Back to School Checklist for Teachers

A Comprehensive List to Help you Organize for Success

Teacher high fiving young student
Weekend Images Inc. / Getty Images

Preparing your classroom for the new school year can feel a bit overwhelming. Even seasoned veterans can feel the stress during the first few weeks of school. To help alleviate some of this stress, try keeping track of the essential tasks with a back to school checklist. Print this list and be sure to check off each task as you go.

Back to School Checklist

  • Wrote and mailed a welcome letter to parents and students.
  • Created name tags for students and their desks.
  • Laminated name tags that include specific information such as a walker, bus number, address etc.
  • Read through student files to help determine placement in groups and activities.
  • Determined seating chart and desk arrangement.
  • Decorated the bulletin boards.
  • Decorated the front door.
  • Determined the rules and consequences or how you will have the class decide upon the rules.
  • Decided on icebreaker activities for the first day of class.
  • Collected activities and lessons for the first week of school.
  • Became familiar with the class computer and other technology needed for the classroom.
  • Decided how to welcome students and introduce them to the rules and procedures.
  • Developed a substitute folder.
  • Printed emergency contact form.
  • Ordered extra supplies for students such as a folder, pencils, glue etc.
  • Set up Learning Centers with supplies in place.
  • Created classroom jobs.
  • Camera ready to take pictures of the students.
  • Got to know fellow teachers and staff members.
  • Set up a classroom calendar.
  • Organize the classroom library.
  • Made copies of all worksheets that you want to send home for the first week of school.
  • Labeled workbooks, folders, and textbooks with students' names.
  • Gathered extra tissues, paper towels, band aids and emergency supplies.
  • Created the first newsletter to send home.
  • Gathered book order information to send out.
  • Have a reward or incentive box filled.
  • Have a birthday chart ready to be filled out.
  • Have all systems in order (homework basket, paperwork basket etc.)
  • Take home folders are labeled and filled with the necessary paperwork.
  • Purchased a lesson plan organizer and calendar.
  • Purchased or gathered cleaning supplies for the classroom.
  • Purchased a bottle of aspirin for you, and hand sanitizer for the class.
  • Gathered teacher materials and supplies.
  • Create a routine for attendance, lunch count, walking in halls etc.
  • Set up a class webpage to communicate with students and parents.
  • Purchased any classroom supplies that are needed.
  • Find out student schedule for lunch, gym, library etc.
  • Obtained district curriculum standards.
  • Prepared a folder for faculty meetings and information.
  • Made copies of materials for the first few weeks.
  • Posted lunch menu.
  • Posted emergency evacuation and procedures.
  • First aid kit stocked and in place.
  • Shelves, cubbies and activity areas are clearly labeled.
  • Decided how to manage homework.
  • Decided how to manage using the restroom (lavatory passes, just get up and go, etc.)

Additional Things to Consider

During the first week of school create a student inventory checklist. This will help students, and yourself, keep track of all items that students bring in.

Once rules and consequences are decided upon creating a classroom plan agreement for all students and parents to sign. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page if something goes awry.

To keep parents in the loop, create a daily or weekly progress report for all students. For younger students, you can list days of the week and use stickers, stamps or happy faces. For older students, you can rate progress by listing each subject and rating by excellent, good, need improvement etc.

When preparing for a parent-teacher conference, provide parents with a planning sheet that they can bring with them. List questions such as academic strengths and weaknesses, goals for the year, examples of students qualities and so on.