Intentional Teacher Planning | Guest Post

Teacher planning during the summer is essential for a smooth school year. I know this, yet every year I put my teacher planning off until the last week before in-service. Then I am in a rush to get anything actually done. This usually leaves me starting school with a huge to do list that never gets done as I scramble to get the classroom physically set up.  This year I want to make a positive change and get some good and effective planning done before teacher inservice starts on August 21st.

The three big things teacher planning things I need to do are plan: lessons, grading, and communication. Part of the reason I put off my teacher planning is that I want time for other projects.  
Another procrastination promoter is knowing all the planning I need to do is interconnected. Planning for grading will make me plan for lessons, which will make me plan for communication.   

All that makes it seem like my teacher planning will take forever.  I am hoping that this year that by blogging about my goals I will be held accountable and actually meet them!  Accountability is such a huge part of goal setting!

2017 Teaching Goals:
When you are setting goals it is important to make them measurable and to have a deadline.  So let's make sure mine fit the bill!

Foster Student Lead Goal Setting
My first goal is to foster student lead goal setting.  I will do this by  designing a choice sheet for each grade level.  Students will use the sheet to choose their goals for each of our 9 week grading periods.
By august 14th I need to create the sheets and the corresponding documentation method.  By August 21st paper copies need to be printed and a filing system developed.  By August 28th a system needs to be developed for passing in and out and everything needs to be in its place.  

Increase the Visibility of the Music Department (A.K.A. my class)
My second goal is to increase visibility of the music activities both on campus and in the community.  The main component of this goal is communication with parents.  With 800 students it is hard to get to know parents let alone talk with each one.   I plan to improve my parent communication by setting up a Remind ( account for every grade level to text parents about important activities.  

I also need to develop more ways students can have musical activities at home so that students can develop a better understanding of musical concepts we learn in class.  Since we only meet once every 6 school days having students learn at home is important. I am going to try and do this by developing grade level playlists on youtube for each grade level.

By August 14th I need to create the remind accounts by August 24th I will need to have QR code posters made so that during meet the teacher parents can sign up to receive the information.

By August 28th I need to have the youtube playlists made and by September 4th and a newsletter ready to go home explaining about the new learning model.

This year during my teacher planning I want to be intentional about taking grades efficiently.   I would like to take one written grade every 9 weeks for every grade level (K-5).  I would also like all 800 students to take home something at the end of the year to document all that they have learned in music.  Additionally, I want to keep parents more informed about their students grades in a timely manner.

August 14th I need to develop the method of documentation for written grades.

August 21st decide what each grade level will need documented for each grading period.

August 25st Set up Class Dojo ( and talk with other teachers on campus to see if I can import classes to save time.

August 24th print said method of documentation.

September 18th begin taking first written grade.

October 1st reflect and make changes for next 3 written grades.

I hope by making these teacher planning goals I will be able to positively change the learning environment in my classroom and encourage students to be more independent in seeking out musical learning activities. I also hope quality teacher planning will save me time and energy during the school year.   

What are some goals you have at work to make your work more streamlined or organized?  How will meeting these goals help your personal life?

About the Author 

Mary-Ellen // Intentional Explorers

Mary-Ellen Fimbel is the founder of Intentional Explorers, an online community that helps people reach their goals and dreams through intentional actions.  Mary-Ellen is also a passionate teacher who currently spreads the joy of music to elementary students during the week and the love of the great outdoors to kids and their family through Tinkergarten on the weekends.


Twitter | Facebook | Facebook Group | BlogLovin

1 comment:

  1. Wow!! It's amazing how much planning goes into coordinating 800 students. I appreciate that you want the learning to continue at home, and that you'll utilize technology to communicate this need to the parents. Very good ideas, thanks for sharing!