Skip to content

The Intentional Educator Planner (Giveaway)

July is all about suntan lotion, s’mores, beach towels and splashing in the pool. As much as I love the summer, once August hits, my mind starts to shift into back to school mode. I make my way to office supply stores and breathe in the possibilities, eyeing the piles of fresh, unused notebooks, all ready for a new year. Aisles of pens and pencils, colorful folders, and decorative binders leave me dreaming about all I might write and create this year.

Yet there is one teacher supply that rarely inspires- the plan book. Until now! My good friend and colleague from the Long Island Writing Project, Nicolette James, has created an Intentional Educator Planner that is not only pleasing to the eye, it promises to feed my teacher soul. Nicolette is an English teacher and the chairperson of the English Department at Westbury High School. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in education and has been a leader in her school, community, and the Long Island Writing Project. Nicolette is passionate about teaching and learning, as well as fostering a growth mindset and being mindful. She inspires her students, fellow teachers, and school leaders to become the best versions of themselves. She is a believer in literacy and the power of reading and writing to transform lives. Nicolette was recently interviewed on the Master Leadership 360 Podcast, which you can listen to here.

As a teacher leader, Nicolette developed the Intentional Educator Planner as a way to strengthen her own teaching and reflective practice. Thus, the 2017-2018 Intentional Educator Planner is not only a place for teachers to write their lesson plans. There are spaces set aside in the planner for educators to name their goals and intentions in writing. Inspirational quotes fill the planner.  Each month there is a guiding question about your teaching practice and room to reflect in writing. Each week, educators have the chance to write what they are grateful for, what they are learning, what they intend to do, and more. The planner is a combination plan book and journal in one beautiful book! I’ve always wanted to keep a reflective journal about my teaching but in the hustle and bustle of a busy school day, that seemed to be the first thing to go from list of “to-do’s.” I’m hopeful that having  a place to reflect right in my plan book will encourage me to take time to write down my thoughts and ideas each week.

I interviewed Nicolette about the philosophy behind the Intentional Educator Planner and more:

KNS: You’ve written, “Educating with intention is the purposeful integration of growth mindset, mindfulness, and reflective practice to improve teaching, learning and leading.” How do these ideas come together in the Intentional Educator Planner?

NJ: First, I’d like to explain the philosophy of Educating with Intention:

Educating with intention is the desire to  improve one’s teaching, learning and leading through the purposeful and holistic integration of mindset (the beliefs and attitudes that orient the way we see things and handle certain situations), mindfulness (a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment), and reflective practice (a continuous cycle of self-observation and self-evaluation for the purpose of improvement).

To educate with intention is to enhance our professional practice–planning, teaching and reflecting —by nourishing, developing and devoting deliberate attention to all aspects of our lives–our minds, bodies and spirits. The ultimate goal of this approach is twofold: to provide a positive and meaningful learning experience for the students whose lives we touch and to support educators on their journey to leading full and satisfying personal and professional lives.  The Intentional Educator Planner is a tool that supports that philosophy by reminding us to check-in with the various aspects of our personhood that we bring to our profession. An intentional educator makes a daily attempt, in all ways, to be better than the day before.

KNS: Why is it important to reflect in writing about your goals for the upcoming school year?

NJ: There have been several studies proving that the act of writing down goals and intention increases the likelihood of achieving them. It’s important to reflect in writing because writing makes our thoughts real. Writing is an act of creation. When we write, we’re creating a physical product–something tangible that reminds us of our commitment and helps us do what we say we will do. In addition, there is ownership and accountability when we write our goals down.

KNS: The planner is filled with quotes as well as questions for reflection. What was the process like for you selecting the quotes and thinking of the questions teachers need to reflect upon? 

NJ: The monthly reflection prompts are questions that I find helpful for educators to consider as we plan for the learning environments that we wish to create for our students. There are so many variables that we can think about but it would be impossible to address them all. The reflection prompts are meant to stimulate thinking around what I believe are a few key considerations that deserve our attention, but are often lost in the daily “doing” of our jobs.  

KNS: Each week has a space to write an intention. What are intentions? What are some examples of intentions teachers might set? There is also space to write things you’ve learned, are accepting, look forward to, or appreciate. Why do you think teachers should take the time each week to answer those questions in writing?

