Skip main navigation

Top back-to-school courses for teachers to upskill

Whether you want to fine-tune your teaching skills or broaden your knowledge of inclusive teaching, we have online teaching courses for you.

Teacher stands at a classroom whiteboard and points towards a student, smiling

Are you a teacher getting ready for the new school year? Perhaps you’re new to teaching and looking to gain more skills and knowledge in the run-up to back to school? 

We have put together a list of ten amazing teaching courses that will help you get ready for September. These quick courses are perfect for both new and experienced teachers, covering a wide range of teaching skills and topics.

So, whether you want to fine-tune your classroom management skills or broaden your knowledge of the latest teaching subjects, we have a course for you.

Preparing for back to school

Getting ready for the new school year can be a hectic time for teachers. From organising lessons and stocking up on supplies, to getting your classroom ready, there’s a lot to do. As you get ready for the new school year, it’s important to brush up on your own teaching skills. 

As a teacher, it’s important to keep learning and growing, and there are always new strategies and approaches to try out — and new subjects to keep up with. A few quick courses can get you up to speed on the latest education trends and give you some great new ideas for your teaching before you go back to school this year.

Lesson planning

One of the most important things you can do as a teacher is to plan your lessons effectively. A good lesson plan will help you organise your thoughts, focus on important points, and ensure that your students are engaged and learning. 

There are plenty of resources available to help you plan lessons, but taking a course specifically on lesson planning can be a great way to ensure that you’re covering all the bases. It will give you the skills and knowledge you need to create effective, engaging lessons that help your students learn.

Developing skills for teaching

In order to be an effective teacher, you need more than just a good lesson plan. Some areas that you may want to consider developing as a teacher include:

  • Inclusivity: making sure that all students feel welcome and included in your classroom
  • Classroom management: keeping your classroom organised and disciplined
  • Differentiated instruction: tailoring your teaching to meet the needs of each individual student
  • Technology in the classroom: using technology to support and enhance learning
  • Sustainability: incorporating sustainability into your curriculum to help protect our planet

These are just a few of the many skills that you can develop as a teacher. While you may have some of these teaching skills already, there’s always room for improvement.

Top 10 online teaching courses to prepare for September

Taking a course or two on teaching skills can help you brush up on the latest approaches and make sure that you’re providing your students with the best education possible. Ready to make this school year the best one yet?

1. Teaching Climate Change by STEM Learning

Climate change is an urgent matter in today’s society and increasingly important for children to learn about early, in order to secure a better future. It is no surprise that teachers are looking for resources to help them cover it in the classroom. This course is perfect for science teachers who want to help their students understand the causes and effects of climate change. 

It covers the science behind climate change, how it is taught in the classroom, and ways to mitigate its effects. You will also find out about some great climate science projects that your students can get involved in, such as ESA Climate Detectives.

2. Teaching English: How to Plan a Great Lesson by the British Council

This course is perfect for teachers who want to brush up on their English teaching skills. You will learn about the essentials of lesson planning, how to manage resources, and how to engage learners. 

You’ll find out all about the latest approaches to teaching English, such as using technology in the classroom, alongside pair and group work. To learn more about planning an English lesson, watch this video covering how to make your lessons great.

3. Teaching Digital Skills for Sustainable Education by The Mind Lab

The Mind Lab’s course is perfect for teachers who want to help their students develop digital skills. The course covers digital curricula, fluency and skills across the curriculum. It’s designed to help teachers be innovative in their teaching, use technology more effectively in their classrooms and collaborate with other teachers. 

You will also learn more about sustainable teaching and learning. This is a future-focused approach to education that takes into account the evolving needs of learners in this digital world. Why not also watch this video to help you think about how to plan your students’ core skills development in the longer term?

4. Getting Started with Teaching Data Science in Schools by the University of Glasgow

Data science is a rapidly growing field that is revolutionising the way we live and work. By teaching children the basics of data science, we can empower them to make better decisions in their everyday lives. 

With a better understanding of how data is collected and analysed, you can teach children how to critically evaluate the information they are presented with. You can also teach them how to use data to solve problems and make predictions. 

In a world that is increasingly driven by data, these skills will be essential. By giving children the foundation they need to succeed in data science, we can set them up for success in school and in their future careers.

