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Teacher Planner: Summer Pre-Planning!

Posted on August 08 2016

I teach; therefore I am a master of pre-planning. Okay, maybe not a master, but hey – I like to think so and it definitely makes me feel more confident! I pre-plan not only in my school planner, but also my personal one. I’ve got notes written out months and months ahead of time, because I ALWAYS forget!  It’s always a fun surprise to flip to a new month and see what I’ve got coming up!  If it’s something exciting, it never fails to feel like Christmas morning ;)

Teachers know the value of their summer time, and – usually – we make the best of it by planning ahead for the upcoming year.  If you’re anything like me, though, you’re a glutton for punishment, and all big events get planned during the summer. I got married during the summer, and have moved several times during the summer. This summer, J* and I got the brilliant idea to buy a house! 

What?

In hindsight, doing this after school had started and I had a plan and a vision for the year already mapped out would’ve been the better choice…but hey.  I work with what I’ve got.  And this – this is what I’ve got. 

Yikes.

Someone send search dogs if you don’t hear from me for a few days. I’m somewhere underneath piles of extra kitchen stuff, poochie blankets, and planning supplies. 

However, amidst all the insanity of moving, and cleaning our apartment…I haven’t forgotten that school is just around the corner. Our district goes back August 30th this year – before Labor Day for the first time, I think, ever – and I know it’ll be beyond stressful if I get totally behind on pre-planning!

Planning ahead for your school year – or even your personal life – doesn’t have to be daunting! It should give you a sense of relief; it’s a big step to take, mapping out a few months at a time or documenting important dates. Here’s a sneak peek at how I plan ahead for a school year. 

(Side-note: These Pilot Frixion pens? HUGE for teachers. Pens that erase. And erase well. Mind blown.)

  1. Holidays, no school days, and In-service days: Any days that I won’t be seeing kiddos need to be marked! That way, I won’t preemptively plan something for a day and get my scope and sequence all out of whack. 
  1. End of quarters, end of semesters, progress reports and report cards: Having these all marked keeps me on top of grading. If I know progress reports are due in two weeks, I know I have to get my butt in gear!! ;) It also helps me visualize the quarter as a whole, so I know how much time I have to cover something before a term ends.
  1. Staff meetings: Not the most ‘fun’ part of our job, but still essential – our school has two meetings per month, and it’s imperative that I know ahead of time when they are, so I don’t make appointments those afternoons.
  1. A “flexible” schedule of topics: I say flexible because time always gets away from you. Sometimes, things go quickly, and sometimes they take forever! If I at least know what I’m covering each quarter, I can adjust as needed. 

Okay Keri, so how do you use this?

I’ve gotten into the habit of checking my ‘monthly view’ before each week of planning – I mark down anything important from pre-planning in the appropriate days, and then fill in the rest around it. Without the pre-planning process, I’d be a mess. (And it’s happened; for a while I just decided to ‘wing it,’ and I’d be unpleasantly surprised by meetings, etc!)

Do you only pre-plan in your planner?

No way, José. A good chunk of summer ‘off’ time is getting ready for the first week of school! I set up class lists, first-week plans, seating charts, student surveys – always, always, always go into the first few days of school over-prepared! Even now, eight years into my career in the same school, and the same grade, I still have first-day anxiety. This calms my nerves significantly!

What’s your pre-planning process like?  For all my teacher friends: if you have any tips on how you pre-plan, please share in the comments! I’m always looking for new ways to streamline my summertime planning.

Good luck to all my teacher friends, going back soon! <3 

 

This blog post was written by Keri Thivierge for the Limelife Planners Media & Creative Team. For more information about Keri visit her on Instagram @steviedplans. Please share this blog entry with your friends! All we ask is that you give credit to Limelife Planners and the post author.

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