WARNING: This is a LONG post, but if you are seriously thinking about buying an EC Teaching Panner then read on through! It’s no lie that Erin Condren is the QUEEN of organization products. Last year I was determined to purchase one of her teacher’s lesson planners. I watched the video over and over and loved everything that it offered. Once I picked my design and ordered it, I sat on pins and needles waiting for it to arrive! When it did, I was ecstatic to say the least. I actually planned on writing a review right away but of course I got busy and the idea was put on hold. I am glad I held off because at the time, it would have been a rave review. Now that the year is over I want to share my final thoughts. I am sorry if I am brutally honest in some parts! PROS: 1. I loved the “dates to remember” page. As a teacher, you know we celebrate all of these little things and it is helpful to have them all on one page that you can refer to each month. 2. I used every single one of my graphing pages. I started off by drawing the layout that I wished to have in my class for the year. After that I would draw my future seating plans. I also may or may not have used the rest
to draw our new house plans for personal use. 3. Month view… If you teach and do not use a calendar then I don’t know what is wrong with you . These pages are what I referred to the most. Not to mention I loved that there was a good amount of room to write multiple things going on in one day. 4. TABS….. I love that everything was so easy to find!!! 5. The two sided-folder. I used this every week after lesson planning to hold the future week’s papers that were needed. 6. The personalization. I LOVED that I had a calendar/planner that had my name and school on it! 7. Everything in one place. It was so nice that if I were going into a meeting or just needed to reference something it was all in this one book. I carried it around with me everywhere! 8. Fun stickers. I loved that there was preprinted stickers that help you remember important items. I will be honest, I would forget to use them! Then I would kick myself for forgetting and use them to cover up my chicken scratch, hehe! QUALITY CONS: 1. Just a couple weeks after school started the lamination on my planner started to separate and peel. I tried to get a close up of all the corners peeling apart but they just came out blurry… sorry! This to me was probably the most disappointing. These planners aren’t cheap so I thought that the cover and back cover should be a little better quality. I heard that if you emailed EC that they would get a replacement for you. I do not know if this is true or not because I did not try. I thought it was too much of a pain to have to rewrite everything again and I didn’t think I had the time to do so. Which brings me to my next point. 2. You have to write in all the dates and holidays on the calendars yourself. I didn’t know this at first and I was pretty annoyed when I had to take the time to fill it all in. To be honest all I was thinking about was that if I spent that much money, this all should have been done for me. I had to go back and forth from the “Dates to Remember” to the month I was filling in to fill in holidays. Filling in the dates was the worst part. I had to look at another calendar to fill them in! And if you mess up, you have to go back and white it out and start again. If the date circle lands on the plastic part, watch out, it wont stay on. I even did mine in Sharpie… the numbers rub off and aren’t there anymore! I hope to see this changed one day. 3. Scratches… I took extreme care of this planner but in my teaching bag it got extremely scratched by rubbing against other books. Fair warning, the scratches show BIG TIME. By now my planner has chunks of super shiny plastic among chunks of super scratched and dull plastic. MY PERSONAL CONS: 1. I ended up not using every single resource. For the volunteers, we had none so I did not fill it in. As for events, I added them on my calendar. For the substitute portion, I would never leave my personal planner for them! It has a lot of info that is either personal or confidential so I just never filled it out. 2. I purchased extra checklists since we use them so often in our grade level. While I used some at first, I quickly realized it was easier to have them removable so I printed out my own on my computer and used those instead. A lot of the pages went completely wasted. 3. The lesson planner. This is definitely a personal issue. At my school, we must type up our lesson plans and they need to be very detailed. When we get together as a grade level to plan, we just jot down notes and type it up later. At the beginning of the year, I committed to making my notes cute and using the lesson planner as more of an organization tool for them. I felt so proud of myself As time went on, all this writing was turning into double work. I was so worried about “getting my money’s worth” that I was writing a lot and trying to make it look cute rather than being practical. My next picture shows what the lesson planner looked like at the end of the year…. and I am not going to lie, I am embarrassed to show it. Half of the pages went unused because we were so busy during planning time that we would quickly jot down the notes. And I didn’t need to write all subjects since they are already provided in our reading adoption. Final decision: Would I buy another? No and yes. I was really hoping they would tweak some of these common concerns. The most important being that we had to all fill in the dates ourselves. I had heard that there would be a time to voice out concerns but it never came. Since this year’s planner is the same as last year’s I will not be buying one. If there is a good upgrade then I will be one of the first ones clicking the “purchase” button! BUT… I think what swayed my decision mostly is that it is more so due to my personal cons. I really, REALLY enjoyed the calendar part of it and staying organized. Which is why I WILL be shopping at EC again this year… just not for a teaching planner. I don’t know if you all know or not but EC has come out with a new life planner this year and I think it is safe to say that I am OB-SESSED with the idea of having one. It is basically a calendar on steroids and I love every bit of what I see. I have decided I will be buying one of these instead this year. It contains everything that I used the most in my Teacher’s Planner plus more! Not only can I used it at school but this year is going to be a busy one for my family too. It will be great to be able to use it for that as well. This is the one I will be getting: I think I will be making the background gray though. There are actually two covers I want so I am thinking about taking advantage of their interchangeable covers. I am just so excited to have it! I hope my review helped you to decide whether you should buy a teacher’s planner or a life planner or not. If you decide to purchase one I have a $10 off coupon for you!!! Please click here to take advantage. You will have to sign up and when you do, your $10 coupon will be emailed to you. ***Please keep in mind, these are all my personal opinions and reviews. I was not hired to write this review. I just wanted to help out anyone that was on the fence about purchasing one. Thanks!***
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