What better Halloween costume for a teacher than one which promotes a love of books? I got really into the idea when I taught in a district that didn’t allow Halloween costumes and instead encouraged kids and teachers to dress as characters from children’s literature. We held a Book Character Parade around the school to show off our costumes and it was so much fun to see what all the kids wore!

15 easy book character costumes for teachers

I always had trouble figuring out a costume for myself that was simple to put together AND super comfortable, since I’d probably end up wearing it all day long. If you’re in the same situation and still have no idea what costume to wear next Friday, keep reading! Below are 15 clever, super easy (and super cheap!) Halloween costumes that will make you the star of your class.

15 book character Halloween costumes for teachers: Where's Waldo Halloween Costume


Where’s Waldo

I wouldn’t be surprised if most of you already have more than half of what’s needed for this costume. All you need is a red striped shirt, jeans, a beanie, black-rimmed glasses and you’re all set! You can also step up your game by throwing in some of Waldo’s iconic accessories as listed here.

15 book character Halloween costumes for teachers: Madeline Halloween Costume

Classy in the Classroom


Here’s another one you can pull off if you are pressed for time. However, if you don’t have a blue dress like Amy in the picture, you can consider the alternatives in this detailed how-to.

15 book character Halloween costumes for teachers: Mary Poppins Halloween Costume


Mary Poppins

It may seem difficult to recreate Mary Poppin’s era-specific look, but it’s not. Pull off this turn-of-the-century outfit by putting these key items together.

15 book character Halloween costumes for teachers: Professor Trelawney Halloween Costume


Professor Trelawney

Harry Potter fans will have no trouble recognizing you in this one. Especially if you don’t forget her signature to tea cup! Read how Lisa perfected the crazy-divination-teacher look last Halloween here.

15 book character Halloween costumes for teachers: Where the Wild Things Are Halloween Costume

Classic Noise

Max from Where The Wild Things Are

This is probably the most comfortable costume on this list. Now you have an excuse to wear pajamas to work, even if it’s just for a day. Soren of Classic Noise bought an adult-sized onesie (which she attached a fabric tail to) and made a paper crown. Alternatively, you can recreate the Max’s wolf onesie with a hoodie and sweatpants by following the instructions here.

15 book character Halloween costumes for teachers: A Grouchy Ladybug Halloween Costume

Once Upon a Classroom

Grouchy Ladybug

Be the grouchy ladybug–minus the attitude! I doubt there are any stores selling ladybug skirts for adults (if you do find one, let me know!) so you will have to make one yourself just like Amanda did using lots and lots of red tulle and some black felt.

15 book character Halloween costumes for teachers: Olivia the Pig Halloween Costume


Olivia the Pig

Tick off the items on this checklist here (striped shirt optional) and show up as an adorable Olivia the Pig.

15 book character Halloween costumes for teachers: White Rabbit Halloween Costume


White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland

Throw a red blazer on top of a yellow shirt, pin on a big bow, put your bunny ears on, and draw some whiskers. And to make sure that the kids won’t confuse you as just some fancy bunny, don’t forget your clock!

15 book character Halloween costumes for teachers: The Paper Bag Halloween Costume


Princess Elizabeth from the Paper Bag Princess

This feisty character from a beloved children’s book makes for one charming costume that is easy to make. This cosplayer pictured above wore this to a cosplay picnic and kids absolutely loved it. For the classroom–maybe try some leggings underneath. Learn how to make the paper bag dress and crown here.

15 book character Halloween costumes for teachers:  Pipi Longstocking Halloween Costume


Pipi Longstocking

If you intend on going as Pipi Longstocking, then it’s your hair that will really seal the deal. Copying Pipi’s clothes is easy enough, but you must learn how to get those characteristic braids. Luckily, they are not that hard to do, as this guide will show you.

15 book character Halloween costumes for teachers: Cat in a Hat Halloween Costume

Cat in the Hat

This one’s a classic. Watch this video tutorial that covers every aspect of the costume, from the hat to right down to the makeup. The most challenging part is making the hat. However, if you have no time and energy to make one, you can simply opt for cutout hat like the girl in the picture above is wearing.

15 book character Halloween costumes for teachers: Snow White Halloween Costume

Crafty Teacher Lady

Snow White

You can’t go wrong with choosing a fairytale character. If the idea of dressing as a princess in a long dress makes you worry about comfort, remember that they key element here are the colors. You can wear modern clothing and still get the classic look like Crafty Teacher Lady here.

