Monday, August 19, 2013

DIY Lesson Planner

This is the post where I pretend that I haven't been absent from this blog for so long.  Also, it's a post that shows my dorky-teacher side, and my powers of procrastination (Making a lesson planner instead of actually lesson planning?  Check!).  But, it's also about how I ended my hunt for the perfect college teacher's lesson planner/organizer and made my own on the cheap.

It seems like every fall I pick through all the teacher's sections at all the office stores, search Etsy and all the teacher online sites to no avail.  So many of these planners are made for K-12, and so many include pages and sections I don't need like seating charts, class records, and too many subject areas.  Finally, I just hacked this together with a file folder from the dollar bin at Target, tab dividers from the clearance section at Office Depot, and very basic hand-made printables tailored for my schedule in a simple Word doc.  I brought in the pages to Office Depot and had it spiral bound with clear plastic front and back.  Perfect!

Here are all the details:

This cover is a file folder.  I love the print and the weight is perfect for the cover, so I just cut it down to size.  Then I printed out a label and stuck it right on.

Inside the cover, I pressed on a nice little clear envelope sleeve gifted from my officemate and now I have a perfect place to throw in my favorite pens, tabs and fun sticky notes.

Until at least the fifth week, I can never remember my schedule (Which building?  Which room?  What time?)  So I put my schedule as the first page along with those pesky codes and numbers that I need to fill out forms.

I do use my phone calendar for appointments and meetings, but it's nice to have paper calendar in one place for ease and important dates (school holidays anyone?) and deadlines.  I just found this one-month in a two-page view on Pinterest and printed it out for free.

It's nice to see the whole academic year on one page, so I threw in the official college calendars as well.

The lesson plan pages are the meat of this organizer for me.  This is where every other teacher's lesson planner I have seen has failed for me.  As a full-time college teacher I have three classes, spread out over different days, as well as lab hours and meetings.  A very, very simple Word doc chart in a weekly format on a two-page spread lets me see exactly what's happening.  I tailored it to my classes and threw in a To-Do column as well.  If I had thought about it, I would have also preprinted the weeks and dates.  

To avoid having a completely different notebook (or scraps of paper?!), I added in a notes section so that at meetings everything is in one place.

Cute dividers keep everything separated, and I just printed out the sections on clear labels.  Next time I'll use bold so that I can see it a bit easier.  Live and learn.

I wouldn't want to lose this, so on the back cover (same file folder) I added in a return to office location.

Matching mini-bucket for my pens?  That's just icing on the cake.

Lesson Learned:  Sometimes you just have to make it yourself!  I'm off to lesson plan now!