Lesson Planning: What is it and Why is it Necessary?
Planning, planning, planning! Many things in life need to be properly planned, be it a summer holiday or a work presentation. It can be a plan that is formally written down or it can be a plan that you simply keep in your mind. Having some kind of structure in place before doing activities will help put you at ease because you know what to do next and what to expect. Planning will also make you more productive as there will be no ‘guessing’ time, you will know what to do and when to do it. Taking the time to plan your lessons will almost certainly save you time in the long run.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Lizelle K.
What is a Lesson Plan?
A lesson plan is a plan of what you will be teaching for that specific lesson, it consists of general information and then moves on to include the flow of the lesson and its associated activities. The general information is usually things such as the name of the teacher, the number of students that will be attending the lesson, and the outcomes or aims of the lesson that need to be reached by the end. The bulk of the lesson plan will show how you are going to introduce the concept of the lesson, what activities the students will do to solidify the concept and how much time each section will take more or less.
Constructing a Lesson Plan
Lesson planning can be done formally (written on a template or typed out) or informally (quick notes on scraps of paper). A new educator will typically produce a formal lesson plan as they are not yet used to the teaching environment and will rely more on the plan to get them through the whole lesson. Experienced teachers will sometimes jot down a few notes on paper and then use that as their lesson plan as they know the flow of their class and they already know how to teach the concept.
Remember, things may come up during the lesson that will distract you from the planning that you have done and that is normal. A lesson plan is there to guide you through the lesson, you do not hold it in your hand constantly, but you can refer to it to make sure that you are still on the right track. Each lesson will be different and sometimes you will finish the lesson plan and other times you will not. After each lesson you can see what went right and what went wrong, and you can use this information to improve on the next lesson plan.
Also read: How To Write The Perfect ESL Lesson Plan
Added Benefits of a Lesson Plan
Lesson plans are not just there to guide you through the lesson or to put your thoughts in order, they can also be proof or a record of a lesson being taught and what content was covered. Constructing a proper lesson plan can also ensure that another teacher can easily fill in for you if you have fallen ill or are absent for any other reason. This will allow you to get better knowing that your students will be taught the content in the way that you intended it to be taught and that they will not fall behind with their lessons.
Overall, lesson planning is important because it will help you to stay on track during your lesson, it will eliminate any guessing that might happen as you will know how each part of the lesson follows on to the next, and it will serve as a record of the content that has been taught with each group of students.
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