15 book character Halloween costumes for teachers: Sam Sparks Halloween Costume


Sam Sparks from Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

You can dress either as Sam Sparks the weather reporter from Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 1 or Sam Sparks the baby strawberry savior from part 2. Though both costumes are easy to put together (as you can see on this guide), the latter is more fun and more recognizable to kids.

15 book character Halloween costumes for teachers: Camilla Cream Halloween Costume


Camilla Cream from A Bad Case of Stripes

This Camilla Cream costume is pretty popular on Pinterest and it’s easy to see why. It’s easy, colorful, fun, and unmistakable. Get the look by donning colorful striped sleeves and putting some face paint on.

15 book character Halloween costumes for teachers: Book Fairy Halloween Costume


Book Fairy

Instead of dressing up as a character FROM a book, why not become a character that creates, gives, or reads books? If you have an old dictionary or book that you don’t mind tearing up and if you are quite crafty with paper, then this costume will be worth the time. The Book Fairy (or a Dictionfairy, if you take the pages from a dictionary) is as clever as they come. Read the step-by-step instructions here.

Are you dressing up for Halloween this year? What’s your costume? We’d love to hear your ideas!


If you’re feeling completely discouraged right now and don’t know how you can possibly make it until June, that is completely NORMAL.

In October, the optimism that comes from having a fresh start at back to school has faded, the holiday breaks are still weeks away, and the rest of the school year looms ahead like an insurmountable obstacle.

Yes, the October Blues are a real thing. If you’re feeling completely discouraged right now and don’t know how you can possibly make it until June, that is completely NORMAL.

Check out this awesome 8 minute audio podcast (and transcript) featuring the fabulous (and hilarious) Roxanna Elden. It’s called How Teachers Can Avoid the October Blues. Or read Beating the October Blues: Better Learning With Better Behaviour.

Take it one day at a time, friends. Stay focused on the positive. Use your interactions with other teachers to talk about SOLUTIONS, rather than seeking out people to vent with you. You’ll feel a lot better if you spend your evenings celebrating the good stuff and looking for new ways to make the next day better instead of rehashing problems.

Know that almost everyone’s having a tough time right now. You are not alone. And it’s going to get better in the months to come.

Also, Halloween is on a Friday this year. So there’s that.

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How working memory games can improve kids’ executive function in 5 minutes a day

October 19, 2014
working memory games that improve kids

Are there kids in your class that struggle with multi-step directions and need frequent reminders about what to do? Or students who lose their place in texts, struggle to copy information and take notes, and forget what they were just taught? If so, there’s a strong possibility that the issue might be something that you […]

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Don’t discount your ideas: YOU have practices worth sharing

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Don’t discount your ideas: YOU have practices worth sharing!

My post on discovering the 2×10 strategy has gotten over 200,000 page views in the past week and 35,000 shares on Facebook and incredibly, is still going strong. Literally thousands of teachers were just as impressed as me by the simplicity of the idea. We all know we need to build relationships with kids, but we […]

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Overcoming the 3 biggest obstacles in relationship building with kids

October 12, 2014
How to make time for relationship building, establish a rapport with students who don't like you, and more

So the 2×10 “miraculous” behavior management strategy really resonated with a lot of teachers. It’s a simple method for making the nebulous goal of relationship building much more concrete and achievable—simply spend 2 minutes a day for 10 consecutive days talking with a challenging student about anything she or he would like. Though many people indicated […]

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Share how your school is innovating and win 200K in prizes

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Britten Follett

Britten Follett, Director of Social Media and Web Content at Follett School Solutions, is here today to share information about this year’s Follett Challenge. It’s a great opportunity to share the good stuff that’s happening in your school and reward teachers and students for their hard work! Follett is a longtime supporter of The Cornerstone […]

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The 2×10 strategy: a miraculous solution for behavior issues?

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This is as close as it gets to a miracle solution for students

In the eleven years that I’ve been writing on this site, I don’t think I’ve ever, ever used the term “miracle” in relation to behavior management. But lately I’ve been hearing a lot of teachers talk about a strategy that might be as close as it gets. If you have a student for whom no other solutions […]

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The top 4 excuses for not being a connected educator

October 2, 2014
If this article doesn

I’m not usually the type of person who tells other teachers what they MUST and MUST NOT do. This post is pushier than usual, because I’m more passionate about this topic than usual. Being a connected educator has transformed my teaching and added so much joy to my life that I want every discouraged and […]

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Unshakeable: Coming to 2 conferences this October

September 29, 2014
Hear the Unshakeable presentation at 2 conferences this October

Have you ever had a message that you felt compelled to share with the world? Something that you felt passionately that EVERYONE needs to know, a burst of insight and new understanding that changed your life and now you want it to change the lives of all the people around you? I’m sure it’s no surprise […]

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A fun FREE app for National Fire Prevention Month

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Free app Sparky and the Case of the Missing Smoke Alarms

October was always my favorite month when teaching PreK: a trip to the pumpkin patch, a walk in the neighborhood to collect leaves and other signs of fall, and of course, a visit from the local fire station to show off the fire truck. Though the kids were having fun checking out the truck and […]

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Need support? Join “Encouraging Teachers” on Facebook!

