The start of the school year brings excitement for the year ahead and the opportunity to help students build healthy minds and bodies, but then there’s that familiar feeling of, “Oh boy, I’m not organized yet!” It can be so overwhelming. Where should I begin? How did I get ready last year? Where’s my back-to-school PE checklist?
I’ve yet to meet a teacher who didn’t fret over getting organized for the upcoming school year. Teachers love being ready when the students arrive, and we want to provide the best year and experience possible. My organization practices are ever evolving, and I absolutely love hearing about other teachers’ organization tips, tricks, and hacks.
Below I’ve shared my Back-to-School PE Checklist that helps my department organize our start-of-year process. Our PE checklist helps guide our efforts and delegate responsibilities so we are ready for our students on day one. This checklist came about because of the many post-it notes and notepad lists I repeatedly found myself making each year. I eventually began typing up the basic, recurring tasks we did each year and developed a comprehensive checklist to guide our beginning of the year workdays. It’s nice to have a starting point versus starting over from scratch each year. I simply print off a copy, add or remove to-do items, and assign tasks. Here’s access to an electronic copy of the template you see below Checklist Template.
- Start an electronic “to-do” list in addition to the written ones so you have a starting point each year.
- Be flexible. You may not get to it all but identify the MUST DO items and get to those first.
- Have organizational support materials on hand: file folders, highlighters, note pads, file trays, etc. so you are ready and able to quickly organize your material.
- Scan documents into PDFs and file them electronically. Thankfully, our office printer has this option. I scan and save work orders, purchase orders, equipment wish lists, inventory lists, and syllabi to a department-wide shared folder. Being able to search for things electronically versus losing them in the many piles of papers that build up in the office helps maintain some sanity.
- Delegate. Don’t do it all yourself if you work in a department. We’re all in this together.
- Make a “Start of the Year” folder where you save the beginning of the year checklist and templates for your class syllabi and policies. Share this folder with your colleagues if you work in a department.
- Ask others how they organize their start-of-the-year process. This is a great topic to search for on Twitter or ask others about on Voxer. See my previous blog (Web-Based Toolbox for Professional Development) on how to get connected via these social media options.
My Back-to-School PE Checklist
Rosters, Forms, Signs & Copies
- Class Rosters – Balance roster numbers with colleagues of similar classes, if needed.
- Export & Print rosters for first week
- Update roster template from last year
- Make rosters available for ONLINE attendance & grading via Google drive
- Class Syllabus – Update last year’s template
- Email PDF copy to Principals
- Make copies for students to take home to parents for signature
- Post copy on class website
- E-syllabus form option (Google drive)
- Absence Make-up forms
- Update form template
- Make copies, put in locker room
- Make online form available on web
- Laundry Day signs
- Check schedule with laundry room
- Print & Post updated signs.
- 5. Homeroom sign-out sheet: update/copy
Locker Room, Office & Presentations
- Discipline Plan to Assistant Principal
- See Page 8 of Student Handbook
- Get all “first day” handouts from office
- Agendas ready to be passed out
- Professional Growth Plans Updated
- Fun Run
- Set fun-run date
- Put on master school calendar
- Email staff “Save the Date”
- Start of Year Student PowerPoint update
- Locker room check-out sheets ready
- Parent Night PowerPoint update
- Locker room check-out sheets ready
- Old Excel sheet cleared
- Copy over student names into excel from rosters for male/female split and assign lockers
- Combination tags
- Check special education caseload and meet case manager on student needs.
- Paraprofessional assignments
- Paraprofessional duties outlined
- Update Program Website
Curriculum & Department Planning
- Curriculum Map check-in
- Scope & sequence, print copies
- Lesson Planning Workbook ready
- Posting Learning Targets: How/Where
- Warm-up progressions & calendar
- Electronic folder
- Print signs and ready to post
- Seconds Pro Timer setup
- Pedometer Take-Home Project
- Student interest surveys
- Start purchasing list: Needs & Wants
- Check work orders submitted in summer
- Re-submit those unfulfilled
- iPads charged & software updates
- Speakers charged
- Music playlists & Seconds Pro Timers
- Tech carts set-up, computers charged
- Welnet Set-up – email tech support
- Shared Folders updated/synced, if needed
- Pedometers: Set-up holders/hooks
- Check numbers, hinges, batteries
- Upload rosters into computer software
- Plickers cards & insert rosters online
- iPad apps updated with rosters, etc.
- Team Shake, Plickers
- Others: ______________