ad. As educators, we are all too familiar with the whirlwind of tasks that need to be accomplished before the school bell rings for the first time each year. From classroom preparation to curriculum planning, the to-do list can seem endless. But don’t fret! This comprehensive back-to-school checklist is here to help you streamline your tasks, organise your responsibilities, and make your transition back to the classroom as smooth as possible.
Preparing The Classroom
1. Classroom Layout And Arrangement
The arrangement of your classroom can greatly influence the learning environment. Before placing any furniture, sketch out a layout that includes essential areas such as student seating, group workspaces, learning centres, and supply areas. Ensure your desk is positioned in a way that gives you a clear view of the entire classroom. This step may require some heavy lifting, so consider recruiting a fellow educator or family member to lend a hand.
2. Organising Classroom Supplies
Having a place for everything and everything in its place is key to maintaining a well-organized classroom. This includes everything from art supplies and math manipulatives to textbooks and whiteboards. Create clearly labelled spaces for all your materials, making it easier for both you and your students to find what you need.
3. Creating A Welcoming Atmosphere
Don’t underestimate the power of a vibrant, welcoming classroom in getting students excited about learning. Decorate your bulletin boards, set up a classroom calendar, and create a birthday chart. Also, consider setting up a classroom library. It’s a great way to encourage independent reading and foster a love for books. You could even get one of these teacher tops so that all the students remember your name!
1. Reviewing Curriculum Guidelines
Before the school year begins, it’s essential to familiarise yourself with the curriculum guide for your grade level. This will ensure that your lesson plans align with the necessary standards and objectives.
2. Planning The First Few Weeks Of Lessons
Having a solid plan for the first few weeks of school can help you hit the ground running. Plan lessons that include both academic content and plenty of practice with classroom routines. Also, consider incorporating icebreaker activities to help students get to know each other and build a sense of community.
3. Preparing For Unexpected Absences
As much as we’d like to avoid it, sometimes unexpected absences are unavoidable. Having a set of emergency sub plans ready to go can alleviate stress and ensure that learning continues even when you’re not there.
1. Student Records And Grading Systems
Before the first day of school, update student records and create a class roster. Additionally, set up your grading system. This could be a traditional grade book or an electronic grading system. Review class lists, IEPs, allergies, and any other pertinent student information.
2. Classroom Rules And Procedures
Setting clear expectations from day one is crucial for effective classroom management. Create a list of rules and consequences and post them in the classroom. Also, determine important procedures, such as those for bathroom breaks, walking in line, and turning in homework.
1. Communicating With Parents
Building a strong connection with your students’ families can provide a support system that extends learning beyond the classroom. Prepare a welcome letter or email for families, outlining your expectations for the year and inviting them to be an integral part of their child’s education.
2. Preparing For Parent-Teacher Conferences
Start the year off on the right foot by preparing for parent-teacher conferences early. Create planning sheets with discussion points such as student academic strengths and areas for growth, personality traits, and goals for the year.
The Extra Mile
1. Teacher Essentials: Stamps And Bags
For the busy teacher, there are a few essential tools that can make life a lot easier. Invest in a set of teachers stamps for quick and effective marking, and sturdy teacher bags to keep all your materials in one place.
Teaching can be a demanding job, and it’s important to remember to take care of yourself amidst the chaos. Establish a work-life balance, practice stress management strategies, and remember to do things you enjoy outside of teaching.
Are You Ready For The New Term?
Getting ready for back to school doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With careful planning, organisation, and a little bit of elbow grease, you can set yourself up for a successful school year.
Remember, this checklist is just a guide. Every teacher and classroom is unique, so feel free to adapt these suggestions to fit your needs. Happy planning, and here’s to a great school year!