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Congratulations on securing your first teaching position! As the start of the school year approaches, the time has finally come for you to be in charge of your own classes, and in your own classroom! The prospect of preparing for the year to come can seem daunting at best, but the most important thing for any NQT to remember is that preparation is key. While your school (should) provide you with all the essentials you may want to consider stocking up on some teacher essentials to help you keep organised. Here is a list of some our favourite items and how we use them.

Get Organised!

Teacher Planner - Lots of schools will provide their staff with a teacher planner but you may choose to buy a more stylish version or one that suits your needs better. If you want your planner to match your style take a look at The Positive Teacher Company. They carry a selection of beautifully designed planners, but they do sell out quickly so be sure to get yours early. If carrying around a big planner is not for you many teachers now prefer to use a digital planner as it can be easily edited and updated. You can find many versions on Etsy.

  1. Bee Happy Teacher Planner £29 - The Positive Teacher Company Click Here

  2. Personalised Teacher Planner Oriental Design £20+ - Etsy Click Here

  3. 2022 - 2023 Digital Teacher Planner £26.15 - Etsy Click Here

Magazine Files - If you only buy one thing for your classroom, I recommend you buy a batch of these. They have been such a life saver for me. Each September I put aside one magazine file for each class I teach. In there I store the printouts I will be using in any upcoming lesson, I will also keep any spares that haven't been used. That way I can easily locate any printouts/worksheets a student might need if they were absent from the previous lesson. Any loose bits of paper that are handed in as part of their homework, or if something falls out of an exercise book it all goes in there. An easy way to organise the chaos!

1. Pack of 6 Cardboard Magazine File Holder with Labels £15.99 - Amazon Click Here

2. Recycled Tropical or Geometric Magazine File Holder £14.20 - Etsy Click Here

3. Eono Plastic 3 Compartment Magazine File Holder £12.99 - Amazon Click Here

In Tray - These are another must have for my classroom to help me organise all my documents from meetings, the school office, SLT, notices for students/tutees etc. One tray will be marked up as 'urgent, deal with today', another tray for things that can wait a few days and another tray for student notices.

1. Leitz A4 Letter Tray £4.76 each - Amazon Click here

2. Green Collection Letter Tray £36+ - Etsy Click Here

3. Exerz Paper Sorter 3 Drawer Wire Mesh A4 £19.99 - Amazon Click here

Wall Organiser - I like to use these to store learning mats or reference guides for students e.g knowledge organiser, tense reference guides, vocabulary handouts etc Hang them up around the classroom and let students access them when needed.

  1. Stackable Hanging Wall Files Organizer Metal Frame £34.99 - Amazon Click here

  2. Over Door Storage Organiser £16.05 - Amazon Click Here

  3. Hanging Wall Files Folder £9.99 - Amazon - Click Here

To do lists & planners - Personally I still prefer to plan my week using good old pen and paper and there's nothing like using some beautifully designed planners to help you feel motivated.

  1. MFL Weekly Planner £2.40 - Etsy Click Here

  2. Downloadable Teacher Lesson Plan £1.04 - Etsy Click Here

  3. This Week Notepad £8.50 - Etsy Click Here

Teaching Aids

Lollipop Sticks - Lollipop sticks are a great AFL tool. Have one set for each class, write students names on the lollipop sticks and use them to cold call students during the lesson.

300PCS Mini Coloured Lollipop Sticks £6.29 - Amazon Click Here

Dice - There are many games in the MFL classroom that use dice, one of our favourites is 'One pen, one dice'. Get a mixture of small and large ones to add bit of extra fun.

Pack of 30 Six-Sided Dice Coloured Dice £4.99 - Amazon Click Here

Speaking Props - I like to use a small ball which students throw around the room (gently) during a speaking activity. I have also seen teachers use other props such as toy phones. Great for a bit of role play!

Large Fabric Ball with Chiming Bell £6.95 - Amazon Click Here

Raffle Tickets - These are a great way to reward students for good behaviour/contribution in a lesson. Every time a student does something worthy of of a reward/praise during a lesson hand them a raffle ticket. At the end of the lesson put all of the tickets into a bag and select a winning one. You can choose what reward to give, but as this comes down to pure luck of the draw in the spirit of fairness I would usually reward them with a MFL sticker rather than a note in the diary/school merit etc. This works really with tricky classes, guarantees to boost engagement!

Raffle Tickets, Numbered 1-1000 £3.99 - Amazon Click Here

These are just few ideas for how to set up your classroom. You'll soon find what works best for you. Good luck for the new academic year!

* this post contains affiliate links

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