While I was at the Southern Division Teachers’ Conference, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Rodney Rathmann, who introduced me to the Concordia Student Planner. I have long been an advocate of student planners as a way of giving students a tool for organizing their lives. If you are in a Christian school and interested in using student planners, this one is excellent.

The features I like about this planner include the following:

  • Monthly calendars are provided in the front of the book. Students can see the “big picture.”
  • The weekly page layout is in rows and columns, much like a teacher plan book. Students can look across the page and see everything about one subject, or look down the page and see everything about a particular day.
  • Subjects are labeled, but there is an extra, unlabeled, row at the bottom. Students can use this row for after-school activities.
  • An extra column is provided for spelling words. My thought is if the teacher did not need this feature, students could use the column for weekend activities. After all, the planner is not a tool just for school. It is the one tool to help them navigate their lives, and that includes after school and days when school is not in session.
  • The first date in the planner is August 1, and the last date is June 30. I have not seen any planner provide more coverage of the complete year than this one. Students have pages which carry them through the Christmas break, spring break, and well into the summer. Only during the month of July are they left without space in the planner.
  • The planner provides resource material such as maps of the United States and world, multiplication tables, and information on U.S. Presidents. The back cover even serves as a ruler marked in inches and centimeters.
  • The planner also provides reference information particularly helpful for Christian schools. Students have an outline of the church year. They have a list of the Parables of Jesus as well as Biblical references to the miracles he performed. A list of books of the Bible, information on Disciples, and other Christian information is included.

The new school year is far in the future in the minds of students. But for the administrators who must plan for it, the new school year is now. The actions they take over the next several months will shape the success of next year. Choosing and ordering planners is one of those actions.

Does your school use student planners? What thoughts do you have on their value?