Posted in Education

My Classroom Checklist for Back to School

Unpopular opinion – I’m ready for summer to be over. I miss my students and the routine of going to work every day.

However, that doesn’t make back to school easy. It’s actually a season of high anxiety, stress, and (insert negative moods here).

It’s obvious when I prepare and when I don’t for a new school year.

Unprepared me – stands in room frustrated, has to take multiple breaks to calm down but doesn’t get much done in between breaks, rushes around, and takes twice as long to get everything done.

Prepared me – stands in a room checking things off my list and making a plan, takes multiple breaks to not overwhelm myself and keeping my checklist up to date, feels calm when setting up instead of rushed, and takes half as much time (or feels more positive and productive with the time I did take).

Checklists can be as vague or specific as you want as long as it works for you! I have found that the more specific I am, the better! This is in part because I check things off more frequently which gives me a greater sense of accomplishment quickly. It also makes my brain happy since I feel like I won’t forget something accidentally.

Below is my list for this school year. Feel free to print it, copy and paste it, and make it your own! OR just use it for inspiration for your own list.

Things anyone can do –

  • peel stickers off desks and chairs
  • vacuum carpet
  • wipe desks, chairs, shelves, countertops, and teacher desk
  • unpack cabinets
  • organize/sort items from cabinets and supply order
  • unpack class library
  • inventory class library
  • sort class library in genres
  • take down posters
  • remove staples from wall
  • remove painters tape from table
  • move table and stools
  • move carpet
  • set up posters
  • set up PBS gems and tickets
  • cut and organize tickets
  • cut genre labels
  • label library by genre
  • put away supplies
  • unpack and organize new curriculum
  • check and inventory furniture
  • sharpen pencils
  • check markers

Things I have to do –

Print

  • genre labels
  • class signs
  • 504s, IEPs, EL accommodations/modifications
  • new building phone list
  • class lists
  • binder paperwork (meetings, notes, etc.)
  • Back to School paperwork

Buy

  • new stool
  • Astrobright paper
  • plastic vase for gems
  • bottled water
  • snacks (long shelf life)

Laminate

  • genre labels
  • class signs
  • new posters
  • class lists

Setup

  • class website
  • turn in bins
  • teacher desk
  • technology (double check)
  • binders (meetings, each class, sub plans, etc)
  • class calendar
  • lesson plan book

Things I need hubs to do –

  • put together new shelf and drawers
  • dust up high
  • move furniture
  • check/fix cabinets that don’t lock

*If you do feel overwhelmed, take a break! Re-evaluate your list. Maybe you need a more or less specific list or maybe you need to add time frames to keep yourself on schedule. I ALWAYS have someone help me over the summer. Sometimes it’s a younger cousin, family friend, etc. This year I needed more help than usual since I’m over 4 months pregnant. I asked for students to help from my previous year and my husband helped me for a day with any heavy lifting or handy things. There’s no shame in asking for help (see my previous post – https://teachinginpublic.home.blog/2019/08/05/teachers-need-help-too/ ). If you have helpers, I suggest having a checklist for them too or make your list categorized like my list – things YOU have to do, things you need someone specific to do (like a custodian, etc), and things you can have anyone do.

peacefully yours,

Teaching In Public

P.S. Check out my NEXT post (August 13th, 2019) for WHERE to find some of the resources I use in my classroom!

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