NJ: Intentions are different from goals. And while we should definitely set goals and are encouraged to do so in the planner, the focus on intentions is not the same. Intentions are about the present–what we would like to be, the values we want to embody,  how we desire to  live now, moment to moment, regardless of whether or not we achieve our goals. Goals, on the other hand, are future focused and based on particular action steps that we will take to achieve them. The wonderful thing about intentions is that when we set them mindfully, they bring us closer to achieving our goals. For example, I could say that my goal is to to lose 5 pounds. That is  something that I can measure at the end of 5 weeks and say, “yes, I have lost 5 pounds.” An intention is less specific and less measurable, however, it’s the soil we need to cultivate in order to then plant the seeds of our goals. So when I set an intention to be healthier it will influence the decisions I make as I move towards my goal because it gives me a heart-based or belief-based “why?” and not just an objective “what.” Our intentions help drive us toward our goals. So, a teacher might set a weekly intention to listen more actively or to recognize a positive trait in every student.

Intentions are about awareness–of ourselves and how we wish to experience the world. When we encourage that type of awareness in ourselves by noting it somewhere, such as the planner, it keeps us present. When we pause long enough to stop and think about what we are looking forward to, what we will appreciate, and what we are grateful for, it helps us to encounter the experience more mindfully.We raise our level of awareness and are better able to appreciate or to be grateful for the experiences when they show up because we have opened ourselves to them.

KNS: What is your greatest hope for educators who use the Intentional Educator Planner?

NJ: My greatest hope for educators who use the intentional educator planner on the most basic level is that it will help them to become or continue to be thoughtful in their planning and preparation. Ultimately, and I believe more importantly, I encourage teachers to adopt the philosophy of Educating with Intention: “Plan. Teach. Reflect. Revise.” To be intentional in their practice and in their lives. To approach education from the mindset of becoming a better, more fully integrated person–physically, personally, professionally, and emotionally.  It is my desire to support educators in developing those aspects of ourselves because I believe that better people, make better educators.

A page from the Intentional Educator Planner.

 

An example of a planning page from inside the Intentional Educator Planner.

Nicolette has created a video that explains the features and purpose of the Intentional Educator Planner.

 

Nicolette James has generously donated two 2017-2018 Intentional Educator Planners for a giveaway here at Two Writing Teachers!

(If you are interested in purchasing the Intentional Educator Planner, Nicolette is also offering free shipping using the coupon code TWT until August 12th. Visit educazen.org to place your order.)

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

  • This giveaway is for two copies of the 2017-2018 Intentional Educator Planner. Many thanks to Nicolette James for donating planners for two readers.
  • For a chance to win a copy of the 2017-2018 Intentional Educator Planner, please leave a comment on this post by Wednesday, August 16th at 11:59 p.m. EDT. Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski will use a random number generator to pick two comment numbers, determining the two winners.  The names will be announced at the bottom of this post by Saturday, August 19th.
  • Please be sure to leave a valid e-mail address when you post your comment, so Kathleen can contact you to obtain your mailing address if you win.  From there, Nicolette James will ship your planner to you.  (NOTE: Your e-mail address will not be published online if you leave it in the e-mail field only.)
  • If you are the winner of the book, Kathleen will email you with the subject line of TWO WRITING TEACHERS – INTENTIONAL EDUCATOR PLANNER. Please respond to her e-mail with your mailing address within five days of receipt. Unfortunately, a new winner will be chosen if a response isn’t received within five days of the giveaway announcement.

 

122 thoughts on “The Intentional Educator Planner (Giveaway) Leave a comment

  1. Thank you so much for all your comments and excitement about the Intentional Educator Planner! I’ve contacted our two winners (medunn80 and Sharon) via email. Congrats to them!

    Like

  2. Oh my gosh! This is fantastic! I’m always looking for something that can help with intentional teaching and this is it! This would make the perfect gift for my best friend who’s a teacher. She’s always doing self-reflective stuff with her teaching and has inspired me to do the same.
    I would love to win so I could give this to her. She would LOVE it! (email: volunteersvoicenc@gmail.com)
    Thanks for sharing!!! 🙂

    Like

  3. I love the idea of reflection included in the planner as a footprint of the journey I took with my students over the course of the year. Great artifact of professional and personal growth.

    Like

  4. I love the intentional planner! I look for planners that will meet my needs each year. I have just completed a mindfulness course and a growth mindset course. Our school is working to promote a growth mindset . I am so excited to see a planner that helps me to grow and reflect as my students are working through learning processes.

