Essential Classroom Checklist for First-Year Elementary Teachers

As a new teacher you have big plans you want to accomplish in your first year. But sometimes stepping into your own classroom for the first time can be overwhelming with all the different possibilities that exist.

To help prepare you to crush your first year teaching, we’ve put together a classroom checklist for you to get your classroom ready for a great year of learning.

Download your own classroom checklist here.

Classroom Preparation

First, let’s clean your classroom! Your classroom at the start of the year will be the last time until the end of the year that all surfaces will be empty. Take advantage of that to do a thorough cleaning before you start hanging decorations.

Next, let’s arrange the classroom to fit your teaching goals. This includes the layout of desks and other classroom furniture such as a classroom learning center. The most common desk layouts are:

  • Stadium seating
  • Horseshoe seating
  • Group seating
  • Combination of the above options

There are pros and cons to each type of seating arrangement but don’t feel too attached to one because this is something that can be changed if you feel you need to make a change down the line. The arrangement of your students can play a large role in your classroom management strategy so it’s worth taking a moment to consider how one will influence the other.

In addition to classroom seating, you want to take this opportunity to consider where students will turn assignments in and where other classroom procedures will take place.

After your classroom layout is put together, it’s time to decorate! Put up your visual aides, decorate your bulletin board, and make sure your classroom rules are clearly displayed for everyone to see.

Personal Organization

In addition to organizing your classroom, you’re going to need a good system to keep yourself organized. One option to consider it to have your own personal binder with the following information:

  • Lesson plans for the week
  • Seating charts
  • School information including phone numbers and policies
  • Notes area for quick reflections in between lessons

You’ll also need a good filing system to keep ongoing paperwork and classwork organized throughout the year. Consider storage solutions including shelving units, bins, or file organizers. A good label maker can help further organize these materials. 

School Supplies

You’ll likely require students to come to school with the majority of these supplies, but it’s also handy to have backup basic supplies handy for yourself and your students. These supplies include:

  • Pens, pencils, markers, and erasers
  • Lined and construction paper
  • Crayons, colored pencils, glue, and scissors

As a new teacher, your first year, and especially your first few weeks, will be overwhelming at times. Keeping that in mind and preparing as best you can, are two great ways to stay focused on helping your students meet key learning goals.

In addition to preparing your classroom for the school year, we have a number of other resources for you to check out to have a great first year of teaching! Dive into these resources below: