Being organised is essential in teaching. Every teacher has a teacher planner where you do your lesson plans, track student progress, monitor the progress of your goals, record professional learning notes, record meeting notes and much more.
I have never found a commercial teacher planner to suit my needs and over the last 5 years, I have created and refined my own teacher planner in OneNote. Here’s the structure of my OneNote digital planner.
I have a very straight forward section structure. For me this is the right amount of sections to stay organised and not be overwhelmed by too many sections. I have a section for:
- Yearly organisation
- Term 1
- Term 2
- Term 3
- Notes for School 1
- Notes for School 2
Yearly organisation section
This section has two pages – a cover page and a yearly calendar from NSW Education.
Term 1, 2, 3 and 4 sections
These sections have the same pages. Each section has a page for each school week. Each page has a table format for lesson plans for each day and period, a column for a daily to-do list and a column for tracking the progress long-term projects. For the daily to-do list, I use the To-Do tags in OneNote to check off a task when I finish it. Whatever I don’t get done, I cut and paste it to the next day or week.
I like having my lesson plans, to-do list and long-term projects presented on one page so I am not flicking back and forth between different pages, which I found I did not like with hardcopy planners.
School notes section
These sections hold notes for the two different schools I work at this year. For my main school, I have pages to track homework and classwork completion. I have created a custom tag to check off student work.
This section has been set up so the same meetings notes template is created each time a new page is added.
Why I prefer OneNote for my teacher planner
I have tried various hardcopy planners and digital apps for lesson planning, but have found OneNote to be the best. My main reasons are being able to:
- Sync my planner across my Surface Pro, iPhone and iPad. This means I always have access to my planner in most situations.
- Use digital ink with the Surface Pen and Apple Pencil, which is extremely useful for annotations.
- Email pages in my OneNote to colleagues or students if I need to. This is particularly useful for meeting notes.
What kind of teacher planner do you use? I’d love to learn from teachers how they use a planner to stay organised.