Monday, September 30, 2013

I’m not that kind of teacher (printable lesson plan pages)

While I bemoaned my far too busy semester and my complete lack of organization this term, a friend suggested that what I really need to keep organized with this many classes and commitments is a lesson plan book. I was hesitant to believe her. I don’t, after all, want a paper roster written in pencil to mark points on like my 4th grade teacher. I don’t want a notebook divided up into sections like “Math” and “Reading” and “Social Studies.” I'm not that kind of teacher. But, she insisted that I could find a good generic lesson plan book that would change my life.

So, I looked. I went to the Educational Emporium and looked at notebook after notebook emblazoned with apples and bees and rulers. Some had “Teacher Plan Book” printed across them in “chalkboard” font. It was exactly what I had feared. To be fair, I did find a few basic, grown-up looking lesson plan books that I could have written my own subjects into. The price tag: $15. Nope. Not for an experiment.
This, I decided while I stood among the shelves of ugly cliche lesson books, was something I could find a free printable for online. Those same helpful teachers who share their lesson plans on Pinterest are bound to have something they’re willing to share for this purpose. I set off around the web to find a lesson plan template that would work for me. Unfortunately, what I found was again a nightmare of apples and schoolhouses and Comic Sans. Page after page shared links for lesson planner pages that I probably would have even found obnoxious in grade school.
But, looking at what was available online it occurred to me that I’m savvy enough with a computer not to have to use these absurd templates. I can handle this, in less time than it would have taken me to drive the Educational Emporium, for that matter. In fact, after about an hour in Excel I had this document template in which to put my courses and obligations this semester. It's been a week and so far I am completely 100% sold on this technique of keeping organized. Suddenly, I feel like I can manage all of these classes all at once. Suddenly, I feel like a pretty put-together lady.

So, maybe you don't have 5 classrooms all on different schedules, maybe instead you have 7 different projects with different deadlines, or 6 different committes you sit on, or 4 different grants you're writing. Regardless of why you need a "lesson plan" book, if you're an academic, you probably do. 

I know, I know, you don't want to look like a goober carrying around a notebook with a globe and chalk on the front. You're far too respectable for that. I don't either. That's why I made these "stealth" lesson plan pages. No one needs to know but you and me that they're laid out for an elementary school teacher. Try printing out 2 weeks worth and watch your days get easier.

I found that I couldn't keep the pages in order, so sandwiched them between two pieces of leftover cardstock and stapled the hell out of them. But then the staples were catching on things so I covered them with that poor white duct tape I've been using for every project lately.
But then I didn't want to prep my next lecture, so I cut a piece of scrapbooking paper in half, slathered it with white glue, and pasted it to the front, folding down the extra to seal the edges. Just to be safe, one more piece of duct tape.
And now I have a lesson plan book that doesn't make me feel like I need to do playground duty.
Want to make your own secret lesson plan book? Download the pages here and write in your own subjects. 

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