Erin Condren 2018-2019 Teacher Lesson Planner Review – Brand New Layout

As another school year wraps up I like to sit back, reflect on what worked over the year, what didn’t, and take a look at my plans with an eye toward the coming year. After 17 years of home educating, I’m more convinced than ever that you better bring the right tools to this game! I loved my Erin Condren Teacher Planner last year. For the last 3 years it has been my faithful planning tool and keeps all the pieces of the puzzle together! Keeping ideas, plans, books, schedules, scope and sequences, and assignments on paper is required for most of us – whether we teach in the school system or as a home educator. Required or not, thoughtful and considered plans are a sanity saver and a tool that leverages the day! This year, I get to review my favorite tool for leveraging the day: the brand new Erin Condren Teacher Planner, and I can’t wait to share with you the completely redesigned layout and updates that take this planner from great to absolutely fabulous!

I don’t review a lot of different products here on my blog and I do that intentionally. (Trust me, I get A LOT of requests to review products!) I want you to know that if I share about something it’s because I use the product, stand behind it, and really appreciate the tool and functionality the tool provides. Erin Condren products are my go-to for paper needs, and the Teacher Lesson Planner this year, with its completely redesigned layout, meets my lesson planning and homeschool admin needs more than ever before! This redesigned Teacher Lesson Planner is a perfect fit – whether you’re teaching in a school setting, or are a homeschooler juggling life and lessons and laundry! Teachers, this planner is an answer to so many of our requests and it’s heartening to know that a company we already love has listened and redesigned the Teacher Planner based on the needs expressed by the community!

I’m going to review this from my perspective as a 17 year home educator because…well, that’s the chair I’m sitting in. You already know I love planning – marry that to my other job as home-educator to my 5 kiddos and my experiences teaching from preschool through high school, and I’ve got a few thoughts. 😉

This planner is meant for teachers – all teachers. And I’ll stick my neck out and suggest that this planner is versatile enough that it would work well for graduate students, college students, a busy high school student, someone with a very busy work life, or anyone looking for a general weekly planner with a lot of room! I’m going to walk you through every page of this planner (in order) and discuss the newly redesigned layout! I’m also going to take you through some of the new accessories. If you’re a teacher, you are in for a treat!

The new Erin Condren Teacher Lesson Planner launches May 29, 2018! The team at Erin Condren graciously gifted all of these products to me so I could photograph and share them with you. Thank you, EC! I love taking the time to photograph, edit, write and share these reviews with you because as I do, I’m thinking of how I’ll be using this planner and the accessories.

And now, full disclosure about the links in this post: all of the links in this post are affiliate links. That means that if you click through to a product it costs you absolutely nothing, but I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase, for which I am extremely grateful! Thank you! Those commissions help me maintain this blog for you!

A very quick word about my photos: I do my best to capture details and colors accurately for you (I shoot with a Nikon 5300). Try as I have to over-write the code here on WordPress to insist that my blog display my photos in full resolution, they still don’t display at 100% resolution within the post (some might appear slightly foggy or grainy). Clarity and quality matter when you’re really looking at a planner page (to me!). So, if you’re looking for detail, double-click on the photo, and it will open for you with the full resolution, at which point you can zoom in and see the magnified detail! All photos here are copyright © 2018, Jennifer Mackintosh. You are free to pin photos as long as you link back to the original post. For other photo uses, drop me a note!

Looking for a video walk-thru? After you read through this review, or even if you don’t, you might want to check out my video walk thru! I set up my planner and walk through how I set it up, why I set it up the way I do for home education, offer a few tips and hints along the way. I think you’ll find it useful whether you use this planner or not!

One more bonus! If you are a new Erin Condren customer, I’ll leave a $10 coupon link for you at the end of this post! Every little bit helps!

Let’s get started!

Let’s start by comparing last year’s Teacher Lesson Planner (pictured on top) with the brand new redesigned 2018-2019 Teacher Lesson Planner (pictured on the bottom). Are you starting to get a sense of just how much has been added to the planner this year?

The 2018-2019 Teacher Lesson Planners by Erin Condren not only underwent a complete redesign in terms of layout, which I’ll show you in detail, but they got a big bump in the number of pages contained in the planner. Specifically, this planner is now a 12-month planner! You will receive 12 monthly layouts (from July 2018-June 2019), each followed by dated weekly lesson planning pages. Yes!! The dated weekly lesson plan pages now follow the months – just as the weekly planning pages follow the months in the Life Planner! So now, Erin Condren has given us a full YEAR of teacher lesson planning in one package, and in my book, that’s a HUGE win!

