The Ultimate Checklist for Teachers to Plan Curriculum for the School Year
It is that time of the year again. The new academic year is about to commence. As a teacher, it is normal to feel excited and overwhelmed. We understand that there are so many things to be done to ensure the first day and the year ahead goes smoothly. Let’s face it. Even if you have done this for several years, there is no escaping the first-day jitters! We are here to help you make a strong start by preparing and planning in advance.
With our back-to-school checklist for teachers, you can prioritize before school starts and set yourself up for success. Read on for more.
How to Make the Most of This Back-to-School Teacher Checklist Guide
No matter how experienced you are, referring to a comprehensive checklist for teachers does no harm. This section provides tips to help you get back into the classroom mode, regardless of whether your class is fully in person, fully virtual, or a blend of both. Listed below are some of the areas we aim to cover in depth subsequently in the blog.
1. Plan the Annual Curriculum
Summer breaks are an excellent time to design the curriculum. Divide the syllabus into multiple parts and allot one week to each chapter. If you want to save time, access the ready syllabus available for all the grades on the Extramarks platform. You can then design term and unit tests and determine approximate dates for the same. Keep sufficient time between the completion of syllabus and exam dates. This will provide students enough time to prepare. You can also plan the projects and assignments to be assigned to the students in advance.
2. Connect with Other Teachers
Use your summer break to network with other educators in your community. Connecting and communicating with your peers will help you discuss the syllabus, challenges, and opportunities experienced in the past academic year. Using their inputs, you can modify your approach and improve outcomes.
3. Create an Inviting Classroom Environment
Ideally, the first day of the new academic year should be dedicated to making students feel comfortable and introducing yourself. What better way to do this than decorating the classroom with name tags, photographs, and colorful bulletin boards. This will help create a friendly space for students.
4. Build your Classroom Rules and Routines
It is important to have an effective set of rules to help establish expectations and provide guidelines on how curriculum will be conducted. You can create a take-home rule sheet or post it on the bulletin board in the classroom. This way, students will know what is acceptable behavior and the consequences of failing to comply with it.
5. Create an Alternative Online Folder
Most schools require teachers to create an emergency digital folder for classroom learning. Once you have created the syllabus and collated the study material, use the summer breaks to transfer all the data to a digital folder. You can add and remove some specific lessons from this folder anytime and from anywhere. This will save your time and efforts in case you misplace the study material.
6. Seek Administrative Support
As the first day of the school approaches, consider getting in touch with the administration to get the support you might need. Whether you want to know the schedule for the month after joining or need additional study material supplies, communicating with the school in advance and taking help of a platform like Extramarks will ease your work.
Back-to-School Classroom Set Up Checklist for Teachers
Fostering a positive learning environment is key to classroom success. When the learning environment is conducive, students tend to have better attention spans, less anxiety, and increased motivation to interact and engage. Use the initial days of school to set up your classroom with things you and your students might need on a day-to-day basis.
1. Create a Seating Layout
Start with analyzing your classroom and planning the seating arrangement. Strategically arrange your desk in a way so you can see all the students. Organize student’s desks with sufficient space to move around. Ensure this arrangement gives them a clear view of the board.
2. Organize Your Classroom Library
Consider labelling your library shelves and arranging books alphabetically. You can also organize them as per genre. Avoid organizing them by reading level.
3. Prepare an Emergency First-Aid Kit
Display the emergency evacuation procedure and familiarize yourself as well as students with all the exits. Make an emergency kit and stock with supplies and a list of students. Place this kit at an easily accessible spot in the classroom.
Organizing Back-to-School Whiteboards or Bullet Boards
The impact of interactive whiteboards and bulletin boards is underrated. But it is important to realize that when your classroom is functional and visually appealing, students feel motivated to attend school. If you are considering a redo, we have compiled a classroom checklist for teachers.
1. Set up a Classroom Calendar
An essential component of your classroom is an updated calendar. Ensure it is large enough to be clearly visible to all. Having a calendar will help you and students stay aware of project deadlines, public holidays, and other important due dates. It will also increase student accountability.
2. Post a Birthday Chart
Use your bulletin board like a canvas and go all out with attractive visuals. This is one spot that will fascinate most students for all the right reasons. Seeing their birth dates listed on a personalized chart will instantly make students feel recognized and valued. So, take time to do up this area.
3. Share Weekly Goals and Curriculum
One way to help students stay focused throughout the week is by laying out clear learning objectives. As a teacher, this approach will enable you to stay on track with the curriculum. If you are working with younger students, sharing a copy with parents or giving them access to the assigned tasks through the Extramarks Parent App will allow them to encourage and support students at home.
Preparing Back-to-School Teacher Resources Checklist
1. Adapt to Online Teaching
You must have prepared teaching lessons for the upcoming academic year. But in this digital age, modifying these lessons for online classes will save you time later. You can pre-record lectures, upload study material, and share project instruction sheets on the Smart Class Plus platform. It can be accessed by students at any hour. These are quick ways to adapt to the virtual environment.
2. Update the Course Syllabus
If you have been teaching the same class for many years, you can use the syllabus for the new academic session. The only area where change would be required is modifying this syllabus to suit a blended learning environment. Let students and parents know what has changed, how much has changed, and where they can find the new study material.
3. Create a Virtual Class Calendar
While a classroom calendar will do the basic job, it is important to have a virtual calendar. This is especially useful when you plan to schedule an online class, test, or project discussion. The Smart Class Plus platform allows you to create this calendar virtually and share it further with students, parents, and colleagues in real time.
Identifying Back-to-School Communication with Administration To-Do List
As a part of the classroom checklist for teachers, ensuring you have everything you will need for your classroom is crucial. Do you have sufficient workbooks and creative materials? Are there enough folders and files for students? Look into the supplies and seek help from the administrators to arrange for any missing materials. Here are other important points you need to cover when communicating with them.
1. Make Time for Collaboration
Meeting other teachers of your school, especially at the start of the academic year, is a great idea. It helps share insights, explore new ways of teaching, create cohesive plans, and implement changes in the curriculum. You could request administrators to schedule a meeting as per everyone’s convenience.
2. Seek Support on Rules and Routines
An essential component of the first-year teacher checklist is to prepare your classroom rules and routines. This lays the groundwork for expectations related to performance and behavior. Importantly, routines keep everyone on track. So, develop a classroom system for students to follow and post them somewhere. Ensure you involve the administration when preparing this document.
3. Set Goals for the New Term
Teachers and educators can largely benefit from setting and achieving goals. These goals can be specific to curriculum improvement, classroom organization, or increasing student engagement. You can seek help from administrators in some aspects and implement new teaching strategies.
How Extramarks Can Assist with Enhancing Your Teaching Experience
The Extramarks Teaching App is equipped with the latest solutions that make your teaching easier. Combine this with the Smart Class Plus platform, which offers informative, engaging, and interesting modules. This is conducive for both teaching and learning experience. Schools and educators practicing a blended mode of teaching will particularly benefit from the platform’s live class facility, AI-powered performance tracker, and tailored resources. Moreover, the availability of offline assessments, doubt solving sessions, and animated content makes Extramarks Teaching App a suitable platform for educators.
Wrapping Things Up: Prepare for a Successful Academic YearAs the first day of a new academic session comes closer, it would be beneficial for you to refer to this back-to-school checklist for teachers. This curated guide will help you stay on track and ensure you have everything covered – from physical classrooms to virtual learning tools. So, leverage these tools and our list of tips to improve your teaching quality and effectiveness, and to help students become better learners.