Exciting news! You're about to become the teacher of a new kindergarten class!

Marg dropping off Baby Lisa at Kindergarten school

You might feel nervous about the many things you need to prepare.

Don't worry! These 5 essential practices will help you prepare for your first day as a kindergarten teacher.

Boy pointing

1. Review the school staff handbook

Reading through your school staff handbook may seem lengthy and mundane, but it contains a lot of useful and important information!

  • School schedules and routines (e.g., recess supervision duties)

  • Emergency procedures for your classroom (e.g., fire, earthquake, lockdowns etc.)

  • Protocols for reporting injuries or accidents (e.g., completing accident forms)

  • Best ways to communicate with your student's parents (e.g. via email)

Kindergarten teacher happily reading a book

2. Get to know your students

Getting to know your kindergarteners ahead of time may help shape your teaching approach and inform how you set up your classroom.

a boy holding a magnifying glass

Read up on your students' school records to learn more information about:

  • Additional needs (e.g., physical, emotional, behavioral, or learning disabilities and impairments)

  • Dietary restrictions (e.g., allergies)

  • Prior assessments/reports (e.g., kindergarten entry assessments or preschool reports)

3. Establish classroom expectations

Planning and setting clear expectations early on will ultimately help with your overall classroom management. Co-creating classroom expectations with your students will create less confusion about what is expected and will also help your students feel valued and heard.

A child in a kindergarten classroom giving the ok symbol with their hands

Your classroom expectations should:

  • Include short phrases and student-friendly language

  • Have relevant visual images

  • Be displayed in an area where you and the students can easily refer to it when needed

4. Prepare a visual schedule of the day

At this age, kindergartners benefit from structure and routine. Display a visual schedule to promote:

  • organization

  • time management

  • independence

They'll know what to expect throughout the day, which can help ease some anxious learners coming into a new environment.

An illustrated sloth looking at a school schedule

5. Build a relationship with your students

You can plan the most amazing first-day activities for your students, but if they don't feel a sense of belonging or self-confidence in the classroom, this can impact their overall engagement and motivation to learn.

A cartoon dance party in a kindergarten classroom. The teacher plays a ukelele while the students dance.

To help build a relationship with your Kindergarteners:

  1. Greet each student by name in the morning

  2. Join in their playtime

  3. Check in with your students' feelings

  4. Emphasize open communication


During your first day, you notice a few kindergarteners not engaging in any activities. What should you do?

Take Action

Being well prepared for your first day as a kindergarten teacher will definitely help ease some of those first-day jitters!

Kelly Clarkson saying

Get ready!


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