How To, Curriculum

The Essential Back-to-School Checklist for Teachers

Getting ready for the new school year can be overwhelming for many teachers. From preparing the classroom to planning lessons and administrative tasks, there’s so much to do before the students arrive. That’s why having a back-to-school checklist is crucial. This blog post will provide an essential checklist to help teachers prepare for the upcoming school year.

Classroom Preparation

As we all know, preparation is key, and this applies to teachers as well. Without adequate preparation, the first few weeks of school can be chaotic, causing unnecessary stress and reducing the quality of teaching.

To avoid this, it’s essential to clean and organize the classroom before students arrive. Create a checklist for deep cleaning and organizing the space. This includes wiping down desks, chairs, and windows, sorting paperwork, and ensuring all materials are in their proper place. Additionally, teachers should set up bulletin boards, displays, and stations to create a warm and inviting learning environment.

Curriculum Planning

Reviewing the curriculum guide and standards is necessary to build a solid plan for the year. Teachers should start planning the first week/month of lessons, including teaching materials and resources. Establishing this well in advance will create an effective learning environment that promotes both student and teacher success.

Administrative Tasks

Updating student records, creating a class roster, and setting up a grade book or electronic grading system is critical for the first few weeks of school. This will not only make it easy to manage student data but also track student progress. These administrative tasks ensure teachers have a clear understanding of each student’s performance and can provide a well-rounded experience.


Teachers should prepare welcome letters or emails for students and parents to establish connections early. Setting up a communication system, such as emails, and preparing for conferences or open house events is crucial to establishing a supportive and collaborative learning environment. Especially this year, parents will be looking to support their child however they can, and teachers can do a lot to meet them in the middle.

Professional Development

Professional development goes hand in hand with the growth of teachers. Reviewing professional goals for the year and planning for continuous education or professional development opportunities will benefit both students and teachers. Joining professional organizations or online teacher communities can provide teachers access to multiple resources and opportunities. This facilitates critical growth in pedagogy, as well as support structures outside the normal routine.


Although teachers invest countless hours in the classroom, it’s also important to plan for some work-life balance. Planning stress management strategies and setting a healthy balance early on will help prevent teacher burnout. A few ideas include having regular flexible work schedules, participating in mindfulness exercises, and taking care to maintain healthy relationships with other teachers.

Preparing for the new school year requires careful planning and preparation, and this cannot be rushed. Whether it’s handling administrative tasks, getting the classroom prepared, or prioritizing self-care, take the time you need to ensure everything is in place for a successful start. And, most importantly, be kind to yourself and trust that taking small steps to accomplish each item will make all the difference.


Investing in your success as a teacher means taking the time to plan and prepare properly. You can count on our resources to help.

Download our Free eBook: Fall Planning Guide for Back to School

Download our Free eBook: Guide for New Teachers

Download our Free Lesson Planning Template 

Check out our Progress Learning Training and Webinars for Professional Development opportunities

Read the Progress Learning Blog for up-to-date coverage of education news and curriculum, as well as free resources for teachers and administrators to download. 

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