the one who’s going to remind you that, when you’re having a bad day, you need to put on your own oxygen mask first.
"I joined the Teacher’s Club and I started using some of the materials. There's so much support there, it blew me away. The first time I used something, it was a Halloween description, a descriptive writing activity."
What they gave me from beginning to end, including peer editing and justification, made me feel like I had everything that I needed.
I've never bought anything before where I felt like I had the whole deal. Like I had to try to figure things out or piece things together. It wasn't like that. It was the easiest thing I ever did.
And like all my lesson plans were done for that week, and I wasn't stressed. And I thought to myself, this is pretty cool.
So the next thing I tried was a three-week unit. All of a sudden, I have three weeks with my lesson plans done. They give you a scope and sequence, and they tell you exactly what to do. The kids love the story.
I had three weekends where I didn't have to do any lesson planning.
Leslie Snyder, 6th Grade ELA Teacher, 26 years teaching
"We didn’t have a comprehensive ELA program that I felt comfortable using with multi-grade classes. It was so much work piecing things together and hoping to cover all my learning outcomes."
I have a math/science background and found planning ELA a real challenge with very little support. These plans and materials are a game-changer! There is a definite sequential plan to this program that leads students to be more thoughtful about their writing.
I love that everything is so well thought out. I love that the material is engaging for students and delivers on programming. I love that this will give me back some of my weekends!”
Anastasia Huculiak, grades 4-7, 5+ years teaching
"This whole batch planning idea...I don't know why I was not taught this in my master's program, because hello, it's so important. "
At the Christmas break, I planned out the whole rest of the year...I did have some fine-tuning I had to do over spring break this week. But overall, I'll pick up my planner and I have it all written out: here's what I'm going to do.
I've been trying to help [my colleague] with this because every day she's going home and spending three or four hours prepping her next day's lesson. And I'm like, “you can't live this way.” She's like, “I'm so tired. I feel like a first-year teacher all over again.” And I said...you don't have to be this exhausted.
I'm ready for the next day. I'm not panicked about teaching in a couple of hours, because I know what I'm doing, I have it ready to go..Having taught two years with EB to now, the time I've gotten back to be a better wife and mother is huge. I get to sit down and enjoy dinner with my family not thinking, Oh, I have all this to do.
Ursula Fagerstrom, grades 9 and 10, 6 years teaching
The EB Teachers’ Club is a membership for ELA teachers who are ready to streamline their planning process—while hitting all of their standards (and having fun along the way).I WANT IN!
We’ve developed this community for ELA teachers who are determined to make sure that the next school year is DIFFERENT.
- Teachers who feel like the pandemic has magnified what was missing from their instruction and planning
- Teachers who still aren’t sure how to teach their kids what they need to know and do when it comes to writing, no matter how many articles they read
- Teachers who don’t feel confident addressing all of the required standards
- Teachers who are secretly bored by their own lessons (and if you’re checking the clock, imagine how the kids are feeling)
- Teachers who love the profession but are so weighed down by stress that they’re starting to doubt whether they can keep teaching at all
- Teachers who want to stop falling down the rabbit hole trying to find “amazing” lessons every night
The good news?
Everything in the EB Teachers’ Club is designed to work together. All of our resources use the same strategic framework designed for rigor, engagement, and outcomes.
Not only that, but through a technique we call “spiraling,” we periodically circle back to topics we’ve already covered, so that students never forget what they’ve learned.
What’s more, you have access to a group of funny, kind, and KNOWLEDGEABLE teachers who are using the same tools and systems in their classrooms.
Got a weirdly specific question about your state standards? Chances are high that someone in the Club has been there too and can give you the advice you need.
And one more thing: we like to have fun. No more dry-as-unbuttered-toast grammar exercises or one-pagers.
We know that keeping students engaged isn’t a “nice to have.” It’s a requirement.
"This is my first year teaching 7-8 ELA; I previously taught 5.
At the beginning of the year, my 8th graders were testing at 35% proficiency. Last week they took the same test and tested at 80%!!
I’ve been combining the lessons from EB Teachers’ Club with my HM Collections curriculum. My students have loved all of the activities we’ve done so far. They are looking forward to the descriptive writing unit for Halloween we will be doing in a couple weeks.
The professional development opportunities are incredible. I feel like I’ve grown so much as a teacher! Worth the investment. At the end of the day, you’re investing in yourself as a professional and in your students’ learning 💕 THANK YOU!”
Lindsay Jo, 7th and 8th grade
In the EB Teacher’s Club, you’ll get:
Many teachers fall into the trap of being REACTIVE when it comes to planning and instruction.
In other words: late on a Sunday night, you remember that you need to teach pronouns, so you hop onto that resource site and buy a worksheet that the kids can do in class. As in tomorrow at 8:47 AM.