The specs:

  • OLD Teacher Planner coil:  1 1/8″
  • NEW Teacher Planner coil: 1 1/2″
  • OLD Teacher Planner cover-to-cover thickness:  7/8″
  • NEW Teacher Planner cover-to-cover thickness:  1 1/8″

By emphasizing the size differences, I just want to set the tone for this review. It’s going to be lengthy and full of photos and my thoughts as a teacher, a homeschooler, a multi-tasking mom, and a planner! I hope to be fair in this review and share with you the many possibilities I see in this planner because for the first time, I see this teacher planner as one that is so versatile it could step outside the “teacher planner” realm as a weekly planner on steroids. So, whether you are a homeschooler, a teacher, a resource counselor, or just curious, I encourage you to read on and keep an open mind as you consider the layout and the planning potential within!

Cover to cover

Erin Condren Teacher Planner (link to shop) $55 <– I just can’t go any further with this review without stopping here for a minute. Friends, last year’s (smaller 40-week) planner was priced at….$55. The new, updated, more functional, more voluminous 12-month, 52-week lesson planner did NOT increase in price. To me, this demonstrates Erin Condren’s dedication to educators and the work they do, and her desire to keep these tools as affordable as possible to keep it in as many hands as possible. This means so much to me because I’m holding both last year’s planner and this year’s planner, and to me, a price increase is warranted. Yet, here is this amazing, updated planner – offered to you at the same price as last year’s planner. Thank you, Erin Condren!!

  • Note that the price of the planner can increase based on your option choices:
    • Metallic coil + $10
    • Metallic cover choice + $5
    • Add an extra sheet protector to your Teacher Planner + $1.50 (add a maximum of 2 additional sheet protectors)
    • Extra coiled in checklist pages:
      • $5 for 7 checklist pages
      • $7.50 for 14 checklist pages
      • $10 for 21 checklist pages

Each of the covers on the Teacher Planner is interchangeable (“A thin, hairline slice in the lamination keeps the cover fitting snug to the coil until you are ready to make a change.” Erin Condren website) and there are some gorgeous new covers to choose from this year! There are several that are geared toward education, but you can choose ANY of the cover designs for your Teacher Lesson Planner – the design doesn’t have to be a teaching/school/education-related design. Just be sure to choose the 8.5 x 11 size to fit your Teacher Planner.

Each cover has a wet erase interior! I find this area so helpful in laying out goals for a term, or my running to-do list as I plan a term. You’ll find plenty of room to plan read-alouds, themes, books to research, challenges to brainstorm. And then wipe clean and start again! And be still my heart…Erin Condren has just issued some brand new ultra fine wet erase markers that write beautifully in rich, vibrant hues and DO NOT smudge once dry! (You’ll find photos and examples of the new wet erase markers in the accessories portion of the review below.)

The cover page is simple but illustrates the new theme within the planner and within all of the new Erin Condren planners this year: woven wonder. It’s a stunning theme that shows the common bond that weaves all planners together, even while emphasizing that each planner has a unique planning style.

The first couple of pages will look familiar to any teacher who used the Erin Condren Teacher Planner in years past. They are informational pages that could be very helpful to a teacher in a school setting. Since I homeschool, I usually just pull these first pages out because I don’t need them. Don’t be afraid to consider this planner and how it would work best for you! The pages aren’t cemented in place – they’re paper and they rip right out if you don’t need them.

The next two pages are set aside as a communication log. I find these two pages very easy to repurpose for my needs as a homeschooler! I just relabel it as a reading log! I love having a listing in the front of my teacher planner of the books my kids chose as independent reading and our read alouds for the year.

Next is an overview of 2018 and 2019. I love using transparent dots to designate our term of work, term breaks, the beginning and end of a school year, any testing dates. It’s a great birds-eye-view of the year!

This Year Plan spread is my favorite set up page! I do use stickers over the monthly pre-printed text because I like my Year Plan months to follow the same order as my planner – so over January I’ll add a sticker that says July. In other words, I like this spread to follow the academic year as it rolls through my planner – July to June.

I love listing big events, deadlines, and time markers here because it’s helpful to keep those big events in one place to refer to:

  • Term dates
  • Term breaks
  • Field trips
  • Memory work for the month
  • Any educational camps or opportunities upcoming
  • College deadlines for my high schooler about to graduate as well as class registration deadlines (he will be dual enrolled at a local college for his senior year)
  • Special seasonal events

The graph paper is always popular because it’s so open-ended and versatile! Anyone can use it to fit their needs. This year…

…there are 4 total graph pages in the Teacher Planner.

And that’s it for the beginning planning pages. From here, we shift into monthly planning and weekly lesson planning pages.

