Lauren here from the Appointed Team. As a former teacher turned planner expert, I am excited to share some planning tips for teachers as we release our new 23-24 planners.
Back to school may feel far off into the future as the current school year winds down and summer starts, but it is never too early to start planning for the next school year. As a former teacher, I know the importance of planning out the year and setting good habits for weekly and daily productivity. While productivity and efficiency is key for a productive day teaching, we think the best teacher planner can also be a tool for wellness.
Getting Ready for the Year
Even if you aren’t fully ready to dive into lesson planning for the school year, using time over the summer to write out important dates in your academic planner will give you a better sense of what the year ahead will look like. Our Weekly Grid Planner and Year Task Planner are great options to add school breaks, professional development days, and testing days on the monthly spread.
And if you want to dip your toes into lesson planning, you can start adding in units or themes on the side of each weekly spread to aid in your future planning. I love that the Weekly Grid Planner has space for notes along the left and right side of the weekly spread where I can add intentions, goals, and themes for that week. The best academic planners leave space for notes because so much can change week-to-week and day-to-day as a teacher.
Planning for the Week
When the school year starts, it’s important to build in time to your weekly schedule not just for daily lesson plans but for preparing for each day’s random to-dos and tasks that need your attention.
When I taught, I liked to set aside time on Sunday evenings to open up my planner and review what my week ahead looked like. Before I left the classroom on Friday, I would highlight what was left on my tasks list. Then, as I prepared for the week, I was able to transfer over those tasks in order of priority and plan out when I would get to each one. Our Yearly Task Planner has space each week for both priorities and tasks as a gentle reminder of the importance to prioritize what’s on your plate.
Using your planner to map out repeating tasks is also a good Sunday night habit. Maybe you have to make copies of the spelling test every Tuesday or post the lunch menu for the next week on Thursday afternoons. Writing these tasks out helps you see the bigger picture for your upcoming week.
Looking at the week ahead can easily feel overwhelming. Highlighters can be your friend to help you manage the chaos. We have 12 new Mildliner Highlighters colors available, and they are the perfect way to visualize and beautify your weekly plan and priorities. For example, Sherbert Yellow could be for family engagement, Marigold for materials preparation, and Dark Blue for professional development.
Planning for the Day
Every morning, it is important to pause and review your day. Mornings in a classroom can be chaotic. A great way to streamline this is to set aside five minutes before you leave to update your planner with what you need to focus on the next day and make notes for anything you need to remember about the day. All of our planner formats contain extra space for notes— whether that be a quick conversation you had with a parent or a book recommendation from a colleague. Having space to write down important notes is an easy way to pull out important tasks for the next day.
If you are lucky enough to have planning time built into your day, this morning reflection is an ideal time to think through what needs to get done during your planning period and what can be saved for later. It’s also a time to consider what you need for your own wellness. It is easy to pile your planning period with tasks upon tasks. But it’s also okay to designate time for a brief walk outside or a 10-minute meditation.
Feeling ready to jumpstart the upcoming school year? Browse our newly released collection of academic planners and don’t forget to sign up for Appointed EDU. Our Appointed EDU program offers 15% off every order for active students and educators. Simply sign up with your .edu email and you'll receive a welcome email with your discount code. Happy summer and happy planning!