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Tracking Academic Goals with Calendar Management

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Class record and lesson planners

Running a classroom is like operating a business. There is a manager, team members, work to be done, and goals to achieve. Let's keep in mind that those team members are often little humans who need a lot of direction and handholding. But no matter their age or grade, academic benchmarks must be met for every student in the classroom.  

Busy teachers, often inundated with the demands of their profession, must rely on exceptional tools to make their classrooms well-oiled machines meeting deadlines and achieving success. There is no more straightforward yet effective tool than an academic planner. Below are a few best practices to ensure that teachers and students stay on track each day, week, and month of the school year.  

Creating a Game Plan 

Tracking academic goals throughout the school year begins with calendar and academic planner management to help you stay organized, focused, and productive about your classroom's educational priorities.  

Get to know your students. This directive may seem obvious, but it is critical in assessing the needs and culture of individual students and the make-up of the entire classroom. Some classrooms are more studious, and outcome driven. Others may be boisterous and a little hard to control. Understanding the classroom climate will help to plan and adjust a strategy during the school year. 

Begin filling in your classroom calendar as well as your class record and lesson planners. There are fixed dates throughout the year, like holidays, professional development days, and standardized testing schedules. Make sure these dates are in place first, then build the rest of the year around them. Identify all the tools you will use, including your academic calendar planner, checklists, spreadsheets, and specialized digital apps or software.  

Identify your most important goals. Determine what you must and want to achieve for that academic year. Think like a business professional; ensure your goals are specific, measurable, and achievable. This business model translates easily to the classroom and can be helpful for all teachers as they strategize the work that lies ahead.  

Break down your goals. Divide them into smaller tasks or milestones and prioritize what is most important. This step will help you feel in control of the challenges ahead and not feel pulled in too many directions. This strategy will help you to track steady progress and keep you motivated. Sometimes the big picture can feel overwhelming, so breaking it into bite-size pieces can be more attainable.  

Set deadlines. Assign deadlines for each task or benchmark to help you stay on track. Be realistic about the time it will take to finish, and give yourself enough time to complete it.  

Make room for adjustments. Check your academic calendar planner at least daily to review your goals. Regularly assess your progress and determine if you are on track. Adjust your schedule as needed to ensure you are on a successful path.  

Stay accountable. Share your goals with a trusted friend or colleague who can help you be responsible for your goal strategy. Collaborate on best practices for tracking goals in each classroom. Ask them to alert you to impending deadlines or approaching benchmarks. It is also important to return the favor, so try to help another teacher stay on track in their classroom.  

Don't do it alone. The goals you have set in your classroom are about prioritizing your students' education, so make sure they are involved in the planning and the process. Assign tasks to each student, like updating calendars, preparing project supplies, and discussing progress and barriers. If students have buy-in with the strategy that helps them achieve their goals, teachers will have a smoother path toward success.  

Don't forget to celebrate. Sometimes the educational process and the goals that must be met can feel serious and not really enjoyable. Never lose sight that these are children who, if taught that learning is fun, will more likely be on board attaining their teacher's goals. Reward progress, meeting deadlines, and hopefully, eventual success. Please make sure students are validated for their hard work and make your pride evident.  

It is important to know that academic calendar planners are works in progress. Flexibility and adaptability are key characteristics of any teacher but may rank high in terms of creating, tracking, and completing goals. Teaching is both difficult and rewarding. The stakes are high when considering that educating children should be our greatest priority. Teachers should also reward themselves because they deserve the equivalent of a classroom ice cream or pizza party. They are the true heroes in every classroom.  

How often do you think about how your calendar management affects achieving your goals? Academic calendars or lesson planners are exceptionally efficient tools to keep your classroom humming along as your little humans fill their brains with knowledge. Start using one today, and before long, you will see the progress you have made.