I discovered something this weekend. Sometimes we try new things that work. Other times we try new things and they don’t work, or at least they don’t work for us.
At the beginning of the year I bought myself an ITC Innovative Teacher Planner. It’s quite neat. Every second double set of pages throughout the book has thinking strategies and examples. There’s lots of space in the planner and it’s spiral bound and stays together very nicely.
A paper based planner isn’t me. It just doesn’t sit well with me. I’ve persevered with it all through Term One and the first few weeks of Term Two but no more.
This weekend I sat down and used my old Google Docs based blank planner to set up weeks 4-11 of this term and then to plan this week in more detail. I feel happy. I’ve got my hyperlinks where I want them (cut and pasted into my plan) – I’ve linked to my maths weekly intro Google Preso – and I even have some YouTube video links.
Having my planning in this format means that my kids see what I’ve got planned (well – they do this anyway via the class wiki) but that’s ok – there’s no secrets to my planning. If I need to make confidential notes I do them in another place (another online secure tool – Evernote). The beauty of this type of planning is being able to add/cut/copy/paste etc as you go. Why plan my literacy & Maths for Tuesday-Friday until I’ve seen how much actually gets accomplished on Monday? (And actually I set up a weeks work for my kids and they choose the order they work in during the week – all that I set in ‘stone’ is reading groups.)
And you know what? I feel at peace with myself. This week I’m happy with my planning – not anxious at all.
This is what’s been missing from my teaching life for the last term.
(If you’re a paper planner type person then check out these planners ‘cos they’re very cool!)
(And for those wondering about access to my plans – I embed them into a daily planner section on my own wiki – that way any of my senior teachers can check them whenever they want/need to.)