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Professional Deadlines: There's a Calendar for That


Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Academic Calendar Planner

Let’s just take a moment to remind ourselves that teachers are the unsung heroes of our society. They rise often at the crack of dawn, teach, nurture, and support our children all day, stay late at school while juggling the other demands of their professional lives - and while managing their own families.  

Teachers, the wearers of many hats and the spinners of many plates, are masters of time management. If they were not, our planet might just spin out of control. They know the value of keeping track of every aspect of their personal and professional lives by never forgetting the power of their academic calendar planner- their guidebook to organize all responsibilities related to school.   

Put Some Life into Those Deadlines 

Often it feels our lives are built around a system of deadlines and teachers’ lives are no exception. In fact, they may be more so as they navigate their own deadlines and those of the school and school district.  

Many of the deadlines associated with their work do not allow for wiggle room so it is critical that teachers have accessible and easy-to-use tools to manage the demands of being a professional educator. Beginning with class record planners, teachers can track those “little deadlines” who are supposed to arrive at school every day ready to learn. It is not just a tool to record who is there and who is not. It allows teachers to watch trends regarding attendance and absences to ensure that every student is accounted for, and that no one falls through the cracks.  

Now that every child is in their seat and hopefully paying attention to what lies ahead for the day, teachers can rely on their carefully arranged lesson planners to refer to the daily instruction. Teachers are under enormous pressure to comprehensively provide instruction based on the educational standards set for their schools and districts. In other words, there is a ton of information to cover in very little time. Deviation from these tight schedules can throw teachers off their game, scrambling to play catch-up. Mapped-out lesson plans help teachers meet their educational timetables while making sure students are achieving their expected benchmarks.  

Outside the Classroom but Inside the School 

The life of a teacher goes beyond what lessons are taught in the classroom. Other obligations and responsibilities dominate their time as they continually attend internal and district meetings as well as schedule professional development to improve their expertise as educators.  

An academic planner can quickly fill up with events and appointments as every school year is crammed with activities. This situation can become overwhelming and difficult to manage efficiently if not organized with the details to keep teachers focused on what happens now and what comes next.  

Teachers are often reminded that children are visual learners. Images and colors help reinforce the lessons they are supposed to understand and remember. This tool is no different for teachers as they manage multiple events, locations, and purposes. To keep academic planners from looking like a jumble of squiggly lines that lose all meaning, creating an aesthetically pleasing visual calendar using color-coding to identify what stays in the classroom, what happens elsewhere, and when everything takes place. Hopefully, teachers will not run out of colors!  

Long-Term Planning 

Academic calendar planners are not just for the present. Often some obligations map out schedules for months and years at a time. This becomes especially important as teachers organize long-term career goals.  

Many teachers are lifelong learners and set an amazing example for the young students they teach. Now that many advanced degrees no longer require the time commitment inside a college classroom, a significant number of teachers are returning to school to earn advanced degrees. Adding working on a specific degree program adds an entirely new dimension of time commitment to an already busy schedule. Academic planners become a lifeline for teachers who not only manage their current personal and professional lives but also continue to subdivide their time to pursue future accomplishments.  

No one wants to give teachers more to think about or add more responsibilities to a crowded day. But if you think organizing your professional calendar and managing deadlines more efficiently so that nothing falls through the cracks, taking a long look at how you arrange your daily, weekly, and monthly schedule and meet deadlines can help reduce professional stress. Relying on academic calendar planners to keep track of every detail regarding students, lesson plans, meetings, and other commitments can give teachers some breathing room to focus on what they do best- instructing our children to the thinkers and leaders of tomorrow- and doing it one day at a time.  

A new year is a perfect time to up your calendar management game so you can meet all deadlines. House of Doolittle has a calendar for that!