Tips & Tricks on How to Use a Teacher Planner Effectively

What do you think will happen to your life as a teacher if there is no planning? I bet you’ll go cramming, you’ll look harried, and you’ll keep ending the day tired. But not when you know how to use a teacher planner effectively.

Pressures on teachers continue to grow as their responsibilities continue to rise. Thus, there is an ultimate need for strategic planning of lessons, meetings, chores, and personal life without hampering an active role in each pupil’s education. Schools have targets, and so marking priorities across all subject areas should be implemented.

A woman's hand writing on a planner

Looking for a teacher planner? Check out our list of the best planners for teachers to help you get well organized.

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Did you know that a few minutes of planning can save you much time to spend on the most essential things in your life? When was the last time you were able to end the week successfully? I bet you’ll love these tips and tricks I have for you.

Get a Planner that Works for You

There are hundreds and hundreds of teacher planners available in the world. Do your research and see which will work best for you. Try watching planner videos on YouTube and IG stories.

The paper planner is the traditional choice where you can highlight reminders. Writing stuff down on paper actually allows your brain to quickly scan, read, remember, and memorize your notes better. Once you write down a goal, the physical action naturally triggers the brain into maximum focus mode that lets you pay attention to details. A paper planner is for you if you prefer not to carry expensive technology to faculty meetings.

Choosing a digital planner is a different experience. You can use planning apps for reminders and ding at the exact time when you need to be alerted for a certain task or appointment. While there are apps that provide day-to-day classroom management tasks, the screen limits the ability to write like that of a paper planner. There’s a big difference when you write by hand and arrange letters by pressing keys only.

woman's hands holding a digital planner

Spend Quality Time Planning Your Lessons

When you put quality time into things that you need to put into the planner, you are mentally and emotionally motivated. Notice how it saves you so much time. Since your focus is intact, it helps you be more concise and to the point. You become efficiently selective about what to include in your planner so your thoughts are written in the right categories.

The great thing is you are able to incorporate student interests into your lessons. Quality planning connects you to exactly what you need to do, and what you want. Aiming for that helps to abbreviate goals rightly into your to-do list.

Have great fun decorating your teacher planner

It is proven that planning a lesson plan is enhanced with accessories and other extras that make you feel good. In stress therapy, it is often advised to keep a journal because of the activity’s healing benefits. I’m sure you agree with me that a nice-to-work-with planner is very stimulating.

If you are familiar with The Teacher Happy Planner, it has a good amount of stickers with extra packs that you can use. Some teachers find this unnecessary, but if you want to customize yours, then go ahead and feed your liking. So if you love filing up your planner with stickers, or use crazy colors on your teacher planner, feel free to do what makes your heart happy. I suggest you use a colored pen. There is an endless spectrum of colors you can find. Get your own collection of gel pens and make it colorful.

monthly planner with pink highlighter and pens

Choose a Planning Method

Planning is so personal. It may take a while to figure out what works for you, but it is the only way to experiment with different techniques.

Monthly spread: A monthly spread is a fun and artistic way to see your whole month in one creative look. You can enjoy decorating a monthly spread. Maybe you want to theme your February with all hearts or whole “ber” months to a complete holiday look. Another fun idea is to get seasonal – green for spring, yellow for summer, and so on. Trying to pick the best layout for a whole month can be quite challenging, though. So let your personality speak. After all, it’s your teacher planner.

Weekly spread: As its name denotes, a weekly spread is an overview of your upcoming week. This should consist of all your plan and schedule for the week ahead. It is usually composed of sections for the days of the week. Why not add with stylish weekly trackers, people to meet up, meal planning, or the weather forecast? Just keep the subjects typed out and so you can simply take a look in the activity for each day.

For example:

  • Tomorrow: Students Workshop
  • ELA: Phonics, sight words, vocabulary, and grammar
  • Physical Education
  • Social Studies
  • DEAR (Drop Everything and Read): comprehension skills, read aloud, and AR testing
  • Math Stations: create a math journal. Apply math game
  • This Saturday: Small-Group Planning
  • Personal Appointment: Dentist
  • Me Time: Beach with friends

Learn to Categorize

Things would be easier when tasks are well-categorized. Mark each task as medium (M), low (L), or Top (T) priority. Considering the importance and potential impact of your to-do-list helps you set clear targets to complete specific tasks. It will also have a great effect on the quality of your planning and teaching.

Here is another example:

Urgent: I need to do this first and make sure I finish.
Useful: I may need this one day, but for now I’ll put it somewhere safe.
Interesting: I’d like to tackle this in the holidays.

It is worth contemplating for a moment to consider what should come first, whether it’s important and what impact will it have. Ask yourself “What would happen if I don’t complete a certain task on time?” It’s true that not everything has the same importance when it comes to categorizing tasks, but each has its own potential impact when not done accordingly.

Commit to your teacher planner

When you’re more inclined to your plans and goals, you will learn to commit to it. A teacher planner is not just a list of your lesson plan, it is also your reminder book to help you manage your job.

Do follow what is in your planner by all means. Put them to action and mean it. No excuses.

Good lesson planning is essential to the process of teaching and learning.  A teacher who is prepared is on his/her way to a successful instructional experience. The development of interesting lessons takes a great deal of time and effort. It is also worth remembering that the best-planned lessons are useless when delivery is poor. So along with good classroom management techniques, being committed to what you put in your teacher planner helps you put things to action.

Watch this video and see how you too can create a one-of-a-kind planner that you’ll love to work with every day.

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The look of your planner plays a big part in using it effectively

Don’t underestimate the aesthetic factor. It has a BIG role to play. Here are the qualities you should always watch out for when choosing the best teacher planner:

Classroom Planner Size

You may find it of less importance until you start to feel it’s bulky or heavy to carry around. A too-large one may not easily fit in the tote bag or backpack. Is it too small that you can’t get writing a task completed in the assigned space? Note that you need a lot of space a year-round of lesson plans. Teacher planners with weekly pages typically are larger to make sure that it has enough space. Check the cover. Is it too bulky that adds up to the weight?

Section Tabs

Everybody likes their stuff well-sorted out. With labeled tabs, it is easy to find the right section and turn to the proper pages. This makes an efficiently organized teacher planner. Begin with how you like your ideas arranged. Don’t worry if you get new ideas every now and then, as long as you are doing it your way and it is working for you, then seeing them all neat and satisfying is enough to get you on the groove.

A Planner with Pockets

Definitely!

There will always be important notes or pieces of paper you want to keep inside your planner pockets. These are purses located on the inside of the front cover, pocket partitions in the middle of the planner, or pockets at the back cover. Keeping important notes like names, appointments, or quick instructions will make your planning even more effective. You’re not missing every quick note that you’ve collected while on the go. Just see to it that you transfer them into your planner to save the information.

Month and Year Planner Sections

Seeing the year at a glance allows you to have a separate calendar where you can mark the important dates in the monthly calendars. It makes you excited about the dates coming such as school events, public holidays, conferences, appointments, birthdays, and your personal time. Make your Monthlies attractive. Not only will it serve as an overview calendar but a thing that will strongly catch your attention.

Quick Notes Friendly

A plastic cover will keep the outside of your entire planner clean. But on top of it is a hack. Use the plastic cover to write quick notes that you can later transfer into the right pages and categories. Tricky?

TIPS:

Don’t lose track. Make sure your most important details are written in sections that are located RIGHT UP FRONT AND CENTER. Just SEE TO IT you don’t insert quick reminders or notes in sections you seldom go. This way you keep your thoughts aligned and focused.

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Do you have interesting tips to share? It would be great if you can leave them at the comments below.

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