From the Teacher’s Desk #1: A Personal Musing on Setting Goals and Staying on Track

Inspiration from the Teacher’s Desk of Katie J.


Now, I know that to most of you this is just going to look like an awesome desk calendar that you would find on a super cool teacher’s desk…and you’d be right. But what you’re missing is that this is MY desk calendar.

Goals completed: February Desk calendar from the desk of Katie J., founder of One-Room Education

Teacher's Desk calendar and planner inspiration

You see, my calendar isn’t just a calendar; it is my hopes, dreams, and goals physically written into existence to be manifested into the creation of the reality I want for myself, my family and my world.

As teachers, parents, students, and humans living in the modern world, we can often find ourselves overwhelmed by the amount of things we have to accomplish in a day. If we take that day and zoom out to a week or even a month, it can look so unmanageable that we are crippled by our own sense of, “how on earth am I going to get all of this done!?!” that we never even get started.

Multi-tasking and setting realistic expectations for yourself in and out of the classroom

I have often found it very hard to stay focused on things throughout my life. I’m known for my procrastination and general state of organized chaos. That’s something that most people don’t really understand. When they think of teachers and other educational workers, they think of the tidy classrooms with bookshelves organized by author or theme, paperwork neatly put away and clean, white-ish walls and other dreamy unrealistic images Pinterest and Instagram have given you. The truth is, at least for most of the teachers I personally know, both homeschooling parents and professional educators, this really isn’t the case.

With students, kids, animals, husbands, sometimes second jobs, and all of the other roles that educators take on, it is little wonder that we often struggle to focus on what actually needs done right then. Whether it is writing an article instead of doing the dishes while you children are sleeping or missing a deadline at work because you got too caught up in what was going on in your personal life.

We all struggle to keep our lives, homes, work places, and brains organized from time to time.

“The shorter way to do many things is to only do one thing at a time.”


I, like so many others, found myself in a constant state of feeling overwhelmed when my husband started working with the VA. He had so many appoints with so many different doctors in so many different places, in addition to his full-time work and my tutoring, that I had to do something to help get myself organized and regain the little bit of sanity I had.

Finding balance and calm within the chaos

I found and employed my absolute favorite planner ever. This planner has literally changed my life for the better in so many ways. I have been recommending it to people for years and preaching about the amazing tools it has for setting goals, keeping track of daily schedules and all types of things to help you really get focused on what’s important to you. It is the one lifehack I actually use on a daily basis. I mean, the definition of a lifehack is literally something that helps you get over or through something to better your life, and this planner has legitimately done that for me. Plus it comes in so many cute patterns and colors that just help boost my mood every day.

lifehack lahyf-hak ]


Informal. a tip, trick, or efficient method for doing or managing a day-to-day task or activity; a hack:

a lifehack for overcoming social anxiety;

a computer programmer’s best lifehacks.


Affiliate Ad: If you would like to help support One-Room Education content and help yourself stay organized at the same time, please use this link to check out the fabulous Tools4Wisdom planner that I actually do use every day, and have used for about 5 years now. But more about the Tools4Wisdom planner in a future post.

While the Tools4Wisdom planner is amazing for keeping everything with my family and tutoring in order all in one place; when it came to working on this project, One-Room Education, I found that the planner was just running out of room in the daily goals and looking as disordered as my brain felt; so I broke down and got the trusty old desk style calendar that I used to use when I worked both in the corporate world and in the classroom.

How a desk calendar can be inspiring

Goals completed: February Desk calendar from the desk of Katie J., founder of One-Room Education

Teacher's Desk calendar and planner inspiration

I found this super cute desk calendar on Amazon (not affiliated, but you can find it *here*) and I had to get it! I’m the type of person who is still motivated by checkmarks and stickers, so I often employ those to help keep me on track. This calendar allowed for that. Each line that’s highlighted is a task and each day that has been crossed off is a day that all of the tasks were completed.

I don’t cross the days off to keep track of what day it is, I do it as a motivation for myself to be able to look down and see all of the things I’ve accomplished. If I look down and see a few days, or let’s be honest, quite a few days at times, that haven’t been crossed off, then it tells me that I need to reevaluate either my expectations for myself or the workflow/process I’ve been using. As a toddler mom, my son is currently 14 months, I often find myself taking on WAY more than I can handle in one day, and I’m constantly needing to remind myself that I need to allow for a little bit of grace in regards to realistic expectations of what I can accomplish as a stay-at-home mama, wife, tutor, blogger, and now podcaster and humble merch designer.

Goals set and goals achieved

You see, this calendar is an entire month of goals set AND achieved. I’ve been absolutely amazed at the amount of work I’ve been able to complete in the past 2 months, especially in the month of February (that’s when I realized I need and got the calendar). This calendar isn’t just a list of crossed-out days and checked-off tasks. It is a roadmap to the future that I want for myself, my business, and the example I want to set for my son. It is goals achieved and lessons learned. It is the delicate balance of work and being there to raise my child.

A calendar isn’t just a calendar to me, it is the physical manifestation of my hopes, dreams, and goals for my life and the world I want my son to grow up in.

So tell me, what does a calendar mean to you? Let me know in the comments. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.


All One-Room Education content is sponsored by YOU.

Help One-Room Education spread the message of freedom and prosperity for all.

Find all the ways that you can support One-Room Education by clicking the button below.
Remember, sharing is caring 🙂

Share this content on social media or via email with the people you know who would love it to help us spread the word and encourage them to work towards a more free and prosperous future for everyone.

Don’t forget to sign up to receive notifications straight to your inbox whenever new content is posted

Get new One-Room Education content straight to your inbox.

Leave a Reply