Why I sign planners in Middle School

Every year I am struck by the fact that many people think that once a student enters middle school, they are magically old enough to assume all responsibility for all assignments on their own.


These are the same students whose bodies are changing at a rapid rate which affects the way they view themselves.  Everyone jokes about how middle schoolers are hormones with feet but no one stops to think about the impact.

Students spend most of middle school trying to figure out who they are, what they stand for, and where they fit in.  Some of this is related to body image and all of it is related to social pecking order.  Where does that fit into academic responsibility?  

It doesn't. It takes the backseat unless someone forces it up front.  That's why I sign student planners.

But it's more than that.  With all this change in the students' bodies and minds, it's somewhat comforting for them to have the same predictable routine and someone to hold them accountable.  By signing the planners, I'm saying "I love you enough to make sure you are aware of your academic responsibilities".

I just make it part of our bell work routine and it takes very little time.  If you'd like to learn how I structure my planner routine, please take a look at this free little helper:

As an added bonus, no one has to look like a "nerd" which would so totally not be cool.  Everyone has to fill in their planner and they can just blame it on me with the requisite eye rolls.  I just take those rolls as a compliment.  :)

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. I hope you have a stamp with your signature on it!

    Brynn Allison
    The Literary Maven

    1. I experimented with a stamp this week! Usually, I just use a marker and write my initials. :)

  2. Thank you! I sign the planners of my sixth grade students. It's an every Monday event. It lets them know that there are expectations and that someone is looking and cares about their education. I love hearing that other teachers do the same.

  3. I sign my 6th graders planners too! I love the way you worded it- I care about them enough to make sure that they are aware of their responsibilities! I'll be using that line during open house this week when explaining that to parents :) So glad to hear I'm not alone!



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