When I was a little girl, I dreamed of being a teacher. Probably in first grade, I knew when I I grew up, I wanted to teach. It was a passion. My bedroom door had a chalkboard on the back of it for my play school sessions. At Christmas time, “Santa Claus” brought me stickers, workbooks and stamps that said things like “Check your work!” and “Completed with help.” I subscribed to teaching magazines and was thus on the mailing list to read about my retirement options at the tender age of eight. My mom, a teacher’s assistant, would bring home extra worksheets from her classroom for my pretend teaching. My uncle, who was a special education teacher, always gave me a grade book and a plan book that look almost exactly like the grade book and plan book my school makes available for me each year. Oh, how I loved getting my little future-teacher hands on that plan book! It felt so, well, teacher-y!
My relationship with the plan book changed when I became a student teacher and was expected to keep one. What exactly does one write in those small boxes? I recall sitting with my cooperating teacher and following her model, jotting page numbers and objectives. As a new teacher, I was required to hand my plan book in for our Assistant Principal to review. He would staple a little note, reminding me to check off lessons that were completed or saying “Nice job.” In time, my plan book stopped getting collected. Through the years, the once magical quality of a plan book dimmed and it now seemed bothersome, like a chore, and not an especially helpful teaching tool.
Maybe it’s the demands on a classroom teacher- the feeling that you can never stop for a second and you never have enough time to accomplish all you have to get done. Stopping to even jot the objective feels like another tall order when you are already stretched so thin. But, when I really stop and think about a plan book, despite the fact that I am supposed to be keeping one, I know deep in my teacher heart that it is an important tool. It’s a place to record what you intend to do with your students and then what actually gets done. It’s a road map back when you might get a little lost in subsequent years (“How did I introduce personal essays?!). And, with Nicolette James’ Intentional Educator Planner, it’s a a place to reflect, to set intentions, to show gratitude, to look ahead, to be inspired.
Last August, I shared the 2017-2018 Intentional Educator Planner, created by my friend and fellow educator Nicolette James. The planner had spaces for 5 periods each day, which typically is suitable for middle school and high school teachers. Nicolette has designed another planner in her Intentional Educator product line that is more geared towards elementary educators, with 8 boxes for teachers to use each day.
The 2018-2019 Intentional Educator Planner (Elementary) has two different cover options: Watercolor Alphabet or Blackboard Alphabet. You can see all of the Intentional Educator products here.
Dr. Raye Wood reviewed the 2018-2019 Intentional Educator Planner (Elementary Edition) and you can learn more about the planner and her thoughts by watching the video below.
Before the year even begins, there is a place to think about your academic year intentions. I always have a huge list of goals that I want to accomplish, but so many goals without true thought and reflection on how I will reach them means they largely go unrealized. Taking some time to think and write about my goals helped me clarify that meaningful and joyful learning is at the heart of what I want to accomplish this year. My classroom is piloting new furniture and a flexible seating environment. One of my goals is how to make this work for my students in a way that makes learning more joyful and meaningful for them. Listing the top ten things I want students to learn from me this year was a powerful exercise. I had to sum up what I believe and what I want to be sure my students take away from our time together. You can see my notes below.
There is a plethora of choices when it comes to teacher plan books. You can take the standard one your school offers (just like the one that brought me such joy as a kid playing school!). You can select a fancy one or a cutesy one or even a digital one. The Intentional Educator Planner stands out to me because a real teacher, Nicolette James, designed it based on her own experiences as an educator working with students and teachers. It just feels like a plan book with integrity to me. It’s filled with beautiful and inspiring quotes and questions to make you pause in our chock-full, no time to slow down days. Maybe the problem is that we never slow down. How can we grow and be more intentional when we can’t even stop to think?
This plan book gently reminds you to set intentions. To look for opportunities. To be thoughtful. To make plans to accomplish your goals.
During this upcoming school year, I feel that little kid joy once again to have a plan book. The Intentional Educator Planner will help me find my love for plan books once again! Maybe you, too?
(Be sure to leave a comment for your chance to win your own 2018-2019 Intentional Educator Planner (Elementary). )
- This giveaway is for one copy of the 2018-2019 Intentional Educator Planner (Elementary). Many thanks to Nicolette James for donating a planner to one of our readers.
- For a chance to win a copy of the 2018-2018 Intentional Educator Planner (Elementary), please leave a comment on this post by Friday, August 24th at 11:59 p.m. EDT. Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski will use a random number generator to pick a comment number, determining the winner. The name will be announced at the bottom of this post by Sunday, August 26th.
- 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 (ELEMENTARY). 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.