Not all planners are made alike, but there are certain things that every teacher planner should have. The best planners meet the needs of the individual. Elementary teachers may have other needs than upper-grade level teachers. Maybe you need a planner that you can use for school events and your personal life. Whatever it is, here are a few things to consider before you purchase your new teacher planner.
Sections Every Teacher Planner Should Have
With my planner, I plan out the school year and my personal life. Here are the sections that my perfect teacher planner should have:
Lesson Planning Sections
Whether you are using your planner as your teacher planner or you need it for homeschooling, lesson planning sections are a must! A good teacher planner will always have a place for basic lesson plan pages.
Having lesson plans on paper is super important for moments when your electronic version isn’t working. There have been many times in my career when the internet was down, and I had to look at my weekly lesson planner (paper version) to remember what was scheduled for class that day.
Grading Sheets & Communication Logs
Your perfect teacher lesson planner is not complete without some grading sheets. Some teachers do everything entirely online. However, my experience says that most teachers like to have a backup. This is where paper grading sheets come in. More so, these grade sheets are important in marking student achievement.
Regardless of your personal teaching style, pages dedicated to contact with parents are vitally important
I always like the teacher planner with layouts that contain different planning points. For example, a good layout for me would have a box for goals, a weekly to-do checklist, a horizontal daily layout, and maybe even a food log. These things will help any teacher stay organized in every area of daily life.
Weekly Planning Pages
Instead of just having a one-month calendar, I need to have a weekly activity schedule. Personally, I appreciate a horizontal layout for my weekly planning pages. This layout includes seven subject boxes, one for each day of the week. An elementary school teacher could certainly benefit from weekly planning pages since elementary-age children often go to different classes (i.e. music, art, P.E.) on different days of the week.
Having a monthly calendar is a great way to have a quick view of the month. On my monthly calendars, I write in important events to see all of these things coming up in one quick look. Also, this is a great place to write in class birthdays to remind me to wish my students a happy birthday.
The academic planner section is a great place to write down your class schedules, rotating schedules, and any other important dates. The academic year (entire school year), most of the time is only from August to May. Many times during the summer, teachers have a busy schedule filled with professional development. This is where an undated planner may come in handy to use as your academic planner.
To-Do List Stickers and Note Pages
To-do lists are a big deal in my world. If I do not have my to-do checklist pages, I feel lost and overwhelmed in the sea of stuff I know I have to do.
The best teacher planner will have blank note pages, which are an absolute must! Many planners will have blank graph pages, which are fine and still serve the purpose for many uses.
One way I use these pages is for seating charts. When teaching middle school, seating charts were an absolute must!
Stickers sheets in a planner are a great and colorful way to indicate important dates in your perfect planner. These sticker sheets can indicate school holidays, have inspirational quotes, when to pay a bill, and more.
All of these things combined make for fantastic organizational tools!
Built-In Pocket Folder
Your all-in-one planner is not complete without some built-in folders for old other miscellaneous and important things.
Personal Info Page
Last but not least, your paper planner needs to have a personal information page. This ensures that if you lose this item that has all your planning tools.
Final Thoughts on Teacher Planners
Whether your needs are for the best all-around academic planner, or, a spiral-bound planner to stick into your teacher binder, you will want to consider all of the above items listed. The best planners are the ones that you know you will use on a regular basis and fits your specific needs.