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Published Aug. 11, 2021

Back to-school season is always busy, and once school is in session, life picks up its pace. A teacher planner and/or a lesson planner can help you keep lessons in sequence, schedules on time, and on target for learning goals. The best teacher planner will have layouts and space for all of your important information in a single spot. For some teachers, a planner notebook offers the right blend of planning and calendar space. Other teachers need organization for several classes worth of students—different needs, different planners. Thankfully, there’s something for everyone.

Teacher planners come in various styles and designs. Some include seating charts, pages for recording grades, and inspiration pages, while others stick to the basics, like a weekly and monthly spread. We’ve rounded some of the best, so tame the chaos with the best teacher planner for your teaching style, schedule, and organizational approach.

Be prepared, on schedule, and on target with the best teacher planner

The best teacher planners let you organize your days, weeks, quarters, or semesters in one place. It’s a one-stop-shop for your professional life. A teacher planner isn’t a huge upfront investment. However, you don’t want to put in the effort to start one and get several weeks’ worth of lessons entered only to find that the layout and organization don’t work for you. Carefully consider what you want and need to organize in the planner.

Detailed lesson plans may be easier to organize and follow in a lesson plan book. These types of organizers provide more space for the lesson plans themselves. It may only include a monthly layout and the lesson plan pages with little space for any other information.

But what if you need to see your lesson plans in relation to the class schedule and seating chart? A full academic teacher planner might be a better fit in this case. These teacher planners may provide pages for lesson plans, daily tasks, class schedules, volunteer contact information, and emergency procedures. If you’re the type of person that likes to keep everything organized all in one place, this is the planner for you. 

There are many planners that fall in between these two styles, from agenda books to personalized planners. Consider the charts, lists, and organizational tools you use most. Then, look for a teacher planner that includes them in a single spot.

Finally, don’t forget things like thick, acid-free paper and a durable cover and binding. High-quality materials will make sure the planner makes it through an entire school year intact.

Teacher planners can cater to the unique schedule and requirements of your position. 

The grade of your students makes a big difference in the kind of information you need to track. High school and junior high teachers typically see several class periods’ worth of students in a single day. You may need a page with several seating charts to plan lessons and track how far each section gets in their lesson. You may also want to track assignments and grades for each of those classes. 

Elementary school teachers will have different needs when it comes to planning. A carefully planned daily schedule keeps lessons on track and takes precedence. However, you may need to keep tabs on parent volunteer schedules, class birthdays, and lunch schedules, too. Since you work with the same students all day, it may be easier to keep all of your planning information in a single notebook. 

The best teacher planner

Best elementary school planner: Artfan Teacher Planner

All-in-One Fun

This option organizes lessons, special events, birthdays, and weekly activities in a single place. Artfan

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The Artfan Teacher Planner doesn’t leave organization to chance. It provides pages for student and resource teacher contact information, class birthdays, and special events like visitors or assemblies. The weekly spread also includes nine spaces for lesson plans. A wire binding lets you lay the planner flat or fold it over to focus on a single page.  

When the going gets tough, the tough get a teacher planner made of durable materials. 

A standard teacher planner needs to last at least nine or ten months. A classroom full of kids certainly can put your planner to the test,  so your planner has to be durable. The most common paper weight Is 20 pounds. However, 24- to 28 pound-paper will resist bleeding better. 

Consider the cover material, too. Most planners have a soft, flexible plastic cover. If you’re the kind of teacher who takes your planner home every night, you might want to consider a hardcover for increased durability. Planners that lay flat or allow you to fold the planner under to focus on one page will also need a durable binding like heavy double metal rings. 

Best hardcover planner: Journaltastic Teacher Planner

Durable and Dynamic

An attractive hardcover on the outside and plenty of organizational choices on the inside will last a whole school year. Journaltastic

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The Journaltastic Teacher Planner’s double wire-ring binding and hardcover resist the wear and tear of the average school year. The binding also allows it to lay flat or fold over for easier writing. The weekly spread breaks down each day into seven periods, allowing you to view lesson plans side-by-side for an entire week. Other planning pages include class birthdays, a weekly activity schedule, and a contact information page. 

