What is a teacher planner?
A teacher planner is notebook or binder that teachers use to organize their time, tasks and class information. Like standard personal planners, they generally include a calendar for managing time. However, teacher planners also have pages to track attendance and assignments as well as store class rosters, lesson plans, and other important information.
Teacher planner benefits
Of course, teacher planners are primarily tools for organizing your time, tasks and class information. However, it’s important to keep in mind that “teaching is a work of heart.” Your teacher planner should also be a tool to keep you motivated so you can inspire your students and keep growing.
That being the case, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about teacher planners. There’s plenty of tips for using yours to the fullest, and yes that includes using it for inspiration!
Different types planners for teachers
Firstly, you have preprinted teacher planners. You can buy them from a variety of retailers and they have a very generalized layout and design. Then there are custom-printed teacher planners. For example, these popular ones from Plum Paper where you can have customized class and subject information printed right in the planner.
Preprinted and custom planners generally come in the form of spiral bound notebooks. However, some teachers prefer a 3-ring binder for ultimate flexibility and/or maximum capacity. These DIY teacher planners are generally filled with free printable pages designed by and for teachers, original pages created from scratch, or some combination of both.
What should a teacher planner have?
There are a 8 must-have sections that every teacher planner should include:
- Class List & Birthdays
- Daily Schedule
- Parent Contact Information
- Communication Log
- Passwords and Logins
- Substitute Information
- Medical Information
- Seating Chart
Firstly, make sure you have a daily schedule and a class list. Certainly, you’ll use these sections every day. And, your class list is a great place to also mark students’ birthdays. After that, designate sections for parent contact information and a communication log. Building teacher-parent relationships is essential, so you’ll want this info handy.
Then, double check that you have a place to store teacher passwords as well as student medical information. While it may not be used daily, this type of info is critical to keep somewhere safe and easy to find quickly. And finally, your planner is the perfect place to store and plan your seating chart.
Advanced planner sections that boost efficiency
Additionally, there are a few extra sections you might want to include in your teacher planner. For example, monthly or weekly spreads in addition to your daily calendar. Or, macro-level guidelines such as Common Core standards for your state or county, curriculum calendars, and pacing guides.
On the other hand, micro guidelines specific to your class are also useful in your teacher planner. Examples include subject sections, small group lesson plans, and Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). Not to mention student data and meeting notes to track student progress throughout the year.
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.
The best stickers for teacher planners
Planner stickers are essential for any type of planner and there are several kinds that work well for teachers. Of course, planner sticker packs are always at the top of the list. They’re ideal for decorating as well as quickly marking holidays, appointments and reminders.
Additionally, DIY planner stickers that you can design, edit, and print right from your desk are great for adapting your teacher planner pages. For one thing, they’re useful for creating your own planner pages from scratch. You can use them to cover over writing on preprinted planner pages to make the pages fit your needs.
In fact, blank labels with TrueBlock® are ideal for printing labels to adapt pages because they completely block anything underneath. Even dark ink and images so your day and date covers look neat, professional and pleasing to the eye.
Last but not least, spice up your teacher planner with trendy clear planner stickers. They’re great for personalizing your planner with recurring class or schedule information and you can make them yourself using clear address labels and free Avery templates. Print them weekly from your desktop printer or let us print for you and do the whole semester or year at once.
Fill your planner with things that inspire you
Teaching is a work of heart so your planner should reflect that. Make visually enticing so that you’ll be excited to use it each day and 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 information 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.
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
A teacher planner is a tool to organize your time, tasks and class information. But of course, it’s so much more than that. It’s also a place you can fill with things that inspire you. Not to mention SMART goals that keep you motivated to achieve long-term goals and plans for yourself and your class.
Preprinted, custom-printed, and even DIY teacher planners— no matter what you use, there are ways to personalize it to fit your needs. Every teacher planner starts with a good foundation of must-have sections. From there, build yours out with more advanced sections and room to grow.
Planner stickers are a must-have for any planner, and there a lot of ways for teachers to use them. A combination of planner sticker packs and DIY planner stickers make using your teacher planner fun and functional.
What does your teacher planner mean to you? Let’s talk about it in the comments or on Facebook. And, don’t forget to tag your back-to-school planner pics with #averyproducts on Instagram to share your inspiration!