Search form

The Teacher's Back-to-School Checklist: 10 Things to Prepare Before Day One


As the summer break winds down, teachers worldwide are gearing up for a new school year. The back-to-school season can be both exciting and overwhelming, but with proper preparation, educators can start the academic year on the right foot. 

To help teachers stay organized and focused, here's a comprehensive checklist of ten essential things to prepare before day one.

1 Curriculum Planning and Lesson Preparations

Before students fill the classrooms, teachers must have a well-thought-out curriculum and lesson plans ready for the entire school year. Review the curriculum guidelines, update any outdated content, and ensure the lesson plans are engaging and aligned with educational standards. A well-organized plan will make the teaching process smoother and more efficient.

2. Classroom Setup and Organization

A clean, organized classroom sets the right tone for the upcoming academic year. Arrange desks and furniture in a way that encourages collaboration and easy movement. Decorate the walls with educational and inspiring posters that enhance the learning environment. Ensure all teaching materials, stationery, and resources are neatly labeled and easily accessible. Creating a welcoming and stimulating learning environment that impacts student engagement.

3. Student Rosters and Records

Familiarize yourself with your class roster, and if possible, get to know your students' names before the first day. Review student records to understand their academic strengths and weaknesses, special needs, and any relevant background information. This knowledge will help you tailor your teaching to individual student needs.

4. Communication Tools and Platforms

Effective communication with students and parents is essential for a successful school year. Prepare a welcome letter or email introducing yourself, outlining your teaching approach, and providing contact information. 

Attend your meet the teacher night to establish rapport with parents and answer any questions. During this event, ensure you share the necessary communication tools and platforms, online learning platforms, and messaging apps. 

5. Backup Lesson Plans

Even the best-laid plans can sometimes go awry. It's crucial to have backup lesson plans ready in case of unexpected disruptions, like technical issues or unforeseen interruptions. Having a few emergency lessons on hand will prevent downtime and keep students engaged during unexpected situations.

6. Classroom Policies and Expectations

Establishing classroom rules and expectations is vital for maintaining a positive learning environment. Prepare a set of clear and concise classroom policies covering behavior guidelines, academic integrity, and participation expectations. The rules should promote respect, responsibility, and collaboration. 

During the first days of school, discuss these rules with your students to ensure they understand and are committed to following them.

7. Professional Development Opportunities

Teachers should seek professional development opportunities to stay on top of the latest teaching methods and trends. Check for workshops, seminars, or online courses aligning with your teaching goals. Discuss with your school administration the possibility of attending such events during the school year.

8. Assessment and Grading Procedures

Familiarize yourself with the school's assessment and grading procedures. Understand how assignments will be graded, what tools or software will be used, and how grades will be communicated to students and parents. A clear understanding of the assessment process ensures fair and consistent evaluation of students' progress.

9. School Policies and Emergency Protocols

Safety should always be a top priority in the classroom. Familiarize yourself with the school's emergency procedures and protocols. Review fire drills, lockdown procedures, and any other relevant safety measures. Ensure that you have easy access to emergency contact information for each student. Familiarizing yourself with these protocols ensures you can act swiftly and confidently in any urgent situation.

10. Self-Care and Mindset

Amidst the hustle and bustle of back-to-school preparations, prioritizing self-care is crucial. To be the best for your students, create a self-care plan with strategies to manage stress and maintain a healthy work-life balance. 

Establish a self-care routine that includes exercise, hobbies, and time for relaxation. Prioritize time for activities you enjoy outside of teaching and establish boundaries to avoid burnout.

Start School with Confidence

By following this comprehensive back-to-school checklist, teachers can confidently enter the new academic year with everything they need to create a positive and enriching learning environment. Adequate preparation sets the stage for an engaging and successful educational experience for every student in the classroom. 

As you check off each item on this list, you'll be well on your way to making the upcoming school year one of your most memorable and impactful yet. Here's to a fantastic year of learning and growth!

Written by Brooke Lektorich
Education World Contributor
Copyright© 2023 Education World