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5 Mistakes I Made Setting Up My Classroom During Back-to-School Season

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Over my past 5 years of teaching I've made plenty of mistakes setting up my classroom, here's how you can avoid making them too.

Setting up a classroom can often feel overwhelming, especially for new teachers who are just starting their educational journey. As an experienced teacher, I’ve made plenty of mistakes in setting up my classroom. So today I am sharing all of the mistakes I have made setting up my classroom and how you can avoid them.

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Mistake #1: Focusing Only on Aesthetics

When I first started teaching, I was obsessed with making my classroom look perfect. I spent countless hours on Pinterest, Amazon, and at the Dollar Tree gathering all sorts of decorations. While having a themed room is great, the problem was I didn’t leave enough time to prepare for actual teaching. It’s essential to balance aesthetics with practical elements like classroom management, organization, and lesson planning.

Mistake #2: Buying Everything Before Seeing the Classroom

I made the mistake of buying all the supplies I thought I needed before even stepping foot in my new classroom. This led to duplicate resources and wasted money. Instead, take inventory of what your classroom already has before making any purchases. This will allow you to allocate funds to items you truly need.

Mistake #3: Not Planning the First Week in Advance

I assumed I would have plenty of time to plan during the week before school started, but that week was filled with meetings and training sessions. This left me scrambling to prepare at the last minute. Take some time over the summer to plan out your first week of school. This will give you a smoother start and more time to adjust to your new environment.

Mistake #4: Neglecting Classroom Management

I didn’t realize the importance of having a solid classroom management plan. I spent my first year giving too many warnings and trying out various strategies that weren’t aligned with my teaching style. Establish clear expectations and procedures from the beginning. Focus on building relationships and setting positive, consistent rules.

Mistake #5: Poor Communication with Parents

I only communicated with parents when necessary, which didn’t build a strong relationship. Consistent, positive communication is key. Send regular updates and reach out with positive news about their children. This builds a collaborative environment where parents feel engaged and supportive.

Bonus Tip: Organize Your Resources

Organizing your resources from the start can save you a lot of time and stress. Have designated areas for supplies, and keep your paper and digital resources well-organized. This way, you won’t waste time searching for materials, and you’ll avoid unnecessary duplicate purchases.

Bonus Tip: Consider Classroom Flow

Be mindful of how you set up different areas in your classroom. For example, placing a library or small group area near the lineup area can lead to disruptions. Think about how students will move through the space and adjust accordingly to minimize distractions.

Conclusion

That wraps up all of the mistakes I have made setting up my classroom. Setting up your classroom doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can create a functional, welcoming, and efficient learning environment. To help you even further, I’ve created a free Classroom Setup Guide that walks you through each step of the process. Additionally, check out my mini-course, Classroom Kickstart, designed to give you all the tools and strategies you need for a successful school year.

Download the Classroom Setup Guide and enroll in the Classroom Kickstart mini-course today to ensure you’re fully prepared and confident for the upcoming school year.

Remember:

Not sure what to ask at the end of your teacher interview?

Here we break down 10 questions to ask the hiring committee at the end of your teacher interview. PLUS possible red and green flag answers to keep an eye out for.

These teacher interview questions will help you confidently prepare for your upcoming teacher interview, discover the perfect district for you to work for, and know with confidence how to stand out during your next interview from other candidates.

See you in the next one, teacher bestie!

Love,

Helena

AKA

Not sure what to ask at the end of your teacher interview?

Here we break down 10 questions to ask the hiring committee at the end of your teacher interview. PLUS possible red and green flag answers to keep an eye out for.

These teacher interview questions will help you confidently prepare for your upcoming teacher interview, discover the perfect district for you to work for, and know with confidence how to stand out during your next interview from other candidates.