The Importance of a Lesson Plan and its Structure
Standing in front of a class, a teacher procrastinates by asking each student random questions and scribbling on the board, but something is wrong. The students seem restless and the teacher looks uncomfortable. The teacher then springs into action by quickly shuffling through a stack of papers on their desk while the students look around blankly at one another. Their attention is dwindling.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Bryce W. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” - Benjamin Franklin
Be prepared, and be ready! When teaching, having a clear and concise lesson plan along with backup activities is a must, and there are a few things that should always be kept in mind when constructing effective lesson plans. Who am I teaching? What am I teaching? How will it be taught and will the students be able to understand the lesson points? By keeping these things in mind, the teacher should be able to deduce the effectiveness of a plan and what the students will be taking away from the lesson. But what if a lesson plan is not prepared? Some teachers may think of skipping a lesson plan to save time/effort and instead opt for the easier route of just going into a class blind with no clear direction and instead count down the minutes. This could consist of a class full of games with no structure or flow. The students may leave entertained but what would be the purpose? Did they learn anything? This would not be beneficial to their development.
A Teacher may also be inclined to use lesson points or activities from previous lessons as they ‘just worked well’. This is usually the result of a failure to create an effective lesson plan and could lead to an incredibly embarrassing situation for a substitute teacher with no previous knowledge of the class, students