Before School Starts

Before School Starts

When you accept your new position:

  • Request the NWT Induction package from your regional office or your principal
  • Find out if there will be an orientation in your region
  • Find out if there is a mentorship program in which you could become involved
  • Ask your principal for contact people in your new community and their phone numbers/e-mail addresses
  • Acquaint yourself with the region where you will be teaching - geography, history, culture
  • Become familiar with the NWT curricula, which are relevant for your teaching assignment -
  • Begin to prepare for your teaching assignment
  • Gather useful and relevant teaching resources Check out Free Stuff for Canadian Teachers @
  • Become familiar with the details of the contract @


When you arrive in your new community:

  • Allow time to adjust to your new home, community, environment and, possibly, culture
  • Introduce yourself to adults and children in the community - be visible and friendly
  • Explore the community and find out about local services
  • Arrange to get keys to the school
  • Contact teachers or community people you have been in touch with already prior to arrival


When you arrive at your new school:

For the best possible start, take time before school begins to get your classroom set up and your resources assembled. Advance preparation will help set the stage for a successful and rewarding year both for you and your students.

  • Get to know your materials by reviewing the program of studies and relevant curriculum guides and teacher manuals
  • Set up your classroom as a comfortable and inviting learning environment for you and your students
  • Find out about the policies and procedures for your school. These items may be included in a staff handbook or in a staff orientation, but, if not, ask your mentor or principal.
    • Registration procedures, class lists, enrollment forms
    • Expectations for first day
    • Opening exercises and school assemblies
    • School-wide rules, i.e., attendance policy, school arrival and dismissal times
    • School keys and security
    • Timetables
    • Student fees, supplies textbooks, workbooks
    • Student computer use
    • Supervision duties
    • Substitute teachers
    • Photocopies
    • Paper, supplies and budget for additional supplies
    • Student evaluation
    • Library resources for students/teachers
    • Field trips
    • Fire drills
    • Staff meetings
    • Calendar of events for the year
    • Assign bulletin boards for specific purposes:
    • Announcements
    • Student work
    • Seasonal and current events
    • Different subjects
    • Prepare for teaching:
    • Prepare an outline for the first week
    • Plan for the first day in detail
    • Organize your daily plan book - commercial or photocopied for convenience
    • Duplicate materials needed for the first few days
    • Arrange classroom furniture
    • Put your name outside the classroom door with a class list
    • Make a checklist for forms which need to be sent home and returned
    • Get a receipt book ready for money collected
    • Prepare a textbook distribution record
  • Set up a filing system:
    • Substitute teachers
    • Emergency lessons for emergency situations
    • Log book to record calls from parents and other significant incidents
    • Late and absent notes
    • Staff memos
    • Student records for evaluation and examples of student work
  • Get to know your students:
    • Read the student files
    • Identify students on Individual Education Plans (IEP) or modified programs
    • Prepare file on individual student interests
  • Prepare a package to go home on the first day:
    • Introduction letter
    • Supply list
    • Forms required by the school
  • Gather:
    • Arts and craft supplies
    • Musical equipment
    • Audio -visual equipment, TV, overhead projector
    • Computer equipment and software o Attendance materials
    • Textbooks and workbooks
    • Teaching resources
    • Collection of library books for classroom
  • Set up learning centres
  • Create a personal wellness plan


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