Congratulations on starting your first year as a teacher! As you prepare for the school year ahead, it’s important to have a checklist to ensure you have everything you need for a successful classroom. From classroom supplies to lesson planning, this ultimate first year teacher classroom checklist will help you stay organized and prepared.
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Set up your classroom layout.
One of the first items of the first year teacher classroom checklist is to set up your classroom layout.
Before the school year begins, it’s important to plan out your classroom layout. In fact, I would argue that before you even start picking out a theme or purchase ANYTHING, figure out the flow of your classroom to minimize the chance of making unnecessary purchases.
Consider the flow of traffic, the placement of desks and tables, and the location of important items such as the whiteboard and storage areas. Some areas you may want to consider are:
- Whole Group Area
- Classroom Library
- Line Up Area
- Independent Work Area
- Small Group Area
- Student Resource Area
Make sure to leave enough space for students to move around and for you to move freely around the classroom. Once you have a plan in place, start setting up your classroom and arranging furniture accordingly. After you take inventory of what you already have and the flow of your classroom, it’s a good idea to stock up on essential items.
Which brings me to my next point…
Stock up on essential supplies.
Another important item on the First Year teacher classroom checklist is to stock up on essential supplies. As a first year teacher, it’s important to have all the necessary supplies to ensure a successful school year.
After you take inventory on what your classroom already has (some classrooms have supplies already in them) or what your district will provide, it’s important to stock up on all the essential day to day supplies you will be using. Make sure to stock up on essentials such as pencils, pens, markers, paper, notebooks, folders, and binders.
You may also want to consider purchasing classroom decorations, bulletin board materials, and organizational tools such as bins and trays. Don’t forget to also have a first aid kit and cleaning supplies on hand for any unexpected situations. By having all the necessary supplies, you’ll be able to focus on teaching and creating a positive learning environment for your students.
Create a classroom management plan.
Arguably the number one thing you want to do on the ultimate first year teacher classroom checklist is to figure out your classroom management plan.
One of the most important things you can do as a first year teacher is to create a classroom management plan. This plan should outline your expectations for behavior, consequences for misbehavior, and rewards for positive behavior. It’s important to communicate this plan to your students and their parents at the beginning of the school year.
By having a clear and consistent management plan, you’ll be able to create a positive and productive learning environment for your students. Which is why it’s number three on the Ultimate First Year Teacher Classroom Checklist.
Plan your curriculum and lesson plans.
One of the next steps on the First Year Teacher Classroom Checklist is to plan out your curriculum and lesson plans.
As a first year teacher, it’s important to have a clear plan for what you’ll be teaching throughout the year. And let’s be honest, lesson planning can be a tedious task if you let it. That’s why many teachers including Veteran teachers use the summer to get ahead of lesson planning.
Start by reviewing your school’s curriculum and standards, and then create a detailed plan for each unit or lesson. Consider incorporating a variety of teaching methods and activities to keep your students engaged and motivated. Don’t forget to also plan for assessments and evaluations to measure your students’ progress and adjust your teaching as needed. By having a well-planned curriculum and lesson plans, you’ll be able to provide your students with a structured and effective learning experience.
Establish communication with parents and guardians.
One of the most important aspects of being a successful teacher is establishing open communication with parents and guardians. Which is why it definitely needed to be included in the first year teacher classroom checklist.
This can help you build a strong relationship with them and ensure that they are involved in their child’s education. Consider sending out a welcome letter or email at the beginning of the school year, and schedule regular parent-teacher conferences to discuss their child’s progress. I personally like to call all of my families the week before school to introduce myself, especially if you don’t have a parent night.
You can also use online tools such as a class website or email newsletter to keep parents informed about upcoming events and assignments. By keeping parents involved, you can create a supportive learning environment that benefits both you and your students.
One of the best mindsets you can have with family communication is “we work as a team.”
All in all, there are several items you should be completing from the Ultimate First Year Teacher Classroom Checklist. These items include:
- Classroom layout
- Stock up on essential supplies
- Create a classroom management plan
- Get ahead of your curriculum and lesson plans
- Decide and incorporate early and consistent family communication
Here’s the thing, I know you probably have a million questions about teaching. So if you want to learn more, check out the Ultimate First Year Checklist where I walk you through all of the things you should be doing to make your first year of teaching a success.
As always, we are stronger together!