Monthly planning pages and weekly planning pages

Each monthly section follows the same pattern which I’m going to show you below. Each month has its own color theme and follows this layout:

  • 1 lined page for notes and pre-planning for the month
  • 1 page with an inspirational quote header, lined middle section, and a dates-to-remember section
  • 2-page monthly layout – dated
  • All of the weekly lesson plan pages for that month – dated
  • 2 pages of lined note pages at the end of the month’s weekly lesson plan pages and before the next month starts

….and then the next month.

This 2-page spread above is the first of the monthly planning pages. There is one fully lined page for notes and lists, but the right facing page is my favorite! I love listing out themes for the month here – seasonal and liturgical – and the dates to remember section is a gem! I line up our Church liturgical year along with the monthly activity calendar from Enchanted Learning and plan out my themes and picture books from that list! This section is a planning favorite for me!

The inspirational quote got a bit of a makeover. It’s a small thing, but I appreciate it! The quote now occupies a ribbon at the top of the monthly pre-planning page, rather than consuming an entire page. For me, this is the perfect marriage of inspiration and function. I love having that inspiring quote to set a positive and encouraging tone, but no longer does it consume one entire page of my planner!

The monthly spread is now completely dated! There is a helpful column on the far right to note monthly goals or big events upcoming.

And I love that some special dates have been added! Like, for example, Patricia Polacco‘s birthday in July! I might pull out Thunder Cake or The Keeping Quilt! Or build a library list. And plan to start a read aloud of The Trumpet of the Swan since E.B. White shares the same birthday! You can see how helpful these meaningful little literary and noteworthy events will be listed in our monthly calendar. You’ll find Francis Scott Key’s birthday, book lovers day, Ronald Dahl’s birthday, citizenship day…and more. All noted – which helps make our planning easier! Fantastic addition, Erin Condren!

Following the monthly pages you’ll find the weekly pages for that month – all dated. Can I say that again? Because it’s part of the major redesign this planner underwent! Weekly lesson plan pages now follow the monthly pages, and they are all dated! Oh my stars! This one improvement is huge!!! But there are several improvements and updates on the weekly lesson plan page, so let’s hit them all!

  • You’ll notice that in the top left corner, there is no longer a place to designate which week of the year you are planning (example: week 16). If you enjoy seeing that designation, there is still plenty of space to note it on this page.
  • Another change are the column headers. Formerly, these were shaded gray and had preprinted text in them (“subject” and “period”). Most of us just ignored the text and listed subjects or any other designation we wanted for that column, but that area is now completely cleaned up and blank! Designate your columns by subject, by class, by student, by book, by theme, by block of time. It’s entirely up to you!

  • The columns are lined boxes with ribbon separators in the same color theme for that particular month. As you progress down the column you will see a graduated effect in the color from bold (at the top) to more transparent (near the bottom of your column).

  • Another change to this weekly layout is the addition of a support column on the far right of the right page. Formerly, there were 7 identical columns as part of the weekly spread. There are STILL 7 columns – but one column is set apart. There are several different ways I can envision using this column:
    • to list craft and special supplies needed for the week
    • as my weekly meeting column (I sit down with my students each week to reflect and gather information about favorite books, challenging books, areas they’re struggling, etc.) to note my observations from the week as an easy reference. (What fantastic progress notes these would make at the end of the year!)
    • to list out our Morning Basket plans
    • Nature Study themes and coordinating books and resource materials
    • a list of notes from my pre-reading for the week (geography areas to pinpoint from our read aloud, context notes, vocabulary, our grammar/mechanics focus for the week).
    • OR….if you’re really missing that 7th column, just use it as a 7th column!

I wanted to show you a weekly page that indicates a month change within the week. As always, Erin Condren makes use of the color themes for the month to help us with visual clues as we move through a week. You can see in the image above that we move from July to August in the middle of the week – and it’s easy to see it since we move from navy to yellow ribbons in the columns.

Details. They mean everything!

The final in the monthly series are two lined pages. These can be used to reflect on the month and the month’s work, any books that might need to be adjusted, schedule changes, behavioral observations that can be targeted for habit growth. There are no shortage of note-taking pages in this Teacher Planner!

When building a planner that has weekly lesson plans coiled within each month one has to stop and wonder at some point: where do we begin? And where do we end? Most teachers teach seasonally with a summer break. But almost all school systems differ in terms of start and end date. The answer: build a 12-month planner that covers all. Now, our summer planning months are included for us if we take a summer break, but for those of us that may school year-round (homeschoolers!!), this planner covers you completely! And for teachers that begin planning sessions early – also covered! I am so thrilled with this thoughtful addition!

