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The Teacher’s Back-to-School Checklist

Photo by Liz (flickr.com)

Mid-way through July, there comes a point when it is time to start thinking about going to back to school. As much as you may dread the loss of summer, chances are that the excitement of a new school year and the possibilities that come with it are also on your mind. To help you get focused, we created a back-to-school checklist that you can print out and check off.  Rejoice in the excitement of a new year and get started today!

The Teachers Back-to-School Checklist

_____Write and mail Welcome Back Letters

_____Send personal invitations for Back to School Night

_____Shop for class supplies:

  • Pencils
  • Paper – Construction, White Copy Paper, Lined Paper
  • Journals
  • Pocket Folders for School to Home interactions
  • Welcome Kit
  • Other: _____________________________________
  • Other: _____________________________________
  • Other: _____________________________________

_____Set-up Class Blog

_____Organize Masters of worksheets for quick reference

_____Plan main projects for each month

_____Create a student database with pertinent contact information in Google Docs

_____Begin planning out the first week’s lessons

_____Get your systems in order (i.e. – returning homework, paperwork, book bags, etc.)

_____Organize your class library

And for your own sanity and well-being, do not forget to stock up on the following items for yourself:

_____Chocolate

_____Soft tissues

_____A new pen with a cushioned grip

_____A new, colorful bag to carry your work from school to home and back again

What are some things that you know you need to do before the school year starts?

What is on your back-to-school checklist that we have forgotten?

Leave a comment and let us know! We would love to hear how you get ready!

Looking for Back-to-School supplies? We have some Really Good Stuff just for you!

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40 comments
Linda Kile
Linda Kile

Thank you for sharing. Over the years I learned that if I am organized and prepared the stress of a new year, a new job, a new classroom, or any other "new" thing is significantly reduced. Good luck in the new year everyone.

Susan
Susan

Thanks for the back to school tips...although schools been out just a couple of weeks. Its never to early to start planning for next year.

Pam
Pam

I will be using this checklist as well as the reminder to update my class website!

Shirley Harris
Shirley Harris

Thank you for the checklist. As a second year Kindergarten teacher, this will help me be better prepared for the beginning of school this year. Something I've been doing during the summer to get a better start to school is keeping a School To-Do list on my Blackberry. Things pop in my head at at all times of the day and night. By keeping the list on my Blackberry, it can be easily updated and never gets lost.

Kris
Kris

This is a great starting list. I find that having a list and tweeking it from time to time helps me make sure that I have all the neccesary items before the new school year starts. It also helps when in the middle of the school year you know what you may need to replace (i.e. pencils, erasers, kleenex, chocolate, ect.) when you run out.

sherrie weerheim
sherrie weerheim

Wonderful! I always find myself making checklists and such for the beginning of the year. I don't map out my classroom because I've always just moved things around as I see them. I need to be organized moreso this year! I have already done 3 days of organizing my filing cabinet! I would like things to be easily accessible.

Lynda
Lynda

On my list of things to do before school begins I have included setting up my small group assessment binder (and run extra copies of my forms so that I have them on hand) and mapping out my room so that when I am ready to move in, I know where I want my most important instructional areas to be located in the room.

Sylvia
Sylvia

My list includes many of the items in the article. I've added batteries (for label maker), colorful stationary, Debbie Diller's Classroom Mapping, and 25 each of color coded subject folders already labeled. Thanks for sharing the list!

Mandi
Mandi

I'm getting excited about a new school year! Thanks for sharing this!

Danyalle
Danyalle

Thanks, these are great. I have always wanted to send out a letter or invitation for Back to School Night but we only get our students names about 2 days before it and it is in the afternoon. No time to get the invitations, all the names and addresses ready to go and have them at their home before they need to be there. I am going to try and do a classroom blog this year. I think it would be fun and it could also be interactive since I am planning on putting useful resources for the children on it.

Debbie Neighbors
Debbie Neighbors

Don't forget about technology - Update classroom website Set electronic gradebook

Bridget
Bridget

I am so excited about the upcoming school year. I had taught Special Ed and now I will be in my own classroom teaching general ed 2nd grade. I have a ton of stuff to get from Really Good Stuff!

Tonya Coats
Tonya Coats

I used 3 ring binders for homework. Its called the B.E.A.R. system( bring everything always ready.It has folders and other helpful information to keep students organized all year. I do not like messy paper cluttered desks.

Sara B
Sara B

I already had a back-to-school but I've now added a couple of things from your list too. Thanks for the help!

Courtney
Courtney

THANK YOU! I recently moved to another state after 5 years of teaching 2nd grade. I'll be at a new school with a new grade (1st) and your check list will help me with my transition!!!!

Marilyn
Marilyn

Your list is pretty comprehensive and I especially agree with you and Patti about taking care of yourself. I, too, am working on my classroom blog. I am no longer having a class website but am going to a wikispace with a blog. Hope all will work out.

