ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Teacher's Checklist for the First Day/ Week of School

Updated on September 30, 2010

10 Tips for Teachers for the First Week of School

Starting the new school year is a time that is both exciting and nerve-wracking. Although kids don't realize it, the first week of school is as thrilling and overwhelming for teachers as it is for students. In order to make sure that the first week goes smoothly and that the year gets off to a great start, teachers need to make sure that they are organized in approaching their classrooms. A teacher who is organized and who accomplishes some set goals in the first week of school will be in a better position to move through the rest of the year with ease.

Here are the top ten items that a teacher should check off of their personal To Do list during (or before) the first week of school:

1. Establish rules of conduct and introduce them to the class. No matter what grade you are teaching, you need to make sure that you have control over your classroom. The way to do that is to make sure that you have a clear idea of what behavior you except from the children that you are teaching. The first week - and especially the first day - will place a large emphasis on teaching the kids in your class about what your expectations are (and what the consequences for misbehavior will be).

2. Outline your overarching goals for each month. You may or may not sure these with the class but they will be useful in keeping you on track throughout the year. There will be so many things that you have to do in order to meet the requirements of your school's curriculum. However, you will feel better as a teacher if you also have goals of your own that you can check off each month. These may be theme topics that you want to address or interpersonal goals.

3. Get to know your students. Speaking of those interpersonal goals, an important thing to check off in the first week of school is that you have gotten to know one personal thing about each of your students. You should learn all of their names in the first week and try to remember one personal interest, hobby or strength that defines them. You are going to be a mentor in the months to come and your influence is going to be considerably stronger if you can relate to a personal aspect of each child in your class.

4. Organize and decorate your classroom. There are only a limited number of things that you can do to make a classroom your own but you should do as much as you can to personalize it. Rearrange the desks in a design that suits you. Hang some art or inspiring messages. Make sure that your desk is set up in a way that makes it easy and efficient for you to get work done. This room is going to be your home away from home and it needs to be a place where you feel your best. You may do this before school starts or involve the kids in some of the decision-making during the first week. It can even provide a short lesson on design!

5. Housekeeping. You need to make sure that you get all of those little housekeeping tasks taken care of that are part of being a teacher. Create an organized file on each of your kids. Make sure that you understand how hall passes and discipline reports work in your school. Know how to get in touch with each child's parents if need be. Figure out where your teacher's box is and what the teacher's lounge offers. Make sure that you have some first aid items in the classroom and know how to get kids to the nurse's office if there's a medical problem.

6. Send a letter home to parents. You should write a letter introducing yourself to the parents of your students. It should provide insight into what your plans are for the year, what your approach to teaching is and what you expect from parents in assisting with this. It should encourage them to call you for a five-minute get-to-know you discussion or should at least tell them how to get in touch with you if they have questions. Make sure kids are required to get this signed and returned so that parents have more reason to read it.

7. Network in the school. There are going to be days that are tough and they're made a lot easier when you have some friends on campus. Whether you are having issues with an administrative decision or just needing to vent about a problem in the classroom, a teacher friend can be a great resource. If you're new to a school, make an effort to befriend other teachers. If you've been at a school for awhile, consider reaching out to a newer teacher. You might be surprised how much you learn from each other throughout the rest of the year!

8. Encourage networking / socializing among your students. Each teacher has different ways of encouraging positive friendships within the classroom. Identify before school starts what your ways are going to be. Setting desks up in small groups, having daily classroom ice breakers, planning weekly group projects and other things like this can foster friendships in the classroom. Set up some lessons on respect and kindness that are age-appropriate for making sure that these experiences are positive.

9. Start assigning homework. Many teachers make the first week a little bit too easy which actually makes it harder for kids to get in the school groove. Don't make this error. Start making assignments, including homework assignments, on the very first day of school. This is also important in helping you to gain a good early assessment of where your students are at in their skills and what work you'll need to do with each of them to get them up to par.

10. Do something special on Friday. Fridays are a great day to offer rewards or downtime or an educational movie ... something that recognizes that you all got through the week. Start this by doing something special with your class on the first Friday of the year.


Submit a Comment
  • jparr19 profile image


    4 years ago

    I am studying to become a teacher so things like this list are great! To hear how seasoned pros set things up and their tips for a successful year really help me out. Thanks for a great list and the insight!

  • StardustOrdinaire profile image

    Kristi Tipps-Deutsch 

    5 years ago from Colorado Springs

    "...know one personal thing about each of your students. You should learn all of their names in the first week..."

    This is SO important to the students. Thank you for reminding us of that. Having this information down really makes a difference when it comes to building those relationships! I really appreciate this hub.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Thanks a lot I'm. Younger teacher

  • profile image

    its me 

    8 years ago

    this is really ussful; thanks

  • profile image

    Sarkari Naukri 

    9 years ago

    It is probably a safe thing to pre-empty the negative with a warning such as: Guys, this is what we are going to go through today. However this is more of a real life situation than a typical class. So, if something goes wrong, we will keep trying for a maximum time of 30 minutes. If we are not able to solve our problem within this time-frame, then we will switch to a different topic.

  • profile image


    9 years ago from California

    This is some genuine and exceptionally great info. Keep up the great work.

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    These are great ideas and will be helpful to many teachers. We especially need to share these ideas with the younger teachers coming in.

  • arizonataylor profile image


    9 years ago from Arizona

    Great site. I totally agree with point number nine. It took me so long to learn this. Thank you.

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    As a longtime principal and teacher...I just wanted to tell you that I really like your webpage...and what you have to say. Education needs more passionate voices filled with common sense. Keep it up!

  • profile image


    10 years ago

    I love the friday idea!! Lovely!

  • Rochelle Frank profile image

    Rochelle Frank 

    11 years ago from California Gold Country

    You sound like the kind of teacher I most liked to sub for.

  • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

    Patty Inglish MS 

    11 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

    Most excellent Hub! I've used these methods to good advantage. Many of them apply to the sports I coach and teach as well.

    Thanks for a great Hub!

  • Kathryn Vercillo profile imageAUTHOR

    Kathryn Vercillo 

    11 years ago from San Francisco

    Thanks, I'm glad that it was helpful; feel free to share!


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)