We’ve created these trainings to break that buy, teach, throw away cycle and help ELA teachers become PROACTIVE in terms of how they approach writing as well as how they plan for the weeks and months to come.
The centerpiece is our unique framework, The EB Lesson Planning Approach. Inside, you’ll get start to finish training that covers:
- Your Scope and Sequence
- The Day-to-Day of Lesson Planning
- Crafting Into, Through, and Beyond Lessons
- Batch Planning Basics
This is the heart of everything you do in EB Teachers’ Club—we’ll teach you exactly how to think through the school year, from your overarching goals to the no-stress planning technique that’s going to change. Your. Life. As in: leave your laptop in your classroom, ‘cause you’re done for the day at 4 P.M. It’s that good.
→ Extensive video training on a variety of writing types across standards
→ Workshops on planning and sequencing lessons
→ Plus training that shows you step-by-step how to use EB resources in your classroom
"Caitlin, Jessica, and everyone in the EB Academics team, thank you much for creating such wonderful, rigorous, and engaging resources!
Today in class, we had Day 1 of the Mock Trial for The Monkey's Paw (I'm trying to stretch it out to two days!). My Principal, Assistant Principal, and Curriculum Coordinator all came in at different classes throughout the day to observe my class (I was so hyped up for this Mock Trial that I told everyone about it, including our SRO, lol. He asked about the story and expressed his argument about the Essential Question, it was great!).
My admin has sent me a message and talked to me in person about how excellent the classes were, how engaged the students were, and how they're so proud of "the teacher I have become."”
The kids shone ever so brightly today and just captured everyone's hearts! We are calling for witnesses to take the stand tomorrow for the Mock Trial Day 2. I let the kids talk to each other to prepare for a response or rebuttal since this is their first Mock Trial ever. I am so pumped for tomorrow!!!
I cannot say thank you enough to EB! This is a massive testimony that Batch Planning and EB works wonders in the classroom. I have got this Trial planned out since February, and it was beautiful to see it really play out today!"
Frauline Fuertes Walker, 5th and 6th grade
The first day of each month is the new bundle day! (We get to feel a bit like Oprah—YOU get a bundle, and YOU get a bundle, and YOU get a bundle!)
We craft each bundle by pairing a vital ELA topic—based on Common Core standards—with a fun theme. The activities within a bundle can be used to cover multiple days of instruction.
Each month, you’ll also receive a credit that allows you to download two resources in our existing library.
- Want holiday-themed writing prompts? We’ve got you. (Kids are obsessed with the gingerbread house unit.)
- Teaching The Outsiders? There’s a complete novel unit with everything from a scavenger hunt to a final assessment.
- Looking for a quick, engaging warm-up that will address Common Core standards (and isn’t as dry as a slice of two-day-old birthday cake)? Let’s talk bell ringers.
Need more? As a Teachers’ Club member, you get an additional 30% discount on all resources within our library.
And because we know you can’t get enough grammar, we’ve also included our Grammar Corner, full of engaging games with practical grammar instruction baked right in.
Community of teachers who support each other
The best part of the Teachers’ Club? Hanging out with other middle school ELA teachers in our private Facebook group.
Downloaded a resource and need tips on modifying it for students below grade level? Looking for a novel that will keep your kids interested—and challenged? Having trouble with getting a file to load in Canvas?
This is your one-stop shop for all of the questions only another teacher can answer.
Group coaching and Q&A from the founders
We’re also going to be popping by for monthly group coaching sessions—jot your questions down in your Notes app (or a 3x5 card—whatever’s handy) and then send them our way.
— BONUSES —
How to Teach Narrative Writing
This is our signature course, based on everything we’ve learned about teaching narrative writing over the past 10 years.
You’ll get bite-size lessons packed with advice on how to approach narrative writing for students in grades 5-8. You get access to all four grade levels for ease of differentiation, plus a list of children’s books we recommend as mentor texts. (Ever felt like you missed out on teaching Owl Moon because you work with middle schoolers? Now’s your chance.)
We provide a 3-week (15-day) scope and sequence for the unit, complete with handouts, student activities, and even peer editing stations. Then we walk you step-by-step through the process, from hanging posters on prep day to setting up a celebratory publishing party, and every lesson in between!
Beyond the Bundle
We know you’re always looking for easy ways to implement differentiation in your classroom.
Beyond the Bundle is a step-by-step guide to how to adapt our monthly bundles to make them easier—or more challenging—depending on your student needs.
Quarterly Expert Workshops
Each quarter, we’re bringing in rockstar educators to deliver live workshops on specific topics related to middle school ELA.