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Encouraging Teachers on Facebook: accepting new members until Oct. 8. Nearly 10,000 strong!

UPDATE OCTOBER 9th: Our fall enrollment period is now over. The group will re-open to new members for another two weeks in the spring. Want to be notified when the next enrollment period begins? Subscribe to the blog via RSS or email, or subscribe for occasional site updates and newsletters. Just over a year ago, I created the Encouraging […]

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A bright idea for building school morale through compliments

September 20, 2014
school morale

Most teachers don’t get nearly enough recognition and appreciation–so why not celebrate each other? Start by selecting the fastest and easiest method that faculty currently use to communicate with each other. If all staff members are required to access and use a social media account or learning management system(LMS), utilize that! Otherwise, a simple email […]

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My journey in educational publishing: how to write books for teachers

September 18, 2014
writing and publishing books for teachers: video plus more resources for anyone interested in education book publishing

If you have been thinking about writing a book for teachers but have no idea how to begin or break into educational publishing, I’d love to share my story with you. Dr. Will Deyamport III interviewed me about educational publishing for his podcast, The Dr. Will Show. In the video below, you’ll hear me speak about: How […]

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Secrets of a teacher who loves her job: make a difference for kids in poverty

September 15, 2014
secrets of teachers who love their jobs: make a difference for kids in poverty

Today’s post is the latest from our Secrets of Teachers Who Love Their Jobs post series. Caitlin is here to to share her teaching journey with us and how she stays excited to go into the classroom each day. Thank you, Caitlin! 1. Tell us about where/what you teach, and how many years you’ve been in the […]

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8 ways teachers can talk less and get kids talking more

September 11, 2014
the person doing The talking is the person doing the learning!

On Twitter, I recently shared an excellent article by Justin Tarte called 5 Questions Every Teacher Should Ask Him/Herself. The first reflection question Justin recommends is: Who is doing a majority of the talking in your classroom? It’s the person who is doing the majority of the talking that tends to do the most learning, so what […]

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Win grants/scholarships with a free financial literacy game

September 8, 2014
Register your students in grades 9-12 for this free online financial literacy game to teach real life budgeting. Top scorers will win $3 million in classroom grants and student scholarships!

Disclosure: H&R Block has been a longtime supporter of The Cornerstone through their financial literacy initiatives. They have compensated me for helping them spread the word about these free resources for teachers and kids. The H&R Block Challenge is a completely FREE teen financial literacy program in the form of an online game. Through this game’s […]

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It’s September. Don’t worry, teaching gets better.

September 4, 2014
(Blog post) The best parts of teaching are yet to come! Don’t judge the entire school year by your first few weeks

If you absolutely hate the first few days (or even weeks) of school, you’re in good company. I was discussing this with some friends yesterday and we all agreed that the start of a new school year is the least rewarding time to be a teacher. You don’t know your kids yet, and they don’t […]

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A simpler way to teach writing: the one trait rubric

September 1, 2014
the one trait rubric system for teaching and grading writing

I used to spend hours grading students essays and felt extremely frustrated by the subjectiveness of my system. It was very difficult to think about all six traits of effective writing–ideas/content, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions–at one time while grading. I’d often get sidetracked by mistakes in one area, such as spelling or […]

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When parents want to move their child to another classroom

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dealing with parents who want to transfer their child to another teacher's room

Having a parent ask to move a child to a different classroom can be a huge blow to a teacher’s confidence. And it’s an issue that nearly every educator will face at some point–if not at multiple points–in their career. Sometime parents don’t like the fact that you are forcing them to address issues they’ve tried to […]

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Intentionally blurring the lines between life and work

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your work is part of your life

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the separation between our personal and professional lives. The line for me is getting increasingly fuzzy each year, with my professional work spilling over and mixing into my “free time” more and more….and I like that. Teaching, blogging, speaking, consulting, and writing are not just my job. They’re […]

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