There is a consequence to the addition of all 12 months of weekly lesson plan pages, and I want to state it clearly. We asked for these weekly planning pages to be coiled behind their monthly pages. We asked for plenty of weekly lesson plan pages, and Erin Condren gave them to us! And that means we must deal with some bulk. This is a much thicker planner than in years past, and the coil is bigger. I’ve had this planner on my desk for a couple of weeks and I don’t find it too bulky, nor do I find it cumbersome at all, and I think the tradeoff of bulk to win the additional weekly planning pages is completely worth it. Hands down!

I typically live with my teacher planner open to the week we’re living, and as a desk planner, it’s fine. For transporting (because I know many school teachers and resource personnel take their planners back and forth between home and school) Erin Condren has provided a very useful tool – a large size planner folio – and I think it’s perfect for turning this thick planner and the supplies we use with our planner into something portable and protected! (More details and photos on the planner folio below when we get into accessories! I just wanted you to know that there is a way to transport this thicker planner and still protect it!)

The pages in this planner are the same high-quality mohawk paper used in the Erin Condren Life Planners. I appreciate the quality paper because I write, highlight, and color-code all over a weekly page!!! I live in every corner of that page. And when I turn the page, I want to find a clean, fresh page waiting for me! The quality mohawk paper gives that to me.

Coiled behind the last month and week of your lesson planner you’ll find student checklist pages. These pages allow you to note test scores, work progress, or just use them as notes pages. Or…if you find them unnecessary, remove them!

And now, for one last layout update. It’s small, so you may not notice it, but if you’ve used the Erin Condren Teacher Planners in years past, this update has been a tiny little thorn in your side. In the very first checklist ribbon the vertical label used to have the pre-printed text: “emergency kit” and this text has been removed.

We’re almost to the end of this planner! But Erin Condren has always been generous in her planners, and this Teacher Planner is no exception. She provides 4 coiled in sheets of stickers for teachers to use.

The first two sheets (pictured in the two photos above) are identical to the sticker sheets coiled into last year’s Teacher Planner. All of the stickers on these two pages have metallic foil.

The sticker sheet above is brand new, and I can’t decide what I’m more smitten with – the little bulldog clip stickers, or the column header stickers!!! Be still my heart!

The final page of stickers is event stickers. There are 12 different colors that coordinate with the 12 color themes in the Teacher Planner. Um. I’m going to need approximately 32 more sheets of these. 🙂 These are my favorite event stickers and I use them a lot in my monthly layout. I love how they make an important event or appointment stand out!

The pocket folio is stunning. It follows the woven wonder theme with colorful weaving printed on a navy background and the folio in turquoise with stunning metallic gold print. This folder is key for me. I keep all my term lesson plans back here so that I can grab them easily when planning a week.

The flip side of the folio contains a scalloped edge pocket with metallic text. This pocket does not hold standard 8 1/2 x 11 paper…but…there is a tiny change in the placement of the pocket this year that has me considering a possibility. The pocket is now justified to the far left of the cardstock folio page. I may carefully slit the right side of the pocket open making it possible to slide in letter size paper. Or I may leave it alone and keep my EZ grader in here like I did last year.

The coiled in sheet protectors follow the folio and I ALWAYS snip these out of my planner, add a large coil clip to the sheet protector, and move it around my planner throughout the year. I like keeping math test schedules in here, any syllabi, Latin vocabulary & declensions, and my basic writing rubric and editing outline that I use to assess my kids’ writing. The bonus of snipping the sheet protector out of your planner is that at the end of the year, you can pull them out and use them in another teacher planner or in another 8 1/2 x 11 Erin Condren coiled notebook.

And we wrap up with the back cover, which you can see has another wet erase dashboard!

That’s it for this year’s amazing planner! To review, here are a quick summary of the layout changes and updates to this year’s Erin Condren Teacher Lesson planner:

  • It is now a full 12-month planner
  • Larger coil to accommodate additional pages
  • Updated pre-month planning and goal setting pages
  • Dated monthly calendars with pertinent literary and civic events
  • Dated weekly lesson plan pages that follow the monthly pages
  • An updated minimal layout on the weekly lesson plan pages that is functional and simple
  • 6 subject columns and 1 support column on the weekly lesson plan page
  • 2 additional lined pages at the end of each month to record notes and observations from the month
  • Checklist pages without pre-printed “emergency kit”
  • New coiled in stickers

What didn’t change? The price! You can still get this amazing Teacher Planner for $55 (base price).

The Accessories

The accessories offered along with this year’s Teacher Planner launch (May 29) are some of my favorites!

Each new accessory blends function and style seamlessly so that our teacher planners and our planning systems and tools are both practical and a joy to plan in!

