First-Day-of-School Checklist for Teachers: 43 Must-Do Tasks

Seeking information about how to start the school year for teachers? If so, you’ve landed in the right place.

This first-day-of-school checklist for teachers, which includes procedures and routines, is just what you need to begin the school year well.

Whether you’re a first-year teacher or a seasoned educator, this checklist offers guidance that will make organizing and managing your days smoother.

So use this first-day-of-school checklist for teachers as a guide to prepare well.

First-Day-of-School Checklist for Teachers

Routines and Procedures

This first-day-of-school procedures checklist includes all the essential routines and tasks to complete during your first day.

If you only have time to focus on one area of this first-day-of-school checklist for teachers, make it this one.

  • Write your name clearly on the board. 
  • Greet students at the door or morning waiting area.
  • Introduce the classroom library along with the process for borrowing books.
  • Take attendance.
  • Perform lunch count. 
  • Ask students how they go home at the end of the day, and make notes. 
  • Place the schedule for the day in a visible location.
  • Practice fire drills and emergency procedures.
  • Discuss homework expectations.
  • Before students arrive in the morning, place morning work packets along with a pencil on each desk. 

Classroom Organization

  • Schedule time for learners to create name desk plates. 
  • Take note of how students interact with one another based on the present seating arrangements. Later in the week, make adjustments.
  • Place needed photocopies in a designated spot so that you can easily reach for them during the day.
  • Keep a stash of sharpened pencils and paper handy for those who don’t have all of their supplies on the first day. 

Parent Communication

  • Send a friendly note or email to parents introducing yourself along with a brief overview of what guardians can expect this school year.
  • Email parents a Google Document requesting volunteers for special activities held throughout the school year. Make the process simple by already having the events listed. Guardians sign their respective names next to the event in which they’re interested. 
  • Remind students/parents (via note and/or email) to complete and return all required school forms by the specified due date. 

Daily Activities

  • Begin calendar math. 
  • Keep a copy of your lesson plan nearby so that you can refer to it during the day as needed. 
  • Distribute textbooks.
  • Note students’ birthdays. 

After School Tasks

  • Adjust seating arrangements as needed.
  • Jot down questions that popped up during the day that require further research. 
  • Check in with grade-level colleagues to discuss how their day went. Take note of ideas you could implement in your classroom.
  • Be sure you have students’ family contact information. 
  • Verify which students receive special education services.
  • Check if any students require ESL/bilingual services.
  • Maintain a list of student food allergies and medical conditions as this information is necessary to know when organizing classroom parties and field trips. 
  • Log into your email to check for any important notes.
  • Start recording anecdotal notes regarding student academics and behavior. 
  • Relax at home, and do your best to take your mind off of work.

Q & A: First-Day-of-School Checklist for Teachers

What does a teacher need for the first day of school?

For the first day of school, a teacher needs a first day of school checklist for teachers that includes routines, procedures, and lesson plans for that first day.

What are the procedures to teach on the first day of school?

Procedures to teach on the first day of school include lining up, morning routines, cafeteria behavior, how to submit homework, recess behavior, organizing school supplies, transitioning between activities, and dismissal.

What should teachers do during the first week of school?

During the first week of school, teachers should focus on procedures, routines, and rules.

However, do start teaching. Procedures are best taught within the context of authentic teaching and learning.

Final Thoughts

This first-day-of-school checklist for teachers aims to reduce the headache that accompanies getting ready for back to school. 

So plan to use it as you plan your successful first day of school.