The new school year is almost upon us! While this year’s back-to-school season may look different depending on the location, there is one place where teachers can find common ground: preparing the classroom. Spare yourself the stress of wondering what to do next with these tips on how to prepare your classroom for new students.
Put It on Paper
Holding your to-do list in your head is exhausting, especially as you move closer to the first day of school. Unburden yourself by writing it all down on paper—your to-do list, your ideas, everything. Whether you use actual paper, a notes app on your phone, or your computer, try to keep a running list that you can pull up and check off as you go.
Purchase New Supplies
Out with the old and in with the new! New students mean new supplies, and you’ll want to have these well before the first day back at school. Some of these supplies will be for yourself, such as a new planner, fresh desk décor, and even a mini-fridge. Depending on the grade you teach, supplies may include:
- Paper and sticky notes
- Writing utensils
- Art supplies
- Cleaning supplies
- Facial tissue
- Hand sanitizer
- Travel-size personal hygiene and feminine products
Once you have your supplies, you’ll want to put them away. But wait! Before you do that, take the opportunity to perform a deep clean on your classroom. Even though the majority of the work has likely been completed by the custodian, you can still fill in the gaps. Some cleaning ideas include:
- Wiping down bookshelves, cubbies, and coat racks
- Sanitizing desks, door handles, light switches, and electronic devices
- Cleaning out cabinets and closets
Your classroom is clean, and your supplies are ready to be put away. Now it’s time to organize! This is a great way to prepare for new students and create a serene environment for you as you work up to the first day of school. Not sure where to start? Here are some ideas:
- Organize classroom supplies
- Organize student portfolios
- Create a substitute teacher folder
- Add students to your grade book and attendance software
- Organize bookshelves
- Prepare name tags and desk plates
- Label supply cabinets and drawers
Create a Pleasing Environment
You aren’t the only one who will appreciate spending the majority of your week in an organized, serene, and overall pleasant environment. Students thrive in a classroom that is both aesthetically pleasing and conducive to learning.
Some ideas for creating a pleasant space include:
- Thoughtfully arranging classroom furniture
- Installing calming lighting, such as warm lamps and string lights
- Creating different zones (reading, collaborative learning, alternative workspaces)
- Decorating the classroom door
- Setting up inspiring and positive décor
If you don’t already have a chalkboard in your classroom, consider adding one! Not only do they add a comforting and nostalgic feel to the classroom, but there are many proven benefits to teaching on a chalkboard for both you and your students!