30 Questions You Should Ask Today

Get a head start on a great first year.

Photo © NEA

If you’re in a new school or you’re a first-year teacher, use these questions as a guide to what you’ll need to know about school policies in the coming year:

  1. Where and how do I secure supplies (dry erase markers, erasers, paper, etc.)?

2. How do I check out regular and supplemental texts?

3. What are the procedures for use of technology?

4. How do I make arrangements for a field trip?

5. How do I sign my class up for the media center?

6. How do I order films or other media?

7. What are the procedures for taking a class to an assembly?

8. When am I responsible for locking my room?

9. What machines are available for me to use — copier, computer, laminator, etc.?

10. Where can I get free and inexpensive materials?

11. With whom should I consult as I make decisions on the use of supplemental materials?

12. What are the attendance accounting procedures for students, and what are my responsibilities in attendance record-keeping?

13. What do I do with any money I collect?

14. What are the grading guidelines for the school system? What documentation must I provide?

15. How do I fill out an interim report?

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16. To whom do I report serious problems with a student’s health or behavior?

17. What student records must I maintain in cumulative folders?

18. What procedures do other teachers in my school follow for contacting parents by letter, email, or phone?

19. What should I expect from a parent conference?

20. What should I do if I must leave my room during class?

21. What should I do in case of a medical emergency in my classroom?

22. How do I handle a fight between students?

23. How do I report a disciplinary problem?

24. How do I arrange for a substitute?

25. How do I apply for personal, professional, vacation, or sick leave?

26. What is my salary and what deductions are taken?

27. Are there any “unwritten rules” for teachers in my school?

28. Where is my personnel file and what’s in it?

29. Where do I go if I am having trouble?

30. How do I know if I am doing a good job?