Classroom essentials for new teachers

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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 setting 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! My DMs are always open if you need advice. 

Now, when it comes to a well-set-up classroom? You've come to the right place. 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!

Miss Jacobs Little Learners presents spotty Boho classroom decor, creating inspired teaching spaces.
Elegant Spotty Neutrals classroom decor by Miss Jacobs Little Learners

A beautiful classroom, like this Spotty Boho one, is easy to achieve with the help of my resources!

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!

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. 

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, our job is to get them excited about learning with a beautiful classroom theme that’s as educational as it is beautiful to look at.

My decor bundles are a great classroom essential for new teachers who are looking to engage their students and create an amazing learning environment (that will become 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!

Vibrant Boho Rainbow classroom setup from Miss Jacobs Little Learners

Miss Jacobs Little Learners - complete Boho Rainbow classroom set up for teachers

The Boho Rainbow classrooms by teachers in the community are so cute!

I have SO many classroom themes to suit every style and grade. From nature-themed classroom themes, to boho to neutrals to colorful decor – I could never choose a favorite. 

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! 

Infuse color into your learning environment with Spotty Brights classroom set up by Miss Jacobs Little Learners.

If you like color then you’ll LOVE my Spotty Brights pack! It’s one of the most colorful 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! You can find these on Amazon or Target. They are perfect for storing all those everyday items and knick-knacks that your little learners can find for themselves easily with my trusty labels. Check out my Amazon storefront if you’re missing a toolbox or other organizational tools.

Gluesticks, pencils, paperclips, markers, sticky tape, office supplies, you name it - a teacher toolbox is a great way to ensure that you never run out of supplies and always have a clutter-free desk. Team them up with my teacher toolbox labels and you’re one step closer to a perfectly organized classroom.

Organize your teaching space with style using Spotty Neutrals Teacher Toolbox Labels from Miss Jacobs Little Learners

A teacher toolbox will keep all your small items organized and your desk clean. Product: Spotty Neutrals teacher toolbox labels.

3. A teacher trolley is your new organizational bestie

Meet every teacher's best friend, the 10-drawer trolley (this is from Kmart for my Australian teachers). 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.

Add a splash of color to your teaching trolley with Spotty Brights Teacher Trolley Labels from Miss Jacobs Little Learners.

Teacher trolley will help you keep all your paperwork organized and up-to-date. Product: Spotty Brights teacher trolley labels.

4. Storage tubs of various shapes and sizes

If we’re talking about organizational resources that are essential to any 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 students’ 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 help of my decor packs for an extra dash of organization… because there’s no such thing as too organized.

Miss Jacobs Little Learners presents Daisy Gingham neutrals reading tub organizers for a cozy reading corner. Create a serene learning atmosphere with Spotty Neutrals classroom decor from Miss Jacobs Little Learners.

You can use plastic storage tubs for so many things, including as reading group organizers. Product: Daisy Gingham reading group organizers and labels and Spotty Neutrals labels.

While we're on the topic of tubs, also consider purchasing some plastic caddies to use as table caddies that you can easily pop on each table group with supplies like pens, erasers and glue sticks. Another great organizational tool is to have a rolling cart within reach which you can load up with materials and resources, and easily move around the room when needed.

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.

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.

Enhance organization with stylish Modern Jungle Teacher Binder Covers by Miss Jacobs Little Learners

These Modern Jungle binder covers will make planning and marking that much easier. 

6. A paper slicer or guillotine 

The amount of cutting you do as a teacher 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.

Experience educational elegance with Tropical Alphabet Labels cut with a guillotine from Miss Jacobs Little Learners.

Once you have a paper slicer, you’ll be wondering how you ever went on without one! Product: Tropical alphabet posters.

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.

In addition to my affirmation station resources, you’ll need a mirror to complete this station. I like this one from Amazon as it’s full-length. 

Transform your space with the encouraging Botanical Affirmation Station by Miss Jacobs Little Learners.
Surround yourself with positive vibes using the Spotty Brights Affirmation Atation from Miss Jacobs Little Learners.

How lucky are the students in @young.minds.bloom classroom who get to use this Botanical affirmation station every day! These affirmation labels come in a range of themes like this Spotty Brights one pictured. 

8. Labels for everything! 

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!).

Australiana classroom decor labels designed by Miss Jacobs Little Learners.
Immerse yourself in a unique learning environment with Australiana classroom decor set up by Miss Jacobs Little Learners.

Who knew labeling would actually be fun!? With a cute decor theme, you’ll become an organizational expert in no time. Product: Australiana classroom labels.

That's it friends, now get ready for a great first year!

So, there you have it, 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.  

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