Book Resources

Your Checklist: Get Ready for the First Day of School!

Complete all 22 goals on this checklist, and you should be ready for your students' arrival.

  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

There's so much to do before your first day in the classroom. This easy-to-follow checklist will have you relaxed and ready for your students and their parents to arrive!


1. Plan your bulletin boards.

2. Where do you want to post the announcements, menu, and calendar?

3. What kind of welcome back display do you want to make?

4.Which boards will be for subject area work, and which boards will students design?

5. Where will you display your students' original work?

6. Set up two or three learning centers to get started.

7. Create signs for your room to help your students learn classroom rules and routines.

8. Prepare your class rolls and permanent records.

9. Post a cheery sign with your name outside the door. Also post a class list. Students and parents will appreciate  it when they go looking for the right room.

10. Make student name tags for desks (unless you are planning to have the students make their own).

11. Find out your students' schedules for lunch, gym, art, music, and library.

12. Gather and organize all your supplies:

  • textbooks and supplemental materials
  • plan books
  • classroom reading books and read-alouds
  • attendance materials
  • paper clips
  • various types of paper (e.g., writing, construction, math)
  • folders
  • different kinds of tape
  • grade book
  • rubber bands
  • stapler and staples
  • pencils/pens
  • tissues

13. Prepare take-home packets for your students.  Some of the items you'll want to include are:

  • emergency forms
  • school rules
  • supply list
  • bus or transportation rule
  • welcome message to parents/request from room parents

14. Find out which students may be going to special classes.

15. Check out library books and read-alouds.

16. Set up a folder for a substitute to use in case of emergency, containing the following:

  • daily schedule
  • seating chart
  • reproducible activities

17. Prepare a file for correspondence from parents.

18. Prepare a file for faculty bulletins. 

19. Obtain a copy of state and district curriculum standards.

20. Write tentative lesson plans for the coming week.

21. Make copies of materials you'll be handing out during the first few days.

22. Write your name and other important class information on the board.

23. Make a checklist for returned forms (can be used later for report cards and other items).


This checklist was adapted from Learning to Teach...Not Just for Beginners: The Essential Guide for All Teachers by Linda Shalaway, © 2005, published by Scholastic, Inc.


  • Part of Collection:
  • Subjects:
    Classroom Management, Back-to-School Experiences, Back to School, New Teacher Resources, Teacher Tips and Strategies

New Teacher Survival Guide

Find practical and easy-to-use tips, solutions, and advice to help make your first year in the classroom a success.