Teacher planners just might be the highlight of any planner junkie + teacher out there. Choosing just the right cover, layout, to do list, and extra insert pieces makes a difference. Adding in stickers creates a whole new level of awe.
Yes, you purchase your teacher planner in the hopes it will help you to stay organized. But a lovely side effect is the big smile on your face every time you pull your planner out of your desk. If you aren’t smiling, you aren’t doing it right. Let’s get you the teacher planner that brings your smile back.
Where Can I Find a Good Teacher Planner
There are several places to find your own best planner edition. You can look online, in the physical store, or even create your own printable version.
I have found that what makes me happy is being able to customize my own cover, choose the pages I prefer from my template choices, have a matching lesson plan, and then print off as needed and bind together.
Maybe you prefer a thicker large book style shiny cover planner that has everything in it for the entire year and you are lost without carrying it around.
Some other teachers might go a completely different direction and choose an online teacher planner so that everything is digital and nothing needs to be carried. Apps are useful for looking or changing to dos very easily on the fly.
Ready-for-you is convenient, but might not include everything in your planning wish list.
What Should You Look for in Your Teacher Planner
Here are some things to consider when looking for your dream classroom planner. Most buy off the shelf planners won’t have the ability to customize your choices, while digital files that you print yourself allow you the option to choose your preference of pages, order them how you like, and pop in a binder for the ultimate best for you option.
Calendar: Choose between a monthly, weekly, or daily format. Personally I like a weekly and monthly layout in my planner. The monthly is important for me to write down upcoming events, but the 2-page weekly spread allows me to document all the little things that have to get done throughout the upcoming week.
Layout: Horizontal or vertical. This might not matter to some teachers, but it is a deal-breaker for me. I cannot work in a vertical weekly format. For some reason it doesn’t feel right. If it doesn’t matter to you, that’s fine too, but if it does matter, this is one of the first things I look at when deciding whether a new planner will make it through the year with me.
Lesson planning template: An optional piece of course. Some teachers prefer to have a separate lesson planning book from their calendar planning pieces. Others want it all in one. The choice is yours.
Gradebook: Another optional piece. Keep in mind if you are carrying around confidential grades, make sure students don’t have access to snoop throughout your planning book at all.
Personalized custom cover: I love having my name on my cover, but that’s just me. And the cover design really does make a difference in my smile factor.
Extra pages: Classroom management plan template, seating chart pages, substitute information, important dates, classroom roster, and more.
The sky is the limit. You should write down really your must-haves included in your ultimate dream planner and then make sure whatever option you choose is as close to that dream as possible.
How to Create a Teacher Planner
If you are choosing to go with a digital printable in which you print your specific pages, there are 4 great options for putting your new personalized teacher lesson planner together.
1. Use a 3 ring binder. This option is the best for me because I am able to add in or take out pages easily without having to bind anything over from scratch. I love adding in monthly tabs and different sections of my planner for simple organization.
A 1.5 inch binder tends to do the trick for my needs – and there are so many different colors out there to chose from that you can match virtually any design.
Also having a clear insert front cover is useful for adding in my personalized cover with my name on it.
2. Coil Binding can be a choice as well. Many schools have a coil binding machine to make student “books.” You can use this same machine to create your teacher plan book.
Print the pages you wish to include, along with your cover on top, and then bind them together to look like a professional planner you might find in the store.
3. Comb Binding machines are a little pricier so you may or may not have access to one at school. But you can still easily find one at the office supply store! Take your pages to the copy counter at your local office supply chain and ask them if they can coil bind it for you.
Typically you can even choose whether there is a clear cover, no cover, a plastic or colored paper backing, and what color the coil is. Even with these extra options, it should cost you less than a trip to Starbucks.
Coil binding is super handy as it allows the planner to be opened flat on the table when writing in it.
Want to save even more time? Since you are at the office supply store anyway, take in or email your planner files, and use their printing services to have the all in one planner made for you on the spot. That option saves you time and ink!
4. One last way to display your favorite teacher planner is with a report cover with brads. This option is good if you prefer to only print off your weekly plans no more than a month out being that the report cover won’t be able to hold an entire year’s worth of pages.
If you prefer to keep it simple by printing as you go throughout the year (thereby saving paper if you only print what you need when you need it), then having something lightweight to carry around is a nice perk. And you can still show off your custom cover page.
Here is an option for a super cute printable planner you might like: Save the Drama for Your Llama Simple Teacher Planner!
This digital file includes:
- Divider tabs
- Monthly Customizable Calendar: Form fields allow you to “type” in the dates monthly so you never need to buy an updated version
- Matching Lesson Plan Template: Type right on to the form
- Meeting Notes Page
- From the Desk of Notepad Pages
- Custom Cover
All pages have typeable fields so you can choose to fill in, save, print, OR email the file. This is perfect if you want to send a note to a parent – or share IEP meeting notes with a colleague who wasn’t able to make the meeting.
Page are 8.5″x11″ standard page size for printing and adding to a binder.
Whether you choose to go old school planner, completely online, or a mix in between with a print-it-yourself option, knowing what you prefer really is the key to finding your planner nirvana.
You might want to check out:
Need some new ideas for lesson planning and calendar organization in the classroom? This 107 page digital book has you covered!
Includes 22 articles from Organized Classroom, including topics such as:
-How to Make Your Own Teacher Planner
-Setting Up Your Daily Classroom Schedule
-Digital Filing Cabinets
-Weekly Planning Resources
-Several To-Do List Templates
-Balancing Home and Work Life in your Calendar
…and even more!
Also 9 additional freebie files! Now available in our Bookstore! And the second copy to share with a friend is half price!
What type of planner do you love best? We would love to hear in the comments below!