Thursday, May 9, 2013

Lesson planning?

I have recently discovered the iTDi Blog with wonderful posts on teaching and great blog authors. At the moment I am reading about lesson planning and how important it is.
All bloggers do have a point. From what I see everybody agrees that we teachers do need a lesson plan, when we go into a class. We HAVE to be prepared. Prepared what to say, what activities to use, what we can do with our time with the students.
How detailed should a lesson plan be? Should we write every single activity, time, purpose?
Well, to tell you the truth, I have stopped doing that for years...
When I started teaching, I used to spend hours and hours preparing, writing, estimating time... And yes, it has helped me a lot. But from my experience I can say that none of my plans have been completed the way I wanted to. Why? The answer is simple: There will always be somebody who has a question, maybe you need more activities about a structure, because he students didn't quite get it the first time you've explained it, there is always the "entertainer" of the class who will say or do something to make the others laugh, or maybe you have to discuss something different with your class, such as discipline problems, evaluation, etc... Or the opposite happens an you do everything planned and you still have 5 minutes left....
What I do is keep notes of what I want to do every time, always more activities than needed. I always have extra stuff with me. Teacher's book does give me ideas, but I never stick to the plan.
Yes, lesson planning is important. You have to know what you are doing! But always be prepared to adapt to students needs....

4 comments:

Vicky Loras said...

Hi Theodora!

I really like this post and you raise some excellent points - you use the magic word: "adapting". We all need to bear that in mind, new or experienced teachers - yes, lesson plans help, but they need not be strictly adhered to or a source of stress and anguish, should they not be followed to the last detail.

Super post!

Theodora Pap said...

Thank you for taking the time to ready and leave a comment dear Vicky. The most important thing is to make sure that the students learn. It doesn't matter if you don't do the extra activity you had planned!! We shouldn't get stressed!!!

Olha Madylus said...

I definitely agree - good teachers are flexible and go with the flow of the lesson. But we need to plan - to think about how we are going to engage the class, what supplementary tasks we need, how we incorporate the course book etc. Sticking rigidly to a plan would be as bad as having no plan at all.

Theodora Pap said...

First of all I have to say that it is an honour to see you comment on my blog!!! Good lesson planning with lots and lots of supplementary activities is something that I've learned from you. A big thank you for being one of the reasons that I love my job!