    Like

  5. I meet regularly with a group of five other teachers, and we’ve been on a journey together to nourish ourselves as people as well as educators. This planner is a great match for us!

    Like

  6. “…writing makes our thoughts real. Writing is an act of creation.” I’ve never looked at writing like this and totally agree and now understand the importance of writing these ideas down! This is great and so very useful. Thank you for sharing!

    Like

  7. I love the concept of teaching with intention and then reflecting on what went well and what could be improved. I often set goals for the year but have not thought of setting intentions as well. Thanks for these ideas!

    Like

  8. Quite often a jotted note in the margin of a past year’s planner gets buried under the inundation of paper that snowballs at the end of the school year. Fleeting flashes of brilliance are only retrievable if you can find the place you were sure you’d never forget, or if you can actually remember the content not just the feeling that you once had a great idea. Having a place to stop and jot for teachers can help turn our planbooks into a writing journal of our own.
    Besides, who can leave text bubble or lined list empty?
    jhart@bozrah.org

    Like

    • This planner is absolutely fabulous and exactly what I need to help me stay on track throughout the school year. I used it last year and what a difference it made to my instructional practice. I’m so happy to have this year’s version of this wonderful tool.

      Like

  9. I so love the idea of this! I write reflective notes to myself in my planner all the time. Unfortunately, they are easily bumped, moved, restuck out of order. I’d love a place created to add these notes/reflections intentionally!

    Like

  10. Thank you so much for writing about education as a intentional practice of mindfulness. As a long-time meditator who has returned to the classroom after some years, it is so helpful for me to think of my teaching practice as a path of growth. I begin each day with setting my intentions in the classroom, and need constant reminders for myself.
    Thank you for creating this!

    Like

  11. What a way to help me grow as an educator! This planner has excellent organizational features that will help me keep track of goals as well as things I might want to change for the next time around.

    Like

  12. This planner looks super awesome! I believe that as we teach our students to be intentional, we as educators, need to be intentional and reflective! Love the mindfulness in goal setting!

    Like

  13. In my years of teaching (I am now retired), I always felt that “reflecting” on our professional practices was always the most important thing to do, and the first thing “to go” when teachers run out of time. Retirement has definitely given me the opportunity to do a lot of reflecting on my personal and professional life, and on the practices of those still teaching (especially through this wonderful TWT website). It is my belief that teachers should be given time set aside during their schol day, week or month to reflect on their teaching practices, whether as individuals or in groups, or preferably both. How else are we to truly learn and grow if we just keep charging through the days ahead without this necessary component of a healthy, well-nourished, meaningful teaching life? Believe it or not, I can still find plenty of uses for such a lovely planner as I continue to learn, plan and make adjustments to how I spend my time in mindful projects. Kudos to Nicolette for following through on something she really believes in and exemplifies.

    Like

    • Hi Barbara! I agree with you. Educators should be given the time to reflect. Some may confuse this with “prep” time but it isn’t. Prep time is prep time. Reflection time is reflection time. A critical part of working smarter instead of simply harder is actually making time to consider the ways in which that can be done. I am happy to hear that you are spending your time still improving in your practice. A true role model of life-long learning.

      Like

  14. I’m always looking for new and innovative ways to connect with writing and have students make those connections as well. Mindfulness is so important in teaching and learning.

    Like

  15. I have always found reflection really beneficial in my lesson planning. Thank you for sharing Nicolette’s essential teacher resource in time for back to school!

    Like

  16. Wow! This looks really amazing. I feel like many of my intentions and goals go by the wayside after the first few weeks of school. This could help keep me focused on what’s most important.

    Like

  17. I am so happy for the opportunity to share not only the planner but the philosophy behind it. It is heartwarming and affirming to know that the ideas resonate with so many thoughtful and amazing educators. There are many lucky students out there!

    Like

  18. What a wonderful reflective tool! I see so many possibilities for this! Thank you Kathleen for bringing this to my attention and to Nicolette for sharing the backstory behind the Intentional Educator Planner.

    Like

  19. This looks like a great lesson planner as well as a way to keep me accountable for reflection. I have always thought reflection to be a major key to my teaching and planning.

