Classroom Essentials for New Teachers

Ahhh, to be a grad teacher again. There’s no feeling quite like walking into your very own classroom for the first time. The excitement, the nerves, the niggling sense of panic that you can’t quite fight off... we’ve all been there and it’s totally normal! 

I often get emails from grad teachers, asking me for tips and tricks on how to get off on the right foot when it comes to how to set up your first classroom with the essentials. Firstly, I’d like to officially welcome you to the club… you’re in for a wild and wonderful ride, BFF! My DMs are always open if you need advice. Now, when it comes to a well-set-up classroom? Not only will it look great, it’ll also give you that extra boost of confidence to smash out an awesome first year of teaching!

A white eight-section storage shelf is decorated with beautiful neutral decor and classroom resources. To the right of the shelf is a teacher trolley, and above the shelf is a wall calendar in the same neutral palette.

When it comes to setting up your first classroom, it can be hard to know where to start! From decor and resources to storage and organisation, I’ve got you covered with this blog.

So, I’ve popped together your complete guide to all things classroom essentials, from becoming the queen of organization with trusty trolleys and tubs, to creating a seriously stylish classroom with my beautiful decor bundles. Now let’s get those perfect first-year teacher classroom setups sorted, BFFs (you may just find yourself a nice little discount code at the end of the blog, too)!

1. Classroom Decor - MJLL Style!

Gone are the days of boring tubs and crusty laminate from when we were in school (thank goodness). Your first year of teaching offers a clean slate to create the classroom you’ve always dreamed of, and boy have you come to the right place! It’s no secret that I’m more than a little obsessed with stylish classroom decor. Many of us are visual learners and nothing turns a class off quicker than having to look at boring, bland posters that have been hung up on the walls since the 90s. So, let’s get them excited about learning with a beautiful classroom theme that’s as educational as it is beautiful to look at (yep - it can be done!).

Create a classroom theme to keep them keen

My decor bundles are a great classroom essential for new teachers who are looking to engage their students and create an amazing learning environment (as well as have a classroom that’s the envy of the staffroom, am I right?).

The last thing you need is to spend hours trawling the internet looking for resources to decorate your classroom, which is why I’ve got a heap of all-inclusive bundles that will transform your space from drab to fab. Packed with great starter resources and materials, these bundles are designed to include everything that a first year teacher classroom setup needs - all you have to do is choose your theme!

An image of a beautiful boho classroom set up with a blue and white toned rug and cosy chair in the foreground. The wall has been decorated with my Boho Rainbow decor, including alphabet posters and number posters.

A beautiful boho classroom like this one by @mycozyclassroom_ is easier to achieve than you might think!

A teacher desk sits in the corner of a cosy-looking classroom. A lamp and fairy lights strung along the wall create soft light on the boho decor that spans the walls.


I have SO many classroom themes to suit every style. From nature-themed classroom themes, to Boho to Neutrals – I could never choose a favorite. There truly is something for everyone – check out my latest Daisy Gingham collection (the newest and cutest decor collection to date).

Plus, get all your new teacher essentials in one big bundle and save extra $$ on resources. Alphabet Posters, Visual Timetables, Birthday Displays, Classroom Calendars, Bulletin Board Bunting, Google Slides, Editable Labels in various shapes and sizes... the list goes on! 

But what if you prefer colour?

If you’re wanting to kick off your first year of teaching on a more colourful note (and after the last two years? I completely get you), my new Spotty Brights decor bundle has your name all over it. Perfect for all year levels, it once again has all the classroom essentials for new teachers in a palette that’s sure to put a smile on your face every morning! 

An eight-cube shelf is decorated with bright, colourful binders, boxes and bunting in a rainbow palette. On the wall above the shelf is a calendar in the same colours along with big numbers along the top of the image.
If you like colour then you’ll LOVE my Spotty Brights pack! It’s one of the most colourful themes I’ve ever done, but it’s already one of my best sellers.

2. Teacher Toolbox - a place for everything that doesn’t have a home!

If you’ve followed me for some time now, you’ll know that I am *slightly* obsessed with my Teacher Toolbox! I use the one from Bunnings which is perfect for storing all those everyday items and knick-knacks that your little learners can find for themselves easily with my trusty labels! Gluesticks, pencils, paperclips, sticky tape, you name it - this is a great way to ensure that you’re not left with half a glue stick by the end of the first week of school (where do they all go?!) Team them up with my Teacher toolbox labels and you’ll never have to search for a hair tie again!

A 3x4 teacher toolbox sits on a shelf. It’s labelled in neutral pink tones and cursive font, and there are potted plants sitting above and next to the toolbox.

If you don’t already have a teacher toolbox, you need to get onto it - stat! This will save you so many headaches looking for missing bits and pieces in your classroom.

3. A Teacher Trolley is your new organizational bestie

Meet your new best friend, the 10-drawer trolley. Your first year as a grad teacher is a wonderful time full of career milestones, special memories and paper... oh so much paper.

Between student papers and your own teaching documents, the only way to combat the piles of papers us teachers accumulate over the year is with a well-organized trolley, and some super stylish Trolley labels to accompany them, of course.

A silver-framed trolley with plastic tubs is labelled with bright, spotty labels, with one drawer for each day of the week.

Organize your drawers by day of the week, subject, your to-do list - whatever works for you, these editable labels make it easy!

4. Storage Tubs of various shapes and sizes

If we’re talking about organizational resources that are essential to a first-year teacher classroom setup, I can’t go past trusty storage tubs! There are endless uses for them from holding your classroom library books to storing your student’s water bottles, tubs will always be a staple in my classroom! If it’s book storage you’re after, you can’t go past these Plastic tubs from Elizabeth Richards. These tubs work perfectly within a classroom reading nook or library corner and can be labeled with the labels from my decor packs for an extra dash of organization… because there’s no such thing as *too* organized. 

A close-up image of a white shelving unit. On the top shelf sits a white binder with a spotty cover that reads ‘Literacy Assessment’ and is labelled ‘Miss Jacobs.’ On the shelf below are four white rectangular tubs, each with a circular earthy-coloured label numbered for reading levels 1-4.

My Spotty Neutrals Decor Pack contains labels for practically everything in your new classroom! From tubs like these to binder covers and teacher trolley labels, they’re all completely editable so you can use them for just about anything. Pick up this gorgeous decor pack here. 

5. Binders and Folders

I’m going to be real with you - there is a LOT of paperwork that comes with being a teacher. The education system is probably a few centuries behind when it comes to tech and digital copies (but then again, I couldn’t imagine a world without kids’ handwriting!). So, having a good filing system in place is a must!

In good news - you’re just a few binders and folders away from having a fully-fledged storage system for your classroom paperwork. Student assessment checklists and data, work samples, and lesson plans - they can all have their own binder, or you could group them by subject and term. Whatever works - just make sure you’ve got a home for everything! That’s where my Binder covers come in handy.

The shelves of a white cube storage unit are filled with white binders that have spotty labels on the spine in rainbow colours.

Brighten up your classroom with these new Binder Covers from my Spotty Brights range! They won’t *do* your filing for you, but they’ll at least make it much more enjoyable.

Not only are they totally stylish, but you’ll also be thanking your past self come term 4 when you’re NOT swimming in papers and documents trying to find that one scrap of paper from six months ago!

6. A Paper Slicer or Guillotine 

The amount of cutting you do as a teacher (especially in the classroom setup stage) is insane!! Having a paper slicer on hand will not only make things a lot easier - it will also reduce the risk of getting blisters from scissors!

Whilst it may be a bit of an outlay for a new teacher, a paper slicer is certainly an investment that you will use all year round - especially if you do a lot of your prep work at home.

7. A mirror for your Affirmation Station

For both you and your little learners alike, there will be days when you need a little reminder that you are capable of all the things. That’s where your Affirmation Station will come in handy! 

While my Decor Packs have you covered with the labels to create your affirmations with, you’ll need a mirror to complete this station. I like this one from Kmart as it’s full length (okay it’s 1.1m high, but to your kids that will be full length!)

Chantelle stands in the centre of a mirror, taking a selfie. Wearing an orange top, her hand sits on her hip as she smiles at the camera. Around the outside of the mirror are rainbow coloured labels, each with a positive affirmation on it such as “I am brave.”
A smaller affirmation station can work too! Facebook Marketplace can be a good place to find cheaper mirrors too if you’ve got the patience for that #NotMe #DeliverToMyDoorPlease  

8. Labels for #allthethings 

Whether you love it or loathe it, when it comes to setting up your first classroom, organization is the craft glue that holds everything together. Trust me when I say you’re going to want to clearly label EVERYTHING - teaching resources, assessment checklists, planning documents, your students (kidding… but that *would* be helpful!).

A classroom set up decorated and labelled with colourful decor in a rainbow palette, featuring a white table and chair in the foreground and a white cube storage unit in the background.

A smaller affirmation station can work too! Facebook Marketplace can be a good place to find cheaper mirrors too if you’ve got the patience for that #NotMe #DeliverToMyDoorPlease

So, there you have it BFFs, my tips on how to set up your first classroom for a smashing first year! Wishing you all a wonderful first year of teaching - may the kids be well behaved, and the classrooms be well-styled! Looking for more organizational tips? Check out my top tips for organizing your resources over on the blog.  


A beginning teachers guide of must-haves for the classroom

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