5. Exploring Gender Equality in Education by the British Council

Every person deserves to receive a quality education regardless of their gender identity. This is because education is a fundamental human right that should not be denied to anyone. All students should also be able to experience acceptance and inclusivity at school, resulting in a safe and supportive learning environment for everyone. 

With this course, you will learn about the history of gender inequality in education and consider the ways that it manifests itself today. You’ll delve into the causes and effects of gender inequality and think about how we can challenge gender stereotypes in the classroom. Completing this course will give you the skills and strategies to make your school more inclusive.

6. Google For Education: Staying Organised and Improving Communication by Tablet Academy

It’s no secret that technology is revolutionising the classroom and the way teachers stay organised. Google apps are very much at the forefront of this, helping teachers stay on top of things with Google Calendar, Drive, Keep and Task. 

Other apps like Google Groups and Gmail are also there to help improve communication with your students, parents and fellow teachers. This course is suitable for both new and experienced users of Google tools, as you may learn more tips and tricks when incorporating them into your teaching.

7. Introduction to Cybersecurity for Teachers by Raspberry Pi and Teach Computing

Cybersecurity is essential in the classroom as it helps to protect students’ online identities and keep their personal information safe. As more and more of the curriculum is taught online, it’s important that teachers are aware of the risks and how to mitigate them.  

This course by Raspberry Pi and Teach Computing will cover the basics of cybersecurity, including how to protect your devices and data from threats. You will also learn about online safety and how to teach your students about the different types of online threats and safety strategies. 

This includes being aware of types of cyber attacks, such as malware, SQL injections, malicious bots and more; as well as using tools that can be used to protect data, such as strong passwords and CAPTCHAs.

8. Teaching Climate and Sustainability in Primary Schools: An Outdoor Learning Approach by the University of Reading

This course is a great match for teachers who want to teach climate change and sustainability in primary schools using an outdoor learning approach. It is also suitable for teachers who want to learn more about the topics of climate and sustainability, which is an important topic to raise with younger generations to help the fight against climate change. 

As Professor Helen Bilton, our course educator from the University of Reading highlights, “Outdoor activities that require observations over time also help children to understand the importance of collecting data to build our understanding of how the world is changing. These immersive, long-term experiences are also extremely effective in terms of helping to make the learning ‘stick.” 

So, adopting an outdoor approach can greatly improve the learning experience and outcome for your pupils. Learn even more about why this course could change your approach to outdoor learning in our guest post on teaching sustainability and climate change for kids by Professor Helen Bilton.

9. Inclusive Education: Understanding Special Educational Needs by The Open University

All children have a right to an education, regardless of their abilities. Inclusive education is about making sure that all students feel welcome in the classroom and have the opportunity to reach their full potential. For teachers, this means having an understanding of special educational needs and how to best support all students in their learning. 

While it may take some extra time and effort to create an inclusive classroom, the rewards are more than worth it. When all students feel valued and supported, they are more likely to engage with the material and make progress in their learning.

This course will introduce you to a range of special educational needs, and it will also explore how to support children with SEND in your classroom — from communicating and collaborating with parents to differentiated teaching and assessment. 

By the end of this course, you will have the skills and knowledge to create a more inclusive environment in your classroom that meets the needs of all children.

10. Teaching Students Who Have Suffered Complex Trauma by QUT

Teaching students who have suffered from complex trauma can be challenging, but a necessary and important part of supporting children in school. This microcredential by the Queensland University of Technology offers you the chance to make a difference in the lives of students who have been through trauma. 

You will explore theories behind behaviours displayed by students who have suffered complex trauma, as well as the impact that it can have on those who support them. 

Additionally, you will learn about a range of trauma-aware strategies that can be used to support these students, including crisis management, mindfulness techniques, and a whole school approach.

Final thoughts

These are just a few of the many great courses that are available for teachers who want to upskill their knowledge base. Whether you’re looking for courses on classroom management, pedagogy, or inclusivity, there’s sure to be a course that’s perfect for you. 

You’ll learn different strategies for effective learning and how to engage with your students in new and exciting ways. Get ready for September now!

FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education

Related stories on FutureLearn