New Teacher Checklist: Your Plan for the First Day of School

first day of school first day of school
  • Decorate Your Classroom 

  • You want to create a friendly, inviting space for your students, and colorful bulletin boards, signs, and name tags can help them feel comfortable and ready to learn. Some great ideas include adding potted plants to your space and putting up pictures to brighten up the room. 

  • Choose a Creative Way to Introduce Yourself to the Class 

  • To help your students get to know you, you may want to write a short biography and post it near your desk. Another idea is to write your name on the chalkboard or whiteboard and create a simple collage of things you like to do. You can also include yourself in any icebreakers you assign to the class on the first day.

  • Write and Practice Lesson Plans for the First Week  

  • It’s always better to be overprepared, so create detailed lesson plans for the first week of school. You may even want to create extra lesson plans to have on hand as you learn your classroom’s pace and learning speed, according to TeachHUB.

  • Gather and Organize Your Teaching Supplies 

  • Make sure you have everything you need for your classroom before the first day. It’s a good idea to ask other teachers or administrators what materials are provided. Then you can create a list of the things you still need, like folders, staples, dry erase markers, and other items. 

  • Decide on Classroom Rules and Consequences 

  • It’s important to have a solid set of rules from the start of the year so that students know what is acceptable behavior. A list of rules posted on your bulletin board or elsewhere in the classroom makes your expectations clear. Another good idea is to provide a take-home rule sheet for parents to sign. 

  • Get Used to Classroom Technology 

  • Find out what your new classroom has in terms of technology, whether it’s a smartboard, tablets, or desktop computers. Then, you can learn best practices and simple hacks to help students learn how to use them. It’s also a good idea to create a class webpage or social media account where students and parents can find important information such as homework assignments and your contact information.

  • Arrange Your Classroom

  • You can choose to arrange desks in rows, clusters, or other formations depending on your teaching style. You may want to stick with traditional desk arrangements until you know your students (and their behavior) better. The first seating plan you come up with will probably be temporary, so be open to changing it later.  

  • Create Classroom Systems and Procedures

  • For a well-managed classroom, it’s important to have clear systems in place for using the restroom, turning in homework, and more. You can also set up communication channels with parents so that they know how best to reach you, and vice versa.  

  • Prepare an Icebreaker Activity 

  • Icebreakers are a great way to help students feel comfortable in their new classroom. Any fun activity that requires students to get to know one another (and you!) is ideal. The best part is that icebreakers are easy to implement and can take up as much or as little time as you like.  

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