Keeping track of lessons, assignments, and grades together can give you a quick reference point.

Some teachers like to keep teaching resources together, especially when it comes to lessons, assignments, and grades. Teacher planners that focus on these specific things keep your materials easy to track. 

However, make sure you know what you’re buying. These types of planners can have space for anywhere from four to eight periods and limited assignment or student name space, depending on the design. You already know how many periods you’ll be teaching, but if you can have a ballpark idea of how many students, you can make sure you get a planner with adequate space.

Best teacher planner and record book: Elan Publishing 7 Period Teacher Lesson Plan 

Simple and Efficient

This options contains ample organizational and assignment/grade recording space to monitor academic plans and progress. Elan Publishing Company

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The Elan Publishing 7 Period Teacher Lesson Plan provides durability and excellent class organization. There is space for seven periods worth of lesson plans and 44 weeks of planning pages. You can also record assignments and grades for up to 46 students. A double spiral ring design lets the planner lay flat or fold over. Reinforced edges add durability.

The small details can make all the difference in the planner’s usefulness.

What exactly makes up a personalized planner? Custom details belong to those planners that have space for extra add-ins. For example, a cover design with a clear pocket to add a schedule or photo that you can change throughout the year. Pages for class lists, extra folders, and pockets can also be useful. Some planners come in different versions that include additional pages like special events or birthday pages. 

Best personalized planner: Blue Sky Academic Teachers Weekly & Monthly Lesson Planner 

Customizable Cover

This cheery cover is hidden behind a clear plastic pocket where you can stash photos or a schedule. Blue Sky

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The Blue Sky teacher planner’s cover offers a quick way to update your planner from the outside. It features a plastic pocket over the cover that you can use for storage or display. The class photo or schedule can both neatly fit inside. The inside of the planner is well-organized with side tabs to let you quickly flip to a new month, while the daily schedule is divided into ten periods. There is also additional space in the back for general notes.

Planning on a budget: What you get for under $10

If your budget is tight, you can still get a planner that will keep you on schedule. It’s not hard to find a record and grade book for less than $10. These planners have flexible plastic covers and thinner paper than more expensive planners. A full academic teacher planner at this price may still have all of the basic pages, but they generally feature black-and-white print with little or no color in the paper or ink. These planners also skip extras like stickers and month tabs.  

Best budget teacher planner: Pretty Simple Planners Teacher Planner

Simple but Effective

An attractive cover and simple black-and-white layout keep you on schedule and under budget. Pretty Simple Planners

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The Pretty Simple Planners Teacher Planner skips bells and whistles like lines and colored ink on the interior. However, it ticks all the boxes when it comes to organization options, including a weekly spread that’s broken down into periods with separated boxes for lesson plans. The softcover needs gentler treatment than its plastic or hardcover counterparts, but it protects all the interior goods that keep your lessons in order. 

FAQs

Q: What should I look for in a teacher planner?

Look for page designs and layouts that cater to your specific needs. Ask yourself how many subjects you’ll need to plan and if you want to include lesson plans in your pick. These questions can help you determine what page types will be helpful and which may be unnecessary.

Q: Why do teachers need planners?

Teachers have a lot to keep organized in the course of the day. Elementary school teachers need lesson plans for several subjects while keeping track of specialist classes, assemblies, and student birthdays. High school and junior high teachers may need to track the progress of each of their classes separately. At the same time, they need to plan lessons so they can have materials, videos, or media ready to go. 

Q: What are the best planners?

The best planners made it onto our list. The Artfan Teacher Planner offers an excellent option for an all-around academic planner. There’s room for lesson plans along with a monthly calendar and extra pages for further organization. If you want something with a little extra storage or that lets you get creative, the Blue Sky Academic Teachers Weekly & Monthly Lesson Planner gives you that with a clear pocket over the cover. 

Final thoughts on shopping for the best teacher planner

The best teacher planner for you won’t be the same as your co-workers. Your unique teaching and organizational style made a difference in your needs. So before buying, think about how you want to use the planner. A planner that coordinates your professional and personal life probably needs more page types and breakdowns than someone who just needs one for lesson plans. Know yourself, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of where to start with your planner. 

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