If you are a student teacher, a new teacher, or are simply new to a school, you need to get to know your colleagues before school starts. Perhaps the principal or someone else will introduce you to the building staff. If not, don't wait for people to come to you. Take the first step. Introduce yourself, and explain that you are trying to learn the proper procedures. People will appreciate your effort, and be much more inclined to help.

In addition to other classroom teachers, make sure you meet the custodians, secretaries, kitchen staff, librarians and media specialists, counselors, and special teachers (reading, math, gifted, special education, ESL, arat, music, band, physical education, and so on). If time doesn't permit face-to-face encounters before school starts, ask for an organization chart that lists the staff in these positions.

Also, be sure to:

  • Read the school policy manual.
  • Learn the physical layout of the building.
  • Become familiar with schoolwide objectives.
  • Write out a detailed first-day schedule, keeping in mind that you must remain flexible enough to respond to the unexpected.

You'll also want to begin stockpiling materials. Long before the school year starts (and even before you have a permanent teaching position), you can develop an idea file and start collecting supplies.