Teaching Articles

The Art of Student Planning

Kids today are busier than ever. They have eight subjects each day, assignments, projects, student council meetings, varsity or band practice, youth org meetings. Let’s not forget that they  also need to carve out time for spiritual activities, family and friends. With so many activities lined up, it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed, fatigued and stretched out. Most kids will just shut down and do nothing – a sort of escapism from all the responsibilities that they don’t know how to juggle.

The problem lies with time management. Often, young adults are overwhelmed by the responsibilities expected from them because they never learned to manage their time. They say yes to everything, forget about prior commitments and then end up with too much on their plate.

In line with our  Values Education lessons about personal growth and development, I’ve decided to encourage my students to practice the lost art of student planning. I recently assigned a Student Planner as my year-long project for my 8th grade students under Values Education. It’s my hope that this will help train my students to be  mindful of how they spend their time.

The Project’s Goals

  1. Teach students to map out their weekly schedules so that they can identify time-wasting activities and focus on enriching and important activities.
  2. Encourage students to jot down important information, submission deadlines and appointments so they can have a visual representation of how their time should be spent.
  3. Help alleviate unnecessary stress brought about by deadlines and cramming.
  4. Create a sense of accomplishment each time a student strikes off a task from his list.

How to Setup a Planner

While there are ready-made planners but my students are free to choose what type of planner they want to use. Their choice of planner will also depend on their personality, if they like to make lists or they like to map out their day using boxes. They can use a ready-made planner, a printable planner, or a regular notebook.

Here are two of many planner formats to draw inspiration from:

Bullet Journal design by Ryder Carrol

Passion Planner designed by Angelia Trinidad

My personal tips on maintaining a student planner:

  1. Always bring it with you. It’s important to always have your planner with you so that you can check your schedule before committing to a new task.
  2. Choose one that’s easy to carry. Use a planner that’s portable so you can always carry it with you and jot down information anytime you need to.
  3. Highlight deadlines. This will help you find important dates faster.
  4. Map out important dates like exams and events. This way you can plan activities around important events.
  5. Use codes to help you differentiate events, tasks, appointments.
  6. Be consistent! Always use the same color for specific details like dates or exams.
  7. Always update your planner before you sleep. Cross out tasks you’ve already accomplished and reschedule postponed tasks.

Free Resource

I’ve rounded up a few blogs that offer free downloadable and printable planners to serve as inspiration or resource for my students.

  1. Weekly Passion Planner
  2. Full Download 2015 Passion Planner
  3. Uncommongrad.com’s Simple Weekly Planner
  4. Heather Ink’s Weekly Planner
  5. Rabiscarte’s free 2015 Planner
  6. OrphanSurvivalGuide’s Student Planner
  7. The Organized Student’s Free Planner Pages

Leave a Reply