    Like

  20. As a former literacy coach, I love the idea of “plan, teach, reflect and revise.” Putting our reflections in writing makes them more real and will hopefully help transfer them into practice. I also practice mindfulness with my students and hope that I am inspiring a growth mindset approach to instruction. Thanks for sharing this; I would love a copy of the planner! lmazinas@gmail.com

    Like

  21. My coach sent me this article in an email because I am such a planner geek. I am always looking for the best ways to plan, reflect, and organize! I love that this planner encourages mindfulness and setting intentions! Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  22. The concept of intention is so important when we work with students…this planner is clearly crafted by a thoughtful and reflective educator – thank you for this incredible tool!

    Like

  23. I love this, thanks for the opportunity. I have always kept notes but in much more haphazardly way, this planner looks beautiful and would be so much more effective.

    Like

  24. I have carried a journal for 25 years of my teaching. I was raised as teacher researcher. Written reflection is the single most powerful and energizing tool for any educator. In my journal I plan, I write, I draw all with the intention of teaching more effectively and modeling my learning for children. It also has been a tool for leading our teacher research group A Community of Teachers Learning. This group gathers to do exactly what your journal inspires! Would love a copy to share with a colleague or to try myself!!

    Like

  25. Thank you for this generous offer! Every year I add reflection pages to my planbook, but I never seem to use them. This post has given me some great ideas!

    Like

  26. What a great idea! I love the thought of planning combined with reflecting. So easy to get caught up in the busyness of the day/week/year and not take the time to reflect on what went well and what could be different. Inspired!

    Like

  27. What a genius idea to combine a journal with a planner! Year after year, my goal is to take better notes and to write more about what is working or not working in the classroom. This type of planner might actually help me to reach that goal!

    Like

  28. Reading Nicolette’s interview and purpose behind this planner was key for me. I connect with her thinking and values and am psyched to have one place to plan, teach, reflect, and revise.

    Like

  29. I love having a hard copy planner and writing everything down. There is something to be said for writing and processing thoughts through that medium. This school year brings some exciting changes for myself and our team. “Our” team has grown by 2 members and is now a Grades1/2 multi age which previously a first-grade team. Having a chance to reflect and then to revisit to process these exciting times would be lovely!

    Like

  30. I am entering my 13 year as an educator but I am taking on a whole new school district after 11 years in the same one. I am nervous and excited to try out what I learned on a new population of students and work with new educators. It feels like year one again for me.

    Like

  31. Reflecting as a teacher is very important for the 21st century teacher — no getting around this. It prompts self-learning and — wouldn’t you know — prevents boredom and misery “on the job” because you yourself are learning and growing as a professional. Thank you so much for the offer!

    Like

  32. I would either love to receive the planner or gift the planner to my teammate who is new this year. I believe the reflective pages are so important to growth and reflective practice, and you cannot find them in any planner.

    Like

  33. This planner has so many important features. I love the places for intentions,goals, and reflections. The daily “after school” box is also important. Glad to learn about it!

    Like

  34. What a great idea! Teachers can get so bogged down with other obligations and paperwork that we forget or should I say neglect to take time for ourselves. I know I always intend to make time to reflect and write more. This product would definitely assist with that is such a positive way!

    Like

  35. I like the idea of a teacher planner that is more than just a place to write down lessons. I really like the reflection pieces built in, especially the intentions. Thank you, Nicolette for offering the planners for this giveaway.

    Like

  36. Ironically, as a teacher leader and new literacy coach I have been on the hunt for an appropriate planner for many weeks! Thanks for offering this giveaway! Cheers! -Sam

    Like

  37. Thank you for the opportunity to win this planner! I would imagine that it is also a good way to remember to stay positive and focus on the good, while working to be a stronger teacher! Would love to win!

    Like

  38. This aligns so well with what I have been coaching, planning, and reflecting with teachers. I really hope this mindful practice of teaching and being resonates with teachers. I think they will find this intentionality will make their teaching lives more effective, but also their personal lives more rewarding. Thank you for sharing this!

    Like

  39. I really like the page you have shared from Nicolette.s planner. So many wonderful things to reflect on and do. I especially like the reminder to reach out or reconnect.

    Like

  40. In VA while teaching in Fairfax County, I led the Teacher Researcher Network and we would systematically reflect on a part of our practice all year long. Then present at an end of year mini-conference. Reading your interview took me back to that time of intentional reflection always with the idea that we can do this better. Also, document well that which is working to be intentional about keeping that going. My fingers are crossed that I win. But if not, I’m ready to purchase. In this fast paced 21st century, I need the reminders right there in my plan book to jot my reflections. Thanks for sharing Nicolette’s brilliance with us here.

    Like

%d bloggers like this: