It’s back to school time and one thing a teacher needs every year is a planner. Every back to school season, I like to do a teacher planner review for special education teachers because it’s so hard to find a planner that works for us in our vast classroom settings.
So I reached out to the Facebook VIP group and asked about the teacher planners you like. After looking through your feedback, I purchased the top 5 teacher planners to review for you, so you can see each before making your decision, and also to share what to look for in a planner as a special education teacher.
Disclaimer: I purchased each of these teacher lesson planners with my own money. All views and opinions are my own, and this post and the video are not sponsored or endorsed. All 5 lesson planners in this review were given away to teachers in the FB Group after the review.
I’ll break down my favorite parts of each planner into bullets, but if you’d rather watch than read, check out the video of the teacher lesson planner review here:
Let’s get started!
Plum Paper Planner
- the most customizable
- you can pick what month your planner starts and ends based on your needs
- comes in different sizes
- so many different sections you can customize into your planner based on your needs for both at work and at home. (FYI: The more you customize, the more expensive it can get.)
- Dates (2023 calendar, special dates)
- Ideas, plans, and goals
- Tabbed months – dated, horizontal or vertical weekly layouts, customized extra spaces for each week
- My Class – includes goals for the year, year-at-a-glance, other notable dates, class schedule, substitute information, field trips & special events, volunteer list, classroom resources, classroom expenses, behavior log, parent communication, student contacts, student health information, professional development, passwords, next year goals, note taking, my contacts
- Includes stickers and storage folders
Erin Condren Teacher Lesson Planner
- Calendar goes August to August
- Sections that come in this planner
- All About Me
- Events & Volunteers
- Communication Log
- Calendar At A Glance
- Graph paper for notes
- Monthly tabs – includes monthly calendar, horizontal weekly layouts, notes pages & things to remember
- Stickers and storage folders
4 the Love of Pi Teacher Planner
- Absolutely stunning cover options!
- Goes from July to the following June
- Sections of the planner
- Year At A Glance
- Different Goals (for you, not for students)
- Monthly tabs – has to-do lists, different icons for you to doodle/color in, monthly calendar, horizontal weekly layout, very faint lines in the boxes to write on
- Teacher tab – passwords, class schedule, professional development, events & trips, conference schedule, teacher expenses, checklists
- Student Tab – student birthdays, contact list, parent communication, volunteer list, student health, accommodations, student data, seating plan options
The Teaching Texan Lesson Planner
- Lots of different cover options that you can customize
- Customer service was fantastic
- Motivational quotes right upfront
- Goes from July to June
- Sections of the planner
- Vinyl Folder
- Daily Schedule
- Password Keeper
- Monthly Holidays
- Plan It Out – gives you different ideas of what you may want to do with this section.
- Parent Contact
- Year Plan
- Monthly Tabs – small to do lists, can see previous month and next month, colorful blocks/lines, not dated, to do & to prep lists, horizontal weekly layout, notes, positive affirmations at the top of the month
- Student Checklists
- Notes pages
- Folders for storage
The Happy Planner
- Least expensive of the planners
- Goes from August to June
- Can get them anywhere (Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Target, Amazon)
- Have the option to print whatever you need and use their hole punch to add things to the planner
- Sections of the planner
- Academic Calendar
- School Schedule (recess, lunch, specials, etc.)
- Monthly Date Vertical planner
- Monthly Tab – starts with positive affirmation/monthly motivational quote, monthly calendar with notes column, horizontal weekly layout, dated for you
- Checklist pages
So what do you need to look for in a teacher lesson planner?
It really depends on what type of class you are teaching and how many students you are going to have on your caseload.
When it comes to looking for a teacher planner, what you need to look for is not only the ability to adapt it, but one that is generic enough to be able to adapt it to your specific classroom (since most lesson planners are geared more towards general education teachers).
The customizations you make to your planner are going to look different than the teacher down the hall, and that will be based on the type of classroom setting you teach in and your individual needs. You also want to look at your class schedule and the different blocks within your schedule. You may also want to think about how you are going to share your lesson plans with your school if you have to submit them.
Now – out of all of these, which one would be my favorite? I’m honestly not sure!
I think my least favorite is the Erin Condren planner, but that’s because I’ve used it in the past and there are so many other great options out there now. I do love the Happy Planner because of how much you can customize it for the small amount of money you are going to spend. But I do appreciate all of the different aspects the different planners offer, so it really comes down to what you’re looking for and what your budget is.
Which teacher lesson planner do you use? Tell us in the comments below!