You just graduated from a teaching program and have secured your first high school teaching position. Congrats!

Now all you have to do is prepare for your first day of teaching. Easy, right?

A male teacher enters a classroom, pauses dramatically. He tells his students,

Okay, maybe not easy, but you'll be ready in no time if you follow some key tips about classroom management and planning! Flaticon Icon

Tip #1: Consider Your "Why"

To succeed in your goals, know your reasons for teaching.

  • What are your values?

  • What do you hope to accomplish in the classroom?

  • How do you plan to approach relationships with students, parents, and colleagues?

  • How will you remind yourself of your "why" when things become difficult?

The word why is in the center with values, relationships, teaching style, goals, and purpose extending out from it.

Tip #2: Create an Inviting Classroom Environment

You can only make a first impression once! Be sure to prepare the classroom before students arrive.

Students seated in their chairs clap in a neat well-lit classroom that is decorated with visual aids.

💡 High school teachers may not need the same level of classroom décor as primary teachers, but a welcoming and warm environment is still important.

When setting up your classroom, try including/creating:

  • Visual learning aids such as graphic organizers, charts, or maps

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  • Inspirational posters that include quotes, goals, or life skills

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  • An organized space with a good "flow" that allows movement and collaboration

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Tip #3: Establish Relationships

Building relationships is key to having great classroom management. Try the following strategies to create a collaborative classroom environment.

Mr. Garrison, the teacher from

Tip #4: Set Up Classroom Norms

  • Create classroom rules, post them in a visible location, and discuss what the rules look like in action.

  • Discuss classroom procedures, which explain how the classroom functions. For example, you might want students to raise their hands before speaking.

  • Set high expectations by teaching on the first day of school. Assign a few math problems, a journal prompt, a reading assignment, or a hands-on activity to establish a learning routine.

A few students in a high school classroom anxiously raise their hands while a teacher looks down at their desk.

Tip #5: Be Prepared!

You can ensure a smooth start to the school year if you:

  • create detailed lesson plans and plan more than you need.

  • prepare materials, technology, and directions in advance.

  • arrive early and dress to impress — you want your look to say, "I'm a confident professional!"

  • make sure to understand school policies and expectations for teachers.

  • know who to contact in the event of an emergency.

  • remember to take a deep breath and have fun!

    Chidi from

⚡Knowledge Check Time!

A. Matt has planned a super fun icebreaker for the first day. He hasn't had a chance to consider how to address classroom expectations.

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B. Maria has organized her classroom and created stellar lesson plans. She'll try to think of an icebreaker during her commute and print her syllabus before school starts.

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C. Jada has decorated her classroom and written her lesson plans. She has all materials ready, including her icebreaker. She plans to arrive early.

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D. Elliot has a list of great icebreakers and some journal prompts ready to go. He still hasn't finished setting up his classroom but then decides that isn't a priority.

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Which new teacher is most prepared for their first day based on the above scenarios?

Take Action

The first day of school will arrive soon enough, but you have no reason to worry if you come prepared!

Nemo from the movie finding nemo swims while overlaid text reads

Get ready for your first day:


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