Kelli Armanini
Kelli Armanini

As much as I love my summer vacation, spending time with my family, and getting to catch up on hobbies . . . Shopping for back to school supplies for my classroom is still, after 17 years, one of the best days of my summer!

Debbi C
Debbi C

I love all the great ideas and will be printing this out. Thanks to all who contributed. :-)

Patti
Patti

Love the last part of the list! It's important to take care of yourself so you can do a good job with the kiddos!

Lisa
Lisa

Don't forget comfortable shoes! I feel like I've been making this checklist since the last day of school. We always have our mandatory training the week school gets out, so that starts me thinking. This Summer I've been making lots of activities to use with my new SMARTBoard. I also need to reorganize my room for our new science program. Lots to do!

Pam H.
Pam H.

I don't have a formal check list for back to school preparations. My teaching partner, who is very detailed oriented, has a list and reminds me of specific items or activities that need to be done. We also collaborate about any new activities or projects that we want to complete before the students arrive or during the first week of school.

Shelly
Shelly

My list keeps getting longer. I also need to update my webpage.

Bobbie
Bobbie

I printed this off so I don't forget anything, there are some things on this list that aren't on my list.

Jennifer C
Jennifer C

I would also add to set up your classroom jobs and to label folders, binders, and supply boxes with student names!

Jill
Jill

I need to go to the beach, read more books, eat out with my family, and visit with friends. The school year will be here too soon. I'm looking forward to it but won't spend my precious summer worrying about it!

Kelley
Kelley

Labels, labels, and more labels! I make student name labels for everything - their various folders, journals, reading response notebooks, mailboxes . . . I use a Microsoft Word template to match Avery label sheets and choose a really fun font. I used to hand-write the students' names on everything, but printing labels saves so much time.

charla
charla

I changed classrooms this year, so my to do list is very full. It is time to go through all of my things and toss those things that are not needed or worn out. Plus, it is a great time to pick out new decorations for my room!

Lora
Lora

Chocolate is priceless when teaching! I would agree with bulletin boards being added too. Also, we take down posters, alphabet, etc. at the end of each year, so I need to put those back on the walls. Thanks for the checklist!

Mary Jacobs
Mary Jacobs

Love all your thoughts....the main one is the parent letter. I create a student/parent handbook and go over it the first few days of school with the kids. Then we send them home for the parents to look at and sign. This way there is no, "Well I didnt know my child had to get his test papers signed by me". This alleviates a lot of jitters on both sides of the table. Giving parents and students your expectations from day one works wonders!

Emily Buckler
Emily Buckler

___Run around searching for the cords to your computers/projectors/printers before the tech specialist finds out they are missing! (it is written just like that on my to do list)

Melissa M.
Melissa M.

This list is great. On my supply list, I'm getting myself a nice bright binder so that I can keep track of student records/behavior in one spot!

Candace Oliver
Candace Oliver

I just got done filling in all the dates in my school calendar, plan book, grade book and attendance log. That way I have the days of school counted out and all the days off filled in. All I will have to do is start planning and add the list of student names. One less thing for me to worry about while I'm setting up my classroom.

Jessica Berggren
Jessica Berggren

Thanks, these are great. I always am excited to get my class list and write my students names on just about everything, Folders, nametags, lunch number tags, and in my grade book. thanks again, i will definitely be printing this out to keep me organized.

Alison Kitchin
Alison Kitchin

Ive been thinking about the coming year since March! haha! Once the stress of state tests takes over, I start thinking of the new year! I am hoping that things will go well! Each year has been different since I have moved into fifth grade, but its a nice change!

April Brown
April Brown

Hi, It's not quite back to school time for us in Alberta, but I'm always thinking about how I can make some changes or what I could be doing differently in my room. I apply the same thinking to school supplies. I'm looking for a good and pretty binder to keep my class schedule in. Fun labels for scribblers, plastic covers because we make our own agendas, and new pens. You can't start the year without a good pen! Love the list.

Barb J
Barb J

I love the idea of having a checklist. I might add set up bulletin boards. My personal favorite on the list- the chocolate stash. Everyone needs something to get through the day sometimes!

Elyse P.
Elyse P.

I love the last one! Any excuse to buy a new bag works for me! We use a print shop for copies, so the first thing I do is get all my lessons for the first few weeks put together and sent off to the print shop so that they will be back in time for the first day of school!

Cheryl s
Cheryl s

Don't forget locker tags, name tags for specials, and writing your information packet for parents. Create your schedule, and keep relaxing! I like to create a behavior letter that tells how the loss of recess or other activities work! The birthday party deal is also in my letter. So much to do, so little time

Jennifer Gorrell
Jennifer Gorrell

Thanks for the reminder to send a welcome back letter! This is a great list for me to use!