Planny Pack (link to purchase) $20.00

This year’s planny pack is in the woven wonder theme which is colorful print over a navy background. The zipper and pull are in gold and there is an elastic strap that stretches across your planner that serves a dual function of keeping your planner closed while holding your favorite pens and supplies. (There are other color options to choose from at the link above)

This planny pack elastic will NOT stretch to fit all the way around this year’s thicker Teacher Planner. However, the elastic on the planny pack works beautifully on the smaller Life Planner. You can stretch the elastic around the laminate cover alone on the Teacher Planner, but I think there is a better tool for keeping up with your planner supplies and keeping them near your large Teacher Planner – the planner folio!

The planner folio (link to purchase) $35.00 (large folio that will hold the Teacher Lesson Planner) | $25.00 (medium folio that holds a Life Planner)

There are now 2 sizes of planner folios (medium and large) and if you want one to fit your large Teacher Planner you need to order the large. This larger size folio not only fits the Teacher Planner but also holds your planner supplies perfectly and comes in a variety of different designs screen printed on stretchy neoprene – choose one to match your cover and customize with your name, your school name, or no customization!

Here are some key features of the planner folio:

  • The neoprene stretches to accommodate much more than you might imagine! You can stuff your large Teacher Planner, a sticker book, pens, notepad (or two!), and still have it zip just fine!

  • The zipper zips completely around so that the folio opens flat revealing your planner and an organizing section for your favorite planner supplies. Unzip, and plan away!
  • The organizing section on the large folio is identical in size and design to the organizing section in the medium planner folio. The only difference is that with the medium folio, you get one elastic pen loop, in the large planner folio you have 2 regular elastic pen loops, and one extra wide pen loop to accommodate a thicker pen like a thick highlighter or maybe a wider ruler.

  • The organizing section is attached to the neoprene cover with two elastic straps (top and bottom) and your planner tucks behind the organizer while the elastic straps hold your planner securely in place. It’s a good design!

  • Once you add your Teacher Planner to this folio and zip it closed, it’s completely protected and so much easier to carry around! Toss it in your work tote or bag and you’re set! If I take my lesson planner anywhere with me, it will be tucked into this folio to protect it!

Fine Tip Wet Erase Marker Set (link to purchase) $10.00

This brand new set of wet erase markers may rank up there as one of my favorite new items!

I love the ultra fine point and the rich colors, but what I really love…

…is that once they dry in place, they do not smudge! I tested this extensively because it’s a big deal to me! I rubbed and pushed and wiped with dry paper. I applied pressure! No smudging! To erase, just keep some well-kept wipes nearby or tucked in your planner folio – wipe and you have a clean slate! Perfection! Now, we can start begging for even more colors because these markers are a dream come true!

Flair pins (link to purchase) $18

Who doesn’t love a little bling with their planner! The new flair is perfect for your planner bag or denim jacket.

Lined Sticky Notepad (link to purchase) $4.00

These long thin sticky notes are perfect for lists, notes, and items I need to keep up with.

There is a small 3M command strip on the back of the pad and it’s perfectly sized to stick right to your moveable transparent ruler (that comes with your planner) so you can always keep your list handy and in your place in your planner.

Teacher Snap-in StylizedSticky Notes (link to purchase) $10.00

Another of my favorite planning tools! There are 11 different sticky note styles (20 each) that are fixed to a small dashboard that coils right into your planner. Never be without a sticky note again!

And the sticky-note styles for the new teacher snap-in are just fabulous!!! I love every single one of them!

I LOVE the pink sticky note that is sized perfectly to fit over a header column!

You can see how they fit in the weekly spread, and if you want to turn any of these into a fixed, permanent sticker, just run a small strip of adhesive down the back and they won’t budge! I do this all the time! In fact, the stylizedsticky notes are probably my favorite sticker source!

Two-Sided Metallic Snap-In Dashboard (link to purchase) $4.00

Sometimes an extra dashboard is handy to have in your planner and this dashboard helps you manage your week. The dashboard snaps in and out of the coils so that you can move it around as needed! Use the wet erase markers (above) to note copies you need to make, papers to grade, and people you need to contact!

The back side of the dashboard has a place to note items to buy and a place to jot down thoughts as you look ahead!

Teacher Tee (link to purchase) $20.00

Each year, Erin Condren comes out with a new tee for teachers and I love them all! They’re each soft and fun! I love the shape of them! They’re slightly boxy with an attractive rounded hem at the bottom! This year’s shirt is a dark charcoal with teal lettering and a raspberry asterisk.

