Is Lesson Planning Overrated?
Lesson planning is perhaps one of the most core fundamental things that a teacher must do. It should never be anything that is overlooked. Of course one can not plan every little detail of each minute of class, nor should they try. However, coming to class with a solid outline with goals and activities is crucial to teaching effectively.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Justin S. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
What influences your teaching?
There will be countless factors that will affect how you plan your lesson. Things such as age, culture, different language levels, student goals, class size, are just to name a few. There can never be a “one size fits all” in terms of a lesson plan for every situation. So it is important to approach every new class with an open mind and a fresh look at your lesson plans.
Pros of a lesson plan
Having a solid lesson plan will also build rapport with your students, which is crucial for effective learning. An instructor who shows up to a class ill-prepared is bound to lose the rapport of their students. It shows that you do not take things seriously and do not need to bother planning what to teach. You will find yourself stumbling over yourself and leaving students very confused.
Lesson planning is not only beneficial for the students but also assists the teacher dramatically. With a solid lesson plan, you can easily track how far and where you are currently with your class. You can easily refer back to previous lessons for review or to help make tests. It also just helps with the organization. If you have several different classes at different levels it can be difficult to keep track of each lesson without documentation.
With lesson planning, you can accurately plan for goals or achievements that you want your students to get. It allows you to plan your actives and worksheets for a specific goal for that lesson. With learning objectives in mind, you can also plan for future lessons for the whole course of the class. This will allow you to asses the progress of your lessons from start to finish. With planning this much, you can see how far your students will have come by the end of your course.
Also Read: How much does a TEFL course cost?
Expectations vs. reality
As mentioned earlier, trying to plan for everything on every minute of class is not realistic. Nor is approaching class with no plan at all. It is important to find a balance of somewhere in between the two. If your initial outline does not seem to fit this class for whatever reason then change it up how you see fit. Or if a subject is taking longer for the students to grasp then you originally thought it would then stretch it out a bit or another day. Being flexible not only as a teacher but also with your lesson plans is an important quality for teaching.
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In conclusion, lesson planning is critical for effective teaching, not only in English but in every class. It helps with assessing your current classes and also building rapport with the students. It shows confidence in yourself as a teacher but also the student's confidence in learning from you. It greatly assists the organization in keeping track of class or class progression. It allows you to set realistic goals periodically and watch how you help your class achieve them. Always remember to plan your lessons and to take them seriously. However, do not forget to also be flexible in remembering the needs of your students come first.
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