The new school year will be here before you know it. Are you excited? Or maybe you’re feeling a little anxious about the whole thing? We understand! It’s time to find your spark again.
back-to-school teacher checklist to make prep a little easier. Follow these steps to return to class and make the new school year sparkle. You’ll be ready when your students arrive at your door.
Organize teaching materials
Gather classroom materials to organize your desk. Have school supplies that are just for you and off-limits for your students. Make a plan for what to keep in each drawer that makes sense for ease of use.
Prepare student name tags. Elementary teachers will assign desks and cubbies with names. Secondary teachers may simply need to number desks or tables to coincide with seating charts.
Organize your files by use. Keep the files you’ll use for the first part of the year handy to grab them quickly.
Label or number everything! Textbooks, workbooks, art supplies, pencils, baskets, calculators– you name it! If students use it, label it. This makes it easier to keep track of your supplies.
Do a technology check. Are all of the devices working? Do you need any adapters or cords? Will you have enough for the expected number of students?
Set up a system for record-keeping and documentation. Even if your school uses an online grade book, you’ll still want to take notes about lessons and student behaviors throughout the school days.
Develop a substitute folder with everything someone needs to step in whenever you have to be out of the classroom.
Read through school and district policies and procedures. Ask questions if anything needs clarification, such as phone and social media policies or dress code.
Prepare before personal needs arise by double-checking your resources. Make a list of the contacts for absences, tech issues, copy needs, benefits and insurance, payroll, and certification.
Talk with the office staff, custodians, school resource officers, library staff, guidance counselors, and school nurses. Ask about procedures and processes in place for their roles within the school.
Design classroom space
Choose the location of your desk. You want a good view of the classroom and door while staying out of any traffic flow patterns.
Plan the seating arrangement. This will change once you get to know the kids, but you need something in place to start.
Arrange any extra furniture, such as bean bags for your reading nook or tables for small groups.
Organize your classroom library. Consider doing this alphabetically or by genre.
Set up learning centers with all supplies students will need for the tasks.
Establish a procedure and place for collecting homework and other papers.
Decorate and display
Decorate bulletin boards. Hang posters and anchor charts.
Display a calendar that shows upcoming events and birthdays.
Don’t forget the outside of your classroom. Make your door or even your hallway stand out to students.
Post it– all of it! Include daily routines, bell schedules, lunch menus, announcements, grading scales, and your homework policy. Put every little thing you want kids to know and remember on a poster somewhere in your room.
Create classroom jobs so that all kids can take responsibility within the room. Set up a system that shows who has what job as you rotate through the weeks.
Prepare for emergencies
Familiarize yourself with all emergency and evacuation procedures.
Post plans in visible spots, such as by the classroom door.
Gather tissues, band-aids, cleaning supplies, and other essentials. (Keep in mind that the custodial staff will need to clean any biohazards, such as blood.)
Make sure your class first aid kit is stocked and easy to grab when a student needs a bandage or in times of emergency. Know the policies for any health-related procedures.
Make emergency contact forms accessible to you but not readily available for others to view.
We have dedicated math back-to-school resources and downloadables for math and science teachers to help you easily get in the classroom and find your spark for teaching again. You’ve got this!
Don’t worry– you don’t have to remember every detail.
Download our back-to-school checklist!