A+ Style Sticker Pad (link to purchase) $15

I never tire of seeing the updated sticker books each year. As teachers, we tend to slog through some pretty full days. Books, behavior, schedules, ideas, transcripts, checklists. It’s a lot of detail. I can get through it, and I love using these stickers to do two things:

  • to make something important stand out
  • to add a touch of something pretty to what is essentially a whole lotta practical detail!

Let’s go through the sticker book in order…

The new sticker pad contains 16 sheets of stickers, and of those 16 sheets, 5 of the sheets have the new colorful/clear stickers that are just stunning!

The colors on the new colorful/clear stickers are so vibrant that they pop off the page! Each of these stickers is transparent.

There are still several sheets of the matte stickers we’re used to in Erin Condren sticker books. I love this new design in particular because these are perfectly sized to set off a column header!

The page above (and pictured again below) is another of the colorful/clear sticker sheets.

The icon stickers above and the letter stickers (there are 2 pages of metallic gold letter stickers) are also colorful/clear stickers.

And…not pictured in this review, but launching with the other accessories May 29:

Substitute Teacher Notepad in a 7.5″ x 10″ size (link to purchase) $10.00

As always, the customization options allow you to consider this notepad as useful in a variety of circumstances! You can personalize it to fit your needs. Here are two options I built to share the possibilities with you!

And that’s it!

Last year’s planner was a great home education planning tool! I fit four kids (and more) into one Erin Condren Teacher Planner:

This year’s planner will be even more functional for me as a busy mom that wears a lot of different hats while homeschooling Kindergarten – 12th grade! It’s such a blessing to have a planner that is a functional, thoughtful planning tool that aids in smooth days! I’m so excited about the extra planning space, the weekly lesson planning pages behind the months, and the dated planner. I’m working on a video that shows more detail about how I update and tweak this planner ever so slightly so that it fits us as home educators – keep an eye out for that soon!

A quick word about versatility:

This review is written from my perspective as an educator, as I explained at the beginning, but as I began flipping through this planner, photographing, and really becoming familiar with the pages and layouts, I began to see something – versatility outside the intended purpose. Perhaps you aren’t strictly a teacher within the school system. Could I suggest some other people I think would enjoy this planner with its versatile content:

  • A parent looking to manage sports activities, homework, and children’s volunteer activities
  • A busy high school student looking to manage classes, extracurricular events, social activities, and upcoming college deadlines
  • A college student (undergraduate or graduate level) that needs a larger format layout to manage classes, deadlines, and still have space to make other notes and manage other resources
  • A working professional that needs a larger, amped-up weekly planner for work purposes
  • A school/education counselor that needs space to manage appointments, notes, and resources
  • Homeschoolers! We are educators, too! And this planner fits for homeschool planning better than anything else I’ve ever tried in my 17 years of home educating my children.

If you are a new Erin Condren customer placing your first order, I have a $10 coupon just for you! Just click the image above and set up your account! An email with a code for $10 off your order will land in your inbox and you can use that on your order!

I hope you enjoyed this review! If you have any questions at all, I’ll do my best to answer them in the comment box! Let me know if you see other potential in this planner that I might have missed! Share with us in the comment box! Feel free to share this post or pin any images – just be sure to link back to the original post! Thank you!

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  1. I’m curious if you have any ideas for working around the July start. Would it be too messy using the June for next year for this year? We also homeschool and start school in June and since I have to keep a lesson journal for our school year ( by our state) I like it all together. Just curious if you had ideas for that. I had been considering it when it was undated… but now the dates are throwing me off even though I think they are useful to have on their already!

    1. Hi! If it were me and I HAD to get June 2018 in there, I would consider a few options:

      1) Uncoil the planner (it’s not hard – I’ve done it several times – search YouTube for tutorials) and add lesson plan pages from your old planner – enough to cover June – and recoil. While you have it apart, take June 2019 out to remove excess and because you’d need to move it next year anyway.

      2) If uncoiling makes you break into a sweat just carefully snip 4 weeks worth of lesson planner pages out of your old planner and pop them in your new planner. Snip with small scissors (I like fiskars detail scissors) each individual section of the coiled in paper perpendicular to the coils. I’ve done this several times so I know it works! You can even snip out your June monthly layout pages. Now, just as you’d remove an interchangeable cover from an EC planner, start from the top near the coils with your hand and gently and carefully pull up and remove the paper, and in the same way, fit it back onto the coils of your new planner. It will stay snug in your planner as long as you don’t abuse it beyond regular wear and tear.

      Hope that helps and gives a few ideas!

        1. I also think you could uncoil and move next June into the beginning and just use date dots or other stickers to redate them all. Recoiling isn’t bad at all. Just be sure you have some pliers and something to cushion the tips.

