How to get organized, keep growing and stay motivated
Creating a teacher planner that works for you is about more than just grabbing any old planner and scribbling in dates… but it doesn’t have to be complicated. The key to using any type of planner successfully is consistency and personalization. It’s all about your needs.
We’ve rounded up 7 simple tips that will help you make the most of your teacher planner. Get started now with tips for organization, giving yourself room to grow and staying motivated so that you can plan an inspiring year.
1) Build a good foundation: must-have teacher planner sections
Identify and index sections in your teacher planner for quick navigation. Create custom sections in basic store-bought planners or DIY teacher planners with repositionable tabs. Colorful and sparkly repositionable Ultra Tabs make indexing your teacher planner more fun!
Here are the must-have sections you need:
- Class List & Birthdays
- Daily Schedule
- Parent Contact Information
- Communication Log
- Student and Teacher Passwords
- Medical Information
- Seating Chart
2) Create advanced teacher planner sections that boost efficiency
Advanced indexing tailors your teacher planner to exactly meet your needs. Handwritten or color-coded Ultra Tabs make it super easy to organize sections by priority, due date, semester or any other criteria that helps you work more efficiently.
Ideas for advanced indexing in your teacher planner:
- Monthly or weekly spreads (depending on your preference)
- Common Core standards for your state or county
- Curriculum calendars and pacing guides
- Student data
- Individualized Education Program (IEP)
- Meeting notes
- Subject sections
- Small group lesson plans
3) Make room for flexibility in your teacher planner
As much as we all love planning, there’s bound to be changes beyond our control. Extra space in your teacher planner helps you prepare for unexpected changes so that you can quickly adapt your plans as needed.
The easiest way to add flexibility to your teacher planner is to reserve blank pages in the back for notes, to-do lists and checklists. Use pencil to enter appointments and due dates that haven’t been confirmed, or write them on repositionable tabs that can easily be moved around.
You can also adapt how you use your teacher planner with DIY planner stickers that you can design and print right from your desk. All you need is a stash of blank labels or sticker project paper and a standard inkjet or laser printer. Design your own planner stickers for free with Avery Design and Print Online software.
4) Try a custom teacher planner (yes, even on a budget!)
Custom-printed Plum Paper teacher planners are amazing tools for getting organized and planning for the school year. Features like customized class and subject information are custom-printed in your planner, saving you a step or two when setting it up for the year.
If you’re on a budget, you can create your own teacher planner using a 3-ring binder, dividers and free printable templates for teacher planner pages. Creating your own teacher planner with a binder gives you maximum customization and flexibility! It’s so easy to remove or replace sections as needed.
Durable school supplies like heavy-duty view binders and plastic dividers are great options for longevity. You can remove and replace pages to use your DIY custom teacher planner year after year. Decorating your binder cover can be a lot of fun too.
5) Streamline recurring info in your teacher planner
Planners don’t work if you don’t use them, but it’s so easy to get off track if you have a really exhausting week. First you skip one day, then two days… and suddenly you’ve skipped a week.
Creating ways to quickly and easily add data and decorate in your teacher planner will help you use it daily. Planner sticker variety packs are extra versatile for decorating your planner and also quickly marking holidays, appointments and reminders and more.
Expert Tip: Tired of handwriting your subjects and class periods/times each week? Print them out using clear address labels and free Avery templates. You can print weekly from your desktop printer or let us print for you and do the whole semester or year at once.
6) Fill your teacher planner with things that inspire you
Make your teacher planner visually enticing so that you’ll be excited to use it each day. Fill it with the things that inspire you. You never know when you might open it, smile and that smile is just what you needed!
Here are our favorite teacher planner ideas to keep the inspiration flowing:
- Write your favorite quotes or inspirational sayings in the margins or blank areas on a page.
- Fill your teacher planner with color! Color can be used in your planner to boost your mood, color code and track progress.
- Personalize your teacher planner with decoration. Use stickers, doodle with markers, make collages— whatever brings you joy.
- Book time with yourself each week or day, whether that means 7 minutes of daily meditation, 15 minutes reading your favorite book before class starts or taking a walk at lunchtime.
- Paste funny comic strips from the newspaper.
7) Add SMART goals to your planner & celebrate achievement
Tracking goals in your teacher planner keeps them front of mind and makes your progress visible so you can celebrate your achievements/progress. The SMART technique is a framework for setting small goals that keep you motivated and on track towards more long-term goals and plans
SMART goals are ideal for tracking career development, class goals and milestones for both individual students and classes as a whole. SMART stands for:
- Specific – a narrow goal makes the steps to success more clear
- Measurable – how you will know you’re making progress toward your goal
- Attainable – set goals you can reasonably accomplish to keep you motivated and focused
- Relevant – each goal should align with your larger plan and long-term goals
- Time-based – an end date will help you prioritize and keep you motivated
Plan an inspiring year with your teacher planner
Make the most of your teacher planner by personalizing it to fit your needs and creating habits for consistent use. Build a good foundation with sections that make information in your planner easy to navigate and give yourself room to grow.
Streamline how you enter info with cute planner stickers that make using your teacher planner fun. Then fill it with things that inspire you and SMART goals to keep you and your class on track for long-term goals and plans.
Take a break and shop essential planner supplies that help you organize your planner and also bring you joy. What is the best advice for using a teacher planner you’ve ever received? Connect with us on Instagram or Facebook and let us know!