Here’s a sneak preview of what’s first up on the calendar:
- July 21st: Monica Genta on “The Rooted Classroom: 3 Ideas to Engage in SEL”
- October 20th: Jenna Copper on “Literary Lenses in the ELA Classroom”
If you join for the full year, you’ll receive three of our favorite bundles:
✏️ Literary Analysis Escape Room Bundle
Each lesson in this bundle has students thinking critically about a text while doing fun activities. The highlight? An escape room game themed around an abandoned house (5th and 6th grades) or a prom planning session gone awry (7th and 8th grades).
✏️ Book Tasting Bundle
Transform your classroom into an old-fashioned ice cream parlor or food truck rally (actual treats optional...but recommended!) where students get to sample a variety of books they’d like to read before sharing their choice with classmates.
✏️ Grammar Fair Bundle
Step right up and get your tickets! It’s time for the annual Grammar Fair. Students will rotate through a variety of activities inspired by the midway, including a can toss, a basketball shoot, and even a pie-eating contest. Each game tests a key grammar skill for their grade level.
The EB Guarantee
We want you to feel comfortable about joining the EB Teachers’ Club (and let’s get real for a sec: we know that a lot of you are paying for this out of your own pocket.)
So here’s our promise to you: once you join the Teachers’ Club, you have 48 hours to watch as many videos as you want, check out lessons, and pay a visit to our Facebook group.
If you take a good look around and don’t think that it’s gonna work for you, no problem!
We’ll refund your money within 48 hours—no questions asked.
“Students are getting high quality work and a teacher more ready to focus and be full of energy because I didn’t spend the entire Sunday prior creating and planning all day. This helps me be a better teacher!
My personal life is so much better balanced and I’m not feeling guilty for ignoring my family and own kids any longer.”
Alicia Piascik, 6th grade, 10 years teaching
Questions other outcome-focused ELA teachers asked before they joined the EB Teachers’ Club
Are the resources really that easy to unpack and use in class? (In other words: will this help or will it just be another “thing”?)
Is this going to be rigorous enough?
Okay. But will my kids actually have fun? Because a lot of stuff I’ve tried is “fun-adjacent,” at best.
How do I make your lessons work with my district’s curriculum?
Not all of my students are reading or writing at grade level. Will the material in the EB Teachers’ Club still work for me?
Still Not Sure If the EB Teachers’ Club Is for You?
You’ll get the most out of The Teachers’ Club if…
- You’re starting over on some level and want to get it right—on the first try. New school? New grade level? New subject area? The materials inside The Teachers’ Club will help make your transition a breeze.
- You’ve been teaching ELA for a while but you’re about to hit your limit. Spending six hours every Saturday planning for the next week? Perpetually sleep-deprived? Strained home life? It happens to the best of us. We want you to get back on track—without having to quit the profession that you’re passionate about.
- You KNOW you’ll benefit from more engaging lessons. Just like getting a new pair of shoes, introducing new lessons keeps teaching fresh and fun.
- You’re willing to invest a few hours up front to save lots more hours in the future. We’ll be totally honest: the best way to benefit from The EB Teachers’ Club is to sit down and watch the videos right away so that you can start planning using our methods. That’s where transformational change happens (and it’s also why we’re opening our doors NOW, so that you can do the work while school’s out for the summer).
- You’re capital-d Done with scouring the internet for resources. A) It’s one of the biggest time sucks out there. B) Individual resources work fine to keep your classroom afloat for a single day, but they don’t work together. C) Buying one-off resources adds up...fast.
- You feel like you could do a better job teaching reading or writing systematically. Maybe your curriculum provides questions that students are supposed to answer in writing, but there’s no breakdown on how to do so. Your kids were frustrated with the “here, go!” and so are you. You know you need something far more scaffolded to make this work.
- You want each one of your students to leave your classroom a better writer than when they started. That’s really what this is all about—making sure the kids are learning valuable skills...without killing the fun and creativity that writing holds.
If you’re nodding along with at least 4 of the 7 points above...then you owe it to yourself to give The EB Teachers' Club a spin.
By now, you know that the difference between ELA teachers who are struggling to stay motivated and those who are I-just-drank-six-cups-of-coffee chipper is…
A rock-solid system that takes the guesswork out of lesson planning—and teaching reading and writing in a way that meets your state standards.
So we’re going to give you a bit of a pep talk—they’re kind of our thing.
If you want to take back your weekends (and your weeknights, too)...
If you want your students to show up to your classroom pumped about what the day holds...and gushing about your class to their parents on the car ride home…
If you want kids to walk away with writing skills that will follow them for the rest of their lives...
If you want to make sure you’re covering all of those standards in the limited time that you have…
If you want to feel confident that you’re providing a rich AND enjoyable learning experience....then you need The EB Teachers’ Club.
If you’re ready, we’re excited to hang out with you inside the club and make the 2021-2022 school year your best one yet.