Teachers, let me tell y’all something! The first day of school as a teacher is so so important. I know people be leaving y’all out and forgetting that y’all have to go back to school, too. A lot of these back-to-school posts be geared towards children and their parents only. Did they forget that someone has to teach these chil’ rens 😃?
I am a homeschool teacher and have been for 7 years. I may not be in an actual classroom or have a teaching degree for that matter but I have been in the game long enough to wear the title teacher. So I will. Starting a new school year is often a struggle for me and my little brother.
It is difficult to teach 1 child let alone 10 or more. I feel your pain and your joy and that is why I am writing this post. I want to help you wonderful teachers to be ready for the first day of school. You want to be prepared and ready for the new year and I want you to be ready as well.
Today, I will be sharing with you some of the most important things you should do to prepare for the first day of school. If you haven’t done these things already you definitely want to start on them A.S.A.P. Time is flying and it will be time to report to school to get the new year underway in just a few weeks or less for some of you.
So, let’s get right to it!
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One of the first things you should have done at this point is created your lesson plans for the first week or so. Staying on top of these is urgent because you need these to teach (duh!) 😆
Some teachers don’t bother doing this and this is definitely not something you have to do. However, it can be really nice for the kids and their families to receive a welcome letter from you before the first day. You could use this as an opportunity to briefly introduce yourself and officially welcome them to your class. Also, it could be a good idea to mention the expectations for the class. Don’t go into the rules and regulations of the class in this letter. We’re going to talk about that later on in this article.
The first day of school as a teacher can leave you feeling clueless when it comes to your students’ names. It can be overwhelming the number of names you have to remember. As the year goes on you will learn each students name but for now, you need name tags. It’s also important to use name tags for younger children who still need help writing their names. Being able to see their name spelled out on their desk is very helpful. 👍
Labeling Classroom Supplies
Labeling all classroom supplies is good for a number of reasons. One really good reason is to stay organized (if that’s your thing). Being organized is key to properly running and managing your classroom. You want to make it easy as possible for your students to find what they are looking for whether it’s crayons, glitter, or glue. Also, remember to label the student’s notebooks and folders including the student take-home folders. It’s a good idea to label shelves, cubbies, and activity areas, as well.
Mabel’s Labels has you covered on this one! They have really cute labels for the classroom. They also have stamps that you can use to stamp the classroom books in case they get misplaced. You can also encourage your students by stamping their papers with a quote. These stamps are fully customizable and so cute 👶. Click here to get organized with Mabel’s Labels personalized school labels!
Teachers love to decorate their rooms! I remember walking the school halls on the first day of school and seeing all the pretty decorations. This alone can make your students feel excited about starting a new school year. Don’t just decorate, take it a step further and use decoration to inspire your children. If you teach younger children then you need a couple of these designer playmats in your room. Your students can sit on these during group reading time or you can place them in a reading corner so they can be chillin’ in the cut, ya know what I’m sayin? 😎 If that’s not enough, you can buy classroom furniture here at a discounted price! Don’t forget to decorate the bulletin boards with an inspirational message or quote that the children can constantly be reminded of throughout the year.
Rules and Consequences
Every child needs structure and most important, rules. If you don’t give them boundaries they’ll push it as far as they can. Rules of the classroom will provide the necessary structure that children need. They have to understand that when they choose to do something there will be consequences, good or bad. When I was in school, we always had to read the rules out loud and make sure that we understood them completely.
There was also a system put in place for when we would misbehave. The teacher used popsicle sticks to give us warnings. Each child had 4 popsicle sticks in their own pouch with their very own name on it (how special, right?). On the end of each popsicle stick was a green, yellow, orange, and red dot. Green meant good, yellow meant 1st warning, orange meant 2nd warning, and red meant discipline.
Don’t ask me what the punishment was because I never made it that far (ain’t nobody got time to be getting in trouble🤣) and I don’t remember what happened to those who did. If I’m not mistaken, those who made it to red had to write a sentence 100 times such as “I will not talk while the teacher is talking.” The point is that you need to set rules and put a disciplinary system in place so that children understand that their actions have consequences.
I loved icebreaker activities as a child and so do most children. Icebreaker activities literally break the ice and get children to loosen up. Many children have first-day jitters that they need help getting over. These activities are usually worksheets that help children introduce themselves to the teacher and their classmates. Another activity could be for the child to share with the class how their summer vacation was and what they did. It’s really up to you what activities to have your students do but make it fun and exciting. OOOtaayyyyy! 👌*in my buckwheat voice*
Books are very important in learning. Personally, I looovvee books and believe that every classroom should have a library. The books, of course, should be in the classroom and on the shelves before the kids arrive or you could have them help you place them on the shelves.
Kids are going to be kids, at least that’s what they say. And what do kids do? They hurt themselves. At recess, they run around and do dangerous things that could leave them with scrapes and bruises. You must be prepared for these situations. You can buy an already-made kit or you could put one together yourself.
Cleaning Supplies/Germ Killers
Kids also make messes and so do we adults. Arts and crafts activities can get pretty messy too. Having cleaning supplies will make it easier to clean up after the kids are done with their projects.
Rewards or Incentives Box
You need a goodie box 🎁 for your students to reward them for good behavior and other accomplishments. I’m not saying bribe the children into good behavior but a reward or incentive box definitely encourages good behavior and rewards those who follow the rules. I don’t see any harm in it.
Depending on the grade that you teach you may want to create a webpage where you can communicate announcements and homework assignments 📗with the students and their parents. This is totally optional.
Extra Classroom Supplies/Arts & Crafts
Do you know how we mentioned labeling classroom supplies? Well, this is because it is a good idea to purchase some extra supplies. Some children are not going to have everything they need and so you could help them by buying some extra classroom supplies. It’ll be nice to have these items on hand just in case.
If your students are younger or you happen to be an art teacher then you are going to have a great need for arts and crafts supplies. You can find paint, construction paper, craft glue, yarn, and whatever else your students are going to need to complete their arts and crafts projects right here. They got errthing you need (not everything) errthing! 😂 And it’s all at a discounted price! Girl, yasss!
So that was kind of a long list but you made it! I really hope you enjoyed the first post in this series. Stay tuned for the next four articles in the series!