First off, HAPPY SUMMER!! I’ve officially ended my second year of teaching! (As a heads up, the blog post frequency may slow during the summer.)
I think I was destined to be a teacher. I love personalized cups and mugs! Free t-shirts are my thing! I adore creating lists and bulletin boards! And office supplies are my absolute weakness!! However, the biggest indicator that leads me to believe that teaching is my calling is that I am a perfectionist and need a planner to keep my life on track. I received my first planner in middle school. It was a 8.5 x 11 spiral-bound planner that included the student handbook, measurements and conversions, an ASL alphabet chart, and a cool 3D cover of the school mascot (which I learned to erase with nail polish remover and add my own pictures). Once my home room teacher explained how to use it, I was hooked! Almost 20 years later, I am a middle school teacher desperate to pass on the power of planners to 150 seventh graders.
Every January and July, I have a ritual: go to Target to get a planner. January’s trip is typically for a personal planner. As a small business owner and someone who is always on the go, I need a planner to keep me sane. This planner helps me to track doctor’s appointments, events, bills, etc. This trip may take about 30 minutes, due to searching for a cute, sturdy planner. One of the must-haves is a daily planner section where I can write in details for each day. My July trip takes a lot longer. It may even lead me to a local craft store. This planner is my school year planner. I have a lot of must-haves that usually go unfulfilled. This planner must include a huge notes section, monthly calendars, daily planning pages, multiple to-do lists, the grade 7 CCSS ELA standards, Bloom’s Taxonomy chart, and DOK levels. Obviously, many planners aren’t going to include the last half of that list.
Last year, after searching for the perfect planner, I finally had enough. If you want something done correctly, you must do it yourself. It took roughly 3 days, but I had created my perfect planner. I had 10 double-sided pages of checklists, 20 double-sided pages of lined paper, a section for parent phone call logs, the CCSS standards, Bloom’s Taxonomy, DOK levels, daily planning sheets, monthly calendars, IEP accommodations, a personalized cover, and (of course) motivational quotes on each page. It was about 150 pages of pure awesomeness. Many of my co-workers were in awe of how much detail went into this planner. I was proud.
This school year, I didn’t have the time or patience to create another planner. After seeing The Tutu Teacher’s Instagram Story about purchasing The Happy Planner, I was amazed. It was completely customizable!!!! Literally, five minutes after watching her InstaStory, I ordered mine from Michael’s. (On the Me & My Big Ideas website, it was almost $50, but I found it on sale at Michael’s for $20.99). Once it arrived, I went to Michael’s and used my teacher discount and rewards program to get a few add-ons (additional checklists, stickers, a tie bookmark, and note pages). They also have a hole-punch available to add in your own pages, which I might purchase to add in the CCSS standards and whatnot. So far, I’ve already used the stickers to label the holidays and school events.
Although I’m only three days into my summer vacation, I’ve already started somewhat planning for next school year. Unit one is printed and put in a binder, with color-coded dividers. My planner is already set up. Now, I can officially relax a little more. For some reason, I just can’t relax when I know that I have to plan or purchase certain classroom materials. At least, now, I can use time to fall down the #planner rabbit hole on Pinterest! Lol.
So far, I’ve stalked the @TheHappyPlanner + @MeandMyBigIdeas Instagram accounts and I’m getting so many ideas on how to spruce up my planner, which I absolutely love!! I’m definitely a “planner person,” and I love it! Find your perfect planner on their website. (I’m in no way affiliated with this company; I just really love planners!)
How do you stay organized?