You might call a teacher binder by different names, planning folder, teacher planner, etc. But there is no doubt that your teacher binder is one of the first things you will want to get organised for the new school year. It will not be long before you are being handed numerous pieces of paper with children’s information and you will definitely want somewhere to keep it organised!
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What is a teacher binder?
A teacher binder is a folder or binder where you can keep all the information about your class. This could include things like class lists, grades, medical information, etc. It is basically the go-to place for anything related to your students and their learning. It makes sense to keep all this information in one place so whenever you are asked any type of question about your kids’ learning you are prepared to answer. It is also really convenient for you! I spend some time creating different sections within my binder and organising all the information. This means I know exactly where everything is and I can easily find it when I need it.
Keep in mind, if you have joined a new school or department to check with management what the expectations are regarding your planning folder. Is there certain information that must be included? Does it need to be organised in a certain way?
What goes inside a teacher binder?
What to include in a teacher binder may differ from school to school and teacher to teacher. It will depend on what age or subject you teach as well as what the expectations are within your school. It also depends on how you as a teacher like to organise yourself!
Below there are few examples of forms or documents you may want to include in your teacher folder.
Student Information – birthdays, contact info, etc.
Parent Communication Notes
Allergies/medical needs/learning needs
Curriculum overview – Here in Scotland we would include an overview of the Curriculum for Excellence which covers all the subjects we would be teaching that year. This would include a list of the Experiences & Outcomes (or standards) in our curriculum.
Planners – daily, weekly, monthly, termly – depending on what you use.
Evaluations/reflections of learning
Now, I am incredibly lucky that at my school, we are given a lot of guidance about what to include in our planning folders. We have all the information I mentioned above as well as the sections I am going to explain below. I teach Primary 2 at the moment and we teach all different subjects. So, if you are in the same boat as me, you may find this useful, however, if you only teach one subject you will probably need to organise your teacher binder a bit differently!
If you are teaching numerous subjects, you can include a section for each subject. For each section, you could include an overview of that subject’s curriculum, any learning progressions you are using as well as any lesson plans or subject planners you have created for those subject areas. I also include student evaluations or assessments related to these subject areas too. Having all the information on each subject area organised together really helps me when I am planning future lessons.
Health & Wellbeing/Social-Emotional
Expressive Arts – Music, Drama, and Art
RME – Religious and Moral Education
Developing the Young Work Force – you may not cover this at your school, but we look at developing our children’s knowledge and skills for the world of work too.
I would not include any resources related to these subject areas otherwise my teacher binder would be overflowing! I strictly use it for planning and assessing my children’s learning.
What do you include in your teacher binder? I would love to hear in the comments below!
If you would like to read more about being organised as a teacher, check out my blog post: How Do Teachers Stay Organised?