I was asked to write a blog post on why I created TeacherPlanBook. I’ve never written a blog before; I’m more of a good ol’ boy who loves the great outdoors! In the woods or on the beach is where you will find me if I’m not at home or teaching. I ride my dirt bike as much as I can and need to be out on my boat breathing in the salt air as often as possible. Above all else, I love my family—my beautiful wife, Tiffany, and my children are my greatest blessings.
I started TPB because I found the annual paper plan book a redundant, colossal waste of time that kept me away from the things I loved most. Each year, I would spend a hundred hours—or more—looking for, printing, and pasting my state’s curriculum into the Objectives section of my paper plan book. I’d add appropriate editing, and then would have to write lesson plans by hand to match those objective goals. Worse yet—I was required to hand in my paper plan book each year after all that work!
Every year I had to repeat the whole process! I was on the paper plan book hamster wheel. Teachers are required to be at the cutting edge of educational tactics but are given an antiquated tool to document the rigorous efforts made to meet all levels of Depth Of Knowledge (DOK). How ridiculous is it that a decades-old paper plan book is not only my own record but also the district’s legal proof of what I’m doing in class (that, frankly, has no uniformity across writers)? I would not race a car originally built in the 1920s at the 2016 Daytona 500, why am I using a paper plan book when the rigor on which I’m evaluated utilizes modern-day foundations of curriculum and standards?
So, I drew up a basic idea that linked curriculum to the objectives side of a virtual plan book (eliminating my need to research copy and paste) as well as a true lesson plan connection to the lesson overview side (eliminating my need to re-write, file and/or find lesson plans year after year). I purposefully formatted it based on the paper plan book; so, if you can use the antiquated paper plan book you can use TeacherPlanBook with all the modern day technology.
Most importantly, I wanted something that would eliminate the need for me to re-write my old paper book annually. So, TPB utilizes “cloud” technology to virtually store all my plan book information. No longer do I have to re-research and re-write my plan book, year after year, over and over again. Now I can simply edit and improve on what was already there, remaining highly effective and in compliance.
Of course, there is more to the story but this is a blog, not a novel. And since I don’t need to rewrite my plan book… it’s time to head out on the water!