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First teaching post - what should I prepare for my classroom?

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by Jools1808, May 18, 2011.

  1. Thank you very much for your advice :) Is there anything in particular you would recommend as a top tip for displays at the start of term when there won't be much work?
  2. mrsshorty

    mrsshorty New commenter

    I am in the same position! Mine is KS1- exciting isn't it!
    I am reading Sue Cowley - how to survive your first year in teaching its fab and gives very practical, relevant advice on everything you can think of that you might have a question about, Cheap copies new and used on Amazon. I would highly recommend it and have done so to friends who have agreed.
    In terms of my classroom- I have just picked up bits and pieces now and then, charity shops, IKEA- anything I see thats cheap and would be either something good storage wise, letter trays, pencil pots etc ( will wait and see exactly what is in the classroom first before i get things I don't need) or resources- books for the classroom from charity shops, items for imaginative writing. Plus any resources like bottle tops I just collect and store recommended websites in my favourites!
    Good Luck! :)

  3. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    This was produced a few years ago by another poster and is the most comprehensive approach I have seen so far..
    I am in year 4. Last Summer I spent my whole time next to a laminator and it really helped to lighten the load at the beginning of the year.
    When I got my room the previous teacher had taken her stuff out, but there was still a lot of very dated stuff left in my room - I put it all into boxes and asked someone if they thought that I should keep the stuff - they said no, so the boxes met the bin!
    I arranged my tables how I wanted them and put name tags onto each table to show the kids where i wanted them to sit on the first day.
    I also backed my display boards, and put up temporary displays as it takes a few weeks to get any good displays up. (I also kept my temporary displays when I took them down so i can stick them back up next year!).
    I made a vertical time-line of the day so i can write out the timetable each day. I made and laminated the numbers 1 - 31, days and months which I stick up for the date each day as the writing is really clear.
    I made and laminated behaviour charts, and put a few washing lines across my room so I am able to hang things up.
    I also made a sign for my door.
    Most importantly I cleared everything up and put things where I want them.
    I hope this helps - Im sure I made loads more, but I cant think off the top of my head...I'll have a think and post again then.
    Good luck - remember this is YOUR classroom, make it whatever you want it to be!
    Filing systems
    I was overwhelmed with paper in my first month. Tons of it. The torrent still hasn't let up. If you're not sure if it's important or not it needs to be filed.
    I have files for
    -each child in my form- for keeping sicknotes, copies of any incident reports, timetables, certificates, etc.
    -memos relating to whole school issues
    -pastoral info/newsletters
    -NQT stuff
    -inset and training
    -'behaviour' detention slips/copies of incident reports etc.
    This is in addition to all the folders and boxes of worksheets and resources that lurk in the (mercifully large) cupboard.
    I never was very good at being organised. Getting me, the paperwork, an appropriate ringbinder AND a holepunch in the same place at the same time will never happen. I was in chaos until I discovered the wonders of filing cabinets and paper folders. Wooo!

    Cover folder
    I like to leave a laminated sheet on my desk at the end of each day. It has a list of basic instructions/directions/ routines to be followed if I am away. I took this idea from the primary thread a couple of years ago. Someone talked about having a 'Cover folder'.
    At primary level you can leave a register, clear instructions about the routines of the classroom, sanctions, circle time, class monitors and locations of the tissues/crayons etc. The cover work you phone in is never going to have that much detail and it's comforting to know that your classroom has slightly better odds of not being ransacked while you are ill.</font>
    Get plenty of rest
  4. In terms of keeping track of all those websites you find at 1am while you are justt pitting the "finishing touches" to your next day's planning....
    I've found easybm (http://www.easybm.com/) to be a complete godsend. It's not for *sharing* bookmarks (like dilcio.us or digg) but for keeping track of your own. It lets you group them by subject and because it's stored online then you can get to it wherever you are - home, school, IT suite, your classroom etc ... oh and it's free !
  5. Thank you very much :)
    I hadn't thought of a cover folder, so will definitely do this.
  6. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    Vistaprint is also cheap and you can print your own stickers buy buying these which work out good value. Especially can you can print whatever you like on them - Names/Well Done/Best Behaved etc... x

    spring chicken likes this.
  7. Wow, so 1500 personalised stickers for &pound;15.00? That's a bargain!
  8. I've been visiting my local charity shops - 20p per book, or 6 for &pound;1.00 and there are some fab titles in there.
    I'm looking forward to my IKEA trip in the summer, but have a feeling that Staples will be an expensive one - stationary is a small obsession which I'm going to have to try to tame if I want to take any salary home!
    The Sue Cowley book is excellent. I also liked 'Getting the buggars to behave' which had some fantastic ideas in it that I hadn't thought of and helped me to bring my satisfactory graded behaviour management in my first school placement to outstanding in my second. She is fabulous!! :)
  9. mrsshorty

