2 Things to Consider to Plan Lessons Effectively
Lesson planning is at the heart of being an effective teacher. It is a creative process that allows us to make our understanding of second language acquisition and language teaching pedagogy with our knowledge of our learners, the curriculum, and the teaching context. It is a time when we foresee the learning we want to occur and analyze how all the pieces of the learning experience should fit together to make that learning a classroom reality.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Eddy P. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Benefits of lesson planning.
There are several benefits to writing a lesson plan. First, lesson planning produces more unified lessons It allows teachers to think deliberately about their choice of lesson objectives, the types of activities that will meet these objectives, the sequence of those activities, the materials needed, how long each activity might take, and how students should be grouped. Teachers could see how the links between one activity and the next, the relationship between the current lesson and any past or future lessons, and the correlation between learning activities and assessment practices. Because the teacher has considered these connections and can now make the connections explicit to learners, the lesson will be more meaningful to them.
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The lesson planning process allows teachers to evaluate their knowledge with regard to the content to be taught. If a teacher must teach, for example, a complex grammatical structure and is not sure of the rules, the teacher would become aware of this during lesson planning and can take steps to acquire the necessary information. Similarly, if a teacher is not sure how to pronounce a new vocabulary word, this can be remedied during the lesson planning process. The opportunity that lesson planning presents to evaluate one’s knowledge is particularly advantageous for teachers of English for specific purposes because these teachers must be not only language experts, but also familiar with different disciplines like business, engineering, or law—fields that use language in specialized ways. A teacher with a plan, then, is a more confident teacher. The teacher is clear on what needs to be done, how, and when. The lesson will tend to flow more smoothly because all the information has been gathered and the details have been decided upon beforehand. The teacher will not waste class time flipping through the textbook or thinking of what to do next. The teacher’s confidence will inspire more respect from the learners, thereby reducing discipline problems and helping the learners to feel more relaxed and open to learning.
2. Record of your work
Lesson plans can be useful for substitute teachers who face the challenge of teaching another teacher’s class and appreciate receiving a detailed lesson plan to follow. Knowing that the substitute is following the plan also gives the regular classroom teacher confidence that the class time is being used productively in his or her absence. Also, lesson plans can document for administrators the instruction that is occurring. If a supervisor wants to know what was done in class two weeks ago, the teacher only must refer to that day’s lesson plan. Finally, lesson plans can serve as evidence of a teacher’s professional performance. Teachers applying for new jobs might be asked to submit lesson plans as part of their job application so that employers can get a sense of their organizational skills and teaching style.
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However, some school of thoughts suggests that lesson planning is not a good idea as it creates a more fixed, teacher-centered lesson. Too much reliance on planning can indeed make lessons rather rigid and stop the teacher being flexible to the needs of the students. However, it is very difficult for inexperienced teachers to be able to be as flexible as this would require. The teacher is expected to let the students decide what to do in the class, but an inexperienced teacher would find great difficulty in being able to conduct a lesson. In short, the benefits of having a lesson plan far outweigh the cons of not having one.
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