Monday, July 14, 2008

Fire Up Your Planners

Remember the teacher’s planner you were going to research and purchase the other week? Its purpose is not just to look pretty on your shelf or on your computer’s desktop. It’s time to pull it out and start using it, or to figure out all the features it has if you’ve purchased an e-planner. Yes, I mean right now (well, after you’ve finished reading the blog post)! If you wait until the day before you start school (or worse yet, the first day of school), you’ll get so befuddled that you’ll be tempted to give up on it. Start now so you feel comfortable with it by the beginning of the school year.

First of all, plan—at least roughly—your starting and ending dates for the school year. Be sure to incorporate holidays and other dates you know you’ll be taking off from official academics. Make sure you have the required 180 days. It’s okay if these dates fluctuate during the year—really—at least you’ve got a framework.

The next step is to write all these dates into your paper planner or to program them into your e-planner. The nice thing about e-planners is that they will calculate the number of days for you and it’s much easier to change dates if something unexpected comes up, and it will. This feature comes in handy towards the end of the year when the kids (and you) are getting antsy for the last day of school. Many states require you to keep and submit a yearly attendance log, which will be a breeze once you start using your e-planner. No more counting out days and trying to remember if you did school on Columbus Day or not.

If you recall, in my previous two posts, I discussed long-range and mid-range planning. Most teacher’s planners have these types of planning incorporated, so pull yours out and take a look. If you accepted the previous mission, you already started some long- and mid-range planning.

Your jobs for this week are to make sure your dates for the coming school year get plugged into your planner and to input (or write) your long- and mid-range goals into your planner.

Leave me a note and let me know how you’re coming along with your planning. I’d love to hear from you!