    mrsshorty New commenter

    Im planning an IKEA trip too and found loads of great bookjs in the charity shops. Im glad you like the Sue Cowley book. I will take a look myself 'getting the *** to behave' ! I am reading 'getting the *** to think' at present - fab too!
    Its all exciting isn't It! I too have an obsession with stationary!
    Can't wait to get stuck in but a little apprehensive too- I guess because I wanty to do a good job and complete the induction year well.
  10. I can honestly say I hadn't even begun worrying about passing the induction year until I looked on here a few weeks ago and saw lots of people posting about not passing it...now I'm a bit more panicked!
    I am going to have a look in Wilkinsons as well because apparently they sell tool/cleaning caddy boxes for about &pound;1.00 which are perfect for stationary boxes in the middle of tables. It drives me mad that pencil pots are knocked over all the time, so this could be my sanity saver!
    Have you bought any stickers/stamps etc yet?
  11. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    For stickers, my wife uses www.superstickers.co.uk - they also send out a catalogue every quarter or so and emails.
    For stationery, don't bother with expensive places like Staples, unless you really need to buy in bulk. My wife's experience is that kids seem to eat rubbers and pencils, so restocking is important. She keeps a look out in Tesco for things like this - they often do things like x pencils for &pound;1 (they are doing this just now) and it's usually cheaper and easier than going to Staples or WH Smith (since you tend to be in Tesco anyway at some point in the week!)
  12. mrsshorty

    mrsshorty New commenter

    Good idea about wilkinsons pots!
    I haven't brought any stickers/stamps yet but there are some good ideas for places to look on here. I would like some stamps for AfL which I have seen in supply schools so may try and find out where they are from!
    Ive been looking at the tes resources area and it's really good and given me lots of inspiration. I'm going into new school after half term for a curriculum day- so would like to feel like I have lots to offer especially as the experienced teachers will have things they have used before that have worked well- hopefully my ideas will be of some value adding to what they already do/use.
  13. dalemhunter

    dalemhunter New commenter

    Thanks for all of these suggestions guys, makes life a bit easier for September!!
  14. My advice - go and talk to the school about budgets for setting up your class, through the school ordering system can you order your own choice of backing paper/boarders, new pencils, crayons, rubbers etc? I have 2 new teachers starting in my year group in September and I will be showing them the stock available and encouraging them to order extra things they need through the school.
    Do not buy lots of stickers unless your school signs up to the sticker culture (ours doesn't so they would be a waste of money).
    I have a box of 8 plain coloured drapes (cheap offcuts) that I have used for displays for15 years. I also buy a bright throw to go over my low brown teachers chair - easy to wash if anyone is sick on it (happened twice) but also hides that inevitable clutter that ends up under there. I have a box of 8 plain coloured drapes (cheap offcuts) that I have used for 15 years. I also buy a bright throw to go over my low brown teachers chair - easy to wash if anyone is sick on it (happened twice) but also hides that inevitable clutter that ends up under there.
  15. apologies for repeating myself!
  16. I find cutlery holders (the sort you use for storing cutlery on the washing board while its drying) really useful to store feltips and pencils- instant desk tidy, really cheap! :) They also often have a central compartment in which you can put a ruler, rubber, glue etc.

    There's no way to stop the little varmints from lifting my equipment though...if I had 50p for every missing glue stick...*shakes fist*

    Good luck in your new classroom! I'm just finishing my induction year (fingers crossed!) and I only have good things to say about it so I hope all the anxious NQTs haven't worried you too much. It IS hard work but its not Herculean, you'll be fine![​IMG]
  17. Thank you so much for posting this- brilliant idea.
  18. Alice W.

    Alice W. New commenter

    Just some websites I've found useful:

    Primary Resources
    Primary Games
    Teaching Ideas
  19. mrsshorty

    mrsshorty New commenter

    So glad you posted this!! I went to my new school yesterday too and we did all of our long term planning etc! Love all the topics were doing and saw my classroom! ( my TA has already begun gathering resources too!)
    I am so excited and can't wait to get stuck in! Do not fopr one minute think it will be easy but I have wanted to do this for such a long time that I am more than ready- will make the most of the summer break before the hard work starts!

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