Schools that issue daily planners

Using a daily planner is such a good idea that some schools issue them to students.  They want students to get into the habit of planning their work.

However, what are they telling their students about how to use the planners?  Once I tutored some fourth-graders.  I asked them to write their upcoming tutoring assignments into the planners.  “Oh, no!” they said.  “We’re not allowed to write in anything that’s not related to school!”

That misses the point of the planner.  When anyone of any age uses the planner, he or she writes in the commitment, and can then check to see how it fits in with the rest of the schedule.  Have a band practice the night before the assignment?  Better work on the assignment the weekend before.   Working at the store all weekend?  Might have to reschedule the commitment.

But if the student can’t see all those upcoming events, how can he or she use it to plan work?

There are only two rules for planner use: use a single planner, and take it with you everywhere. No sticky notes, no stacks or scraps of paper, no notes on the back of the phone book. 

If the school dictates exactly how the student tries to use the planner, then the planner loses its function.  It would be better to ignore the school’s instructions and write everything in, or else use a different planner with no restrictions on it.



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