I'm shamelessly stealing the first 3 paragraphs from my response in another thread, and the end from another thread somewhere. But I think some of the newbies may need a direction now that they've signed those contracts. - Well, for starters, you'll need a teacher wardrobe. Exactly what that means depends on where you teach, but start to think about it. Right now you can find things on clearance that will get you through those first few weeks, and will do again in the spring. But don't wait; those woolens will be out any day now. Don't forget some comfortable, professional shoes. Oh, and if you're a stockings person (I realize there aren't as many of us nationally as there are in NY) take a look at the Hanes/ L'eggs outlet: http://www.onehanesplace.com/ - Do you know that you'll have a homeroom? If so, you'll need basic bulletin board supplies. In the past few years I've used a $5 bed sheet from Walmart. It's indestructible and doesn't fade all year. (I chose red or green, so I could do Christmas stuff-- I teach in a Catholic school.) You can also pick up border and posters as you see them over the summer. In my homeroom I like to keep a box of bandaids (fewer kids leaving for the nurse for paper cuts), basic office supplies, safety pins and a few other things you can pick up at the dollar store. You'll probably also want to invest in a dictionary and thesaurus. (Oh, and on the off chance that you're also in a Catholic school, I always put up a creche at Christmas time; I think I got it at Oriental Trading.) - Stock up on stickers, yes, even for your Seniors. I make a lot of them at vistaprint... everything from "Mrs. A thinks your math grade is a real TREAT" with a jack O'lantern for Halloween to "Mrs. A thinks this grade puts you on my NICE list" with a picture of Santa for December. The kids ADORE them. OK, now let's talk material. Let's assume you have a copy of the syllabus. Here's what I do: - I hit Staples and buy a new binder for each course-- 1.5-2". Then I go home with my syllabus and type up a chart in Word. I have a column for lesson #, one for topic, one for homework and one for short notes (as in "needs graph paper") Then I block out my year, with the number of lessons I think each topic will take. I put in tests (I like to test every 2 weeks, regardless of what I've covered) and count. If I'm under, that's great, since some topics (as well as the occasional snow day) will throw off my timing. If I'm over (that's never happened) I know I have to streamline my plans. Then take your syllabus and start planning those lessons. - Something else: anytime I type a test, I include "row__" in the heading. Save a copy of each heading on Word and use it each time you type a test. It makes them a lot easier to hand back, especially in those early weeks when I'm still learning who's who. All the row 1 papers go on the first desk in that row, and so on. - Start now to find resources you'll be able to rely on.. One I like is: http://regentsprep.org/ - Think about your classroom rules and regulations. I tend to have very few-- I think high school kids pretty much know what to do and how to do it. But give it some thought. Give serious thought to your policies and run them by someone at school before giving them to the kids. Think about how you'll handle make up tests, extra help, kids who are absent, and the other day to day stuff.