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Back to School Ideas for New Teachers


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Congratulations on getting a new teaching job! It’s an exciting and busy time preparing for your first classroom. Planning back-to-school ideas is a lot of fun and can set the tone for the new school year. There are so many helpful back to school teacher ideas that are low prep and will make a big impact!

How to Prepare your Classroom for the First Day of School

When you enter your room you may not get too much say about what furniture you have, but you can prepare the layout of your classroom. Do you want your students arranged in rows, a U-shape, groups, or some other arrangement? Where will your classroom library be? Think about the practicality of your layout. I have heard some teachers keep tissues away from their desks because they don’t want students who are sick coming to get a tissue there and leaving germs. Some like to position their classroom layout near or away from heating or cooling elements.

Best Back to School Supplies for Teachers

Different schools and districts provide different supplies for teachers. I always keep my eye out for deals and shop them when they go on sale. At the time of posting this Prime Day is coming up which is a great time to be on the lookout for deals.

This sharpener is fantastic. Mine still works from when I was in the classroom and my own children still use it regularly.

Dry erase pockets are wonderful for preserving paper and practicing skills. This listing is for a set of 30. These are great for center work or whole class work when reinforcing a skill. Have the students do their practice then wipe off and the paper is ready to use again!

I purchase these glue sticks often when they go on sale for my son’s teacher. These are a great buy. There are 30 in a set and they drop down to as low as 8 for the set. Keep an eye on these for sure because every teacher knows that glue sticks go fast!

Expo markers are another great buy when they are on sale. For some reason, my school supplied us with off-brand whiteboard markers and it was awful! Store your markers horizontally or tip down to keep them from running out of ink.

I always had bulk pencils in my classroom because there were just never enough pencils. Amazon Basics brand has its own version of pre-sharpened pencils which seem pretty great.

Keeping Yourself Organized

I found that being organized in the classroom was my biggest asset. Knowing where things went, what supplies were needed, and what I needed to do helped my classroom run smoother. I kept a running to-do list for myself. Some people prefer technology but I am a pen and paper kind of girl. I appreciate being able to write things down and love the satisfaction of crossing off a completed task. That being said, I am a big fan of forms! I have the form below and SO many more forms in my Back to School forms available on TPT. To check it out click here.

Back to school forms, checklist is laid on top of clipboard with sticky notes at the top corner and colorful pens at the bottom corner of the image

Another organizational tip is to create a system for the items you will need each week. I had the rainbow drawer cart similar to this one and had each drawer labeled for a day of the week. I was able to slide copies and books needed for the day into each drawer. This system worked extremely well for me.

Planning for the First Days Back at School

The first few days of school are so busy! You are getting acquainted with your students, your students are getting acquainted with you and their new classroom. An activity I like to have my students complete on the first day is a classroom scavenger hunt. This also comes from my back-to-school forms available on TPT. This activity gets students up and moving around the classroom, it is fun and engaging, and it allows students to familiarize themselves with important parts of the classroom.

Back to school form shows classroom scavenger hunt laid on clipboard with a pencil laid on top

I also like to have my students and their parents fill out some getting to know you surveys. I find these to be very insightful and help me get to know the student. The first few days and weeks will be setting the groundwork for the year. You’ll be going over rules and procedures often. The best back to school teacher idea is to come prepared. Have your copies ready, your plans written, and your classroom layout planned.

More Back to School Blog Posts:


My name is Jen and I’m the face behind Endeavors in Education.

I have a passion for ELA and science. I am even STEM certified. Now I spend my time hanging with my kids, blogging (endeavorsined.com), and creating for my TpT store Endeavors in Education.

I’m so happy you’ve joined me on this journey!

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