New Teacher Tip: Getting Ready for the First Day of Class
Okay, so now you have decided on the layout of your classroom and feel that you are ready for the new a new batch of students. Not really! There are many other things that you need to prepare before you can feel comfortable about welcoming your new students. Use the checklist below as a guide to make sure you have taken care of all the aspects of classroom preparation that need to be addressed prior to the first day of school.
Being an organized teacher will make your life a whole lot easier; trust me. If you have your materials and supplies in one place, you will not have to frantically look for folders or paper clips at the last minute. It will also help your classroom management efforts and decrease the frequency of classroom disruptions and misbehavior. You should also make sure you have adequate numbers of the following items:
• Plan books
• Classroom reading books
• Attendance register
• Paper clips
• Grade book
• Rubber bands
• Stapler and staple pins
• Pencil, pens, erasers and pencil sharpeners
• Tapes of different kinds
• Folders and folder tags
Take Home Packets for New Students
Take home packets are a must for students at the start of the New Year. This packet helps you communicate the objectives of the class for the year to students and their parents. It also helps you communicate important information concerning rules and consequences, the school calendar, special events, and any new activities or changes that have been made over the summer months. If you keep parents informed from the beginning, you have made the first step in building strong parent-teacher relationships. Make sure that you include the following in the take home packet.
• Welcome message to parents
• School rules
• Supply list
• Emergency and approval forms to be signed by parents
• Transport rules and bus route
Additionally, you may want to accomplish the following activities during the first week of the new academic year.
• Prepare class rolls and records
• Create nametags for each child
• Get to know the schedule for each student, including gym, art, library and lunch
• Create a folder that can be used by a substitute teacher in case you are unable to
make it to the school; this should include the daily schedule and seating chart
• Create a file for each student that contains information about the child and
• correspondence from parents
• Develop tentative lesson plans for the next week and place them in a folder
Completion of items on this checklist will surely help you feel more comfortable, organized, and in control when the horde of excited students appear at your door on the first day of school! Also, by starting the year off with a bang, you are setting the tone for the rest of the school year. Instead of dealing with classroom management issues, organizational issues, and disgruntled parents, you will be able to enjoy a relatively stress free year. Good luck to you and I hope you have an outstanding year.