  2. You do such a great job with your reviews – wonderful pictures! I’m thinking about getting one, but I’m not 100% sure yet…..maybe if they go on sale!

  3. Thanks for this thorough review! I think it might be the perfect graduation gift for my daughter in law, who receives her master’s in school counseling in a couple of weeks.

  4. Always love your detailed reviews! I am wondering if EC will sell corresponding color stickers for those who want to make the 7th column?

  5. Thank you for the review. Is there an “absent” tab this year? I was thinking of re-purposing those pages into a classroom expenses page.

  6. Thank you for the detailed, wonderful review! I already have a planner that I use to homeschool my daughter year round which happens to be a twelve month one. I am so happy that the EC teacher planner has been updated to the 12 months! I used it last year but when it ended at the 10 months I bought the one I am currently using. I might still get the EC teacher planner though and use the other one for Bible Study. I am a fan of the EC Life Planner and I ordered it on launch day! These products are of an excellent quality and so useful too!

  7. Hi Jen, I had ruled out an EC teacher planner due to budget but I read your review anyway because I like to torture myself. Your comment about repurposing the columns has me thinking about new possibilities. Previously I would use the columns in my planner for individual subjects and wrote each child’s assignment in different color ink. Now I am wondering if I could use the column for a particular child and have enough room to write the daily assignments in the box. I am only educating two of my children at the moment, so I could even perhaps use two boxes per child. This would leave the remaining columns to use as a daily planner with appointments and to do items….meaning that I wouldn’t need two separate planners and could justify the EC teacher planner with the coupon you linked. Does that seem like it would work? My gifts do not include visualizing possibilities – I do much better if I have a format to follow!!

    1. Hi Camille! I’m considering laying out my weekly plans as you described – assigning a column to a child rather than assigning a column to a subject – so yes! I see it as very workable! I’ve been working to set my TP up and I plan to set up a couple of different sample weeks with different layouts so that when I film my walk through I can show you a few different possibilities. Fingers crossed I get that filmed and uploaded soon!

  8. Thanks for the review, again! You’ve convinced me to buy one this year! Happy to support your affiliate links, too! I’ve watched your YouTube video on last years planner twice, trying to figure out when I need to take a week off for resetting our school room and for a teacher break – where/when exactly did you do that? I have 3 im homeschooling and would love some gentle coaching in this area. I know I need a break, just need ideas, would love to hear what has worked for you.

    1. Hi Mary! I’m so glad to have you along! I take my teacher breaks in between our 12 week terms. It’s a nice refresh point! If I needed to, I’d take them more often (and often I do build and plan for time off inside each 12 week term)! So there’s no right/wrong answer here – but I do think teacher breaks are essential for everyone! Everyone needs rest and down time!!

      Here is my process for mapping a year: If you’re starting to consider your year, first decide what kind of “chunk” of time you’ll plan in: 12 week terms?, 9 week quarters?, 18 week semesters? Think about that? What’s most intuitive to your family season? Once you’ve answered that, automatically build a teacher week between each chunk of school time. Next, map out holidays – your Christmas break, etc. Then step back and look at your year…would it help if you add another refreshment point somewhere? At this point, I have a beginning date, our chucks of school planned, teacher weeks, holidays, and extra refreshment points, and a tentative end date. I can see the big picture of the year with teacher weeks and I’m ready to start walking plans toward more detail.

      I hope this is a help!

      1. Yes, this totally makes sense… this will be fun. I felt so disorganized by the time I finished this year, and was trying to push to the end. It wasn’t fun. But organizing always makes things better. Thankyou!

  9. Also, have you found a good sticker to cover over the months-names that aren’t in academic-year order? Own plan with you doesn’t have anything updated to match yet….

    1. I make my own stickers for things like this – I just use my laptop, buttercup font (a close match to the EC font) and print using Avery sticker paper. I’m setting up now so that I can show you this (and all my set up) in my video.

      1. Thankyou! I’m so glad I found your blog on homeschool connections web conference. Since them I’ve been connected to so many other good bloggers too

  10. The new teacher planner made changes that were truly necessary to make the planner more functional however I am disappointed with Erin Condren’s customer service. Ita was not clear when the new teacher planner would be released and I ordered what I thought was the 2018-2019 teacher planner in April. It was beautiful and I was so excited, but when I finally went to begin adding FY19 dates and plans last month I noticed it was actually a 2017-2018 planner they sent me! Why would I order a teacher planner for 2017-2018 in May?? At full price no less. I contacted them immediately to share and was disappointed when they would not exchange the old planner for the new teacher planner for the upcoming school year. Sadly I will not be ordering from EC again.

  11. I love how pretty the EC teacher planners are and I have owned a few, but I wish they came in a smaller size. I am currently using the Plum Paper teacher planner because I preferred the vertical planning over the EC horizontal. The PP has the dates too which EC didn’t have when I ordered PP last year. I just find both the EC and the PP planners so cumbersome and big/heavy. I had actually planned to buy the EC planner this year because when I compared my older EC planners with the PP planner, EC’s were lighter (less paper etc) but this year the planner is as heavy looking as the PP. I am a homeschool parent so I assume there is a lot in the EC I could just remove. Do you think I could remove enough of the extra notes pages and the ‘school teacher’ pages at the front, and reduce the planner’s size and weight? Or would doing this defeat purchasing the planner in the first place?

    1. I personally don’t mind the size or weight of the EC – I happily sacrifice both of those to function!! Having said that – yes, you can remove some pages to remove bulk. There are 2 pages up front that are unnecessary for homeschoolers, you can pull out any weekly lesson plan pages for weeks you’re certain you won’t need, and you can remove checklist pages and sheet protectors from the back. That would bring the ECTP down to skeleton size for you. I do plan on removing a few pages I won’t be using and I’ll show everything I remove and tweak in my upcoming video.

  12. Dear Jennifer,
    I recently came across your blog while searching for the new Erin Condren teacher planner. I was introduced to these planners through another blogger, and use one know not only for my home business (in the Life Planner), but also for my personal information (small hardbound planner). I tried the teacher planner for this past school year (2017-2018), and used the same apple design as you had reviewed last year. Can I say how much I LOVE it! I am actually not a teacher, but a speech-language pathologist in a state school for deaf and hard of hearing students. This planner has kept me so organized this year, and I am excited to order a new one after your extensive review for this upcoming school year. Also, I appreciate that you mention “support staff” as possible other users of this planner- I am example of this idea, and you couldn’t be more accurate. Thank you so much for this review.
    Kindly, ~Jaime Lyn Knight

    1. Hi Jaime! I’m so glad to have you along! You know…a long time ago (before I had kids), I had the distinct privilege of working with the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind in assisting their students through Space Camp, and it was such a delight for me to work with those students, but also the extraordinary support staff! I’m truly grateful for the hard work you do!

      Isn’t it wonderful that this tool – the Erin Condren Teacher Lesson Planner – is so versatile that it fits so many of us and our varying needs? I think, to me, that’s a testament to Erin’s ongoing dedication to educators and those that work in this field. She’s built a planner that is beautiful, offers enough structure to be productive and has left enough room for flexibility so that this planner can fit so many of us! Happy planning! And thanks for your kind words!! 🙂

  13. Thank you for such a thorough review! I’m a teacher who also has a busy weekend schedule so I plan on splitting the 7th column up for Saturday and Sunday.

    Question- Can you please show what you do with the clear protectors at the end of the planner? I’m having trouble picturing it. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Susan, I’m not 100% sure on the color combo – it was gifted to me and chosen by someone else. But!!! I’m pretty sure it’s this:
      Stripe color: bubblegum
      Apple color: robin

  14. It looks like your planner starts in July 2018? I just got mine in the mail. These are super expensive and I was really excited about this but I am REALLY REALLY disappointed. My planner starts in January of ’19 and goes through December ’19. I can’t even use this for the entire first semester! I am currently attempting to return this and get my money back. I’m so frustrated.

    1. If you look closely on the EC website, there are two start date options that you can choose for your planner – July 2018 and January 2019. Hope you’re able to resolve this with EC customer service!

  15. Hey Jen! Thanks so much for the awesome review! I wondered what you are going to do with the checklists? As a homeschooler I don’t know how to use them but seems like a waste to take them out?! I’m so happy about the changes this year! I finally feel like it will be perfect for us!

    1. Hi Crystal! I use the checklists in various ways – to keep up with attendance, to record test scores for those students old enough to take math/algebra tests or Latin quizzes or other graded work, and also to record milestones or when we meet certain goals or learning themes are completed. I shared some examples of my layouts for the checklist pages on my video (which is linked in this post).

  16. I’m a college student who is getting ready to transfer to university in a year and recently bought this planner. I bought it thinking I could change it up for my needs but was still a little nervous since I’ve never invested in a planner and automatically went for the teacher planner (after hours/days of researching! lol).
    This post reassured me that I will definitely be able to use this planner even though I’m not a teacher. I’m super excited for when it arrives! I’m a full time college student, worship leader at church, and help alot with the youth. After taking two summer classes I realized I could not keep up with anything unless I had a planner but was never fond of them… Until I saw that there is a WHOLE community of planning! I got excited seeing the different styles people use (with stickers, layout, etc) and can’t wait to put my own twist and get my life organized!

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