We’ve been in business for more than 45 years here at EPSL, so we know as well as anyone exactly how much easier life can be when you’ve got a well designed teacher planner. That’s why we take care to stock a selection of them on our site, with every aspect of their designs having been carefully constructed to help you stay organised and make your teaching life easier.
Plus, this week we’ve got a couple of tips to help you get the very most out of your teacher planner, so you can minimise stress while maximising your productivity!
Make sure to keep all your planning central
From the newest junior teachers to the most experienced veteran educators, almost every teacher has at least one major quality in common - a range of ways to stay organised. You’ve probably got your own array of resources already, from diaries to online calendars, planners, post-its and wall charts. But while they can each be useful aids in themselves, trying to split your planning between too many different resources can actually leave you less organised, with your notes, plans and reminders in different places.
That’s why a teacher planner is quite such a useful resource - it provides you with a central point for all your notes and plans, and one that you can carry with you everywhere. That means you can update it whenever inspiration strikes you, or quickly adjust it in response to new events - rather than having to remember everything for the next time you see your wall chart. (That’s not to say you can’t use other resources in conjunction with your planner - just make sure that it keeps playing the primary role!)
Map your entire year in advance
You’ll already have a good idea of what’s coming up over the course of the next year, but it’s a good idea to take a moment and sit down to review it anyway, noting down what you’re likely to be doing on key dates, such as half-term breaks or bank holidays. By doing this, you can give yourself more time and energy to spot potential issues or conflicts and deal with them ahead of time - for example, if you think you may be trying to write a set of reports when some urgent marking comes in, or two of your classes end up handing in pivotal assessments within the same timespan.
Flexibility is key
Teachers know better than anyone that you can plan your time all you like, but life often has a way of being unpredictable. (And let’s be honest, so do some of the students.) So rather than planning with minute-by-minute precision, it’s always a good idea to plan in some wiggle room - both at the macro and micro level. When you’re doing your weekly or monthly schedules for example, it’s a good idea to first look at the big tasks you think have the most potential to overrun, and schedule in some extra time that you can dedicate to catching up.
One common formula that lots of teachers use is dividing their tasks into one of three categories:
1) Must do
2) Should do
3) Could do
It’s easy to see why it’s such a widely-used formula - it’s great for helping yourself to prioritise your daily tasks, balancing them along with your more complex or long-term goals.
It’s also a formula that’s worth applying to your lessons too; some of your students may learn a little more slowly than others, while some may learn a little faster. That way you can task them all with the more pressing learning objectives, while having backup options for those students who complete the tasks more quickly - so that nobody is left with nothing to do.
These are just a few of our suggestions of course - you may well have your own methods of staying organised! Whatever your strategies, rest assured we’ve got the equipment to help right here at EPSL. As well as our range of teacher planners, we also provide an excellent range of personalised exercise books, so you can tailor them to the requirements of your class.
With more than 40 years of experience behind us, we’re top of the class when it comes to producing resources and learning solutions for schools, so you can count on us to provide answers in as much or as little detail as you need. Feel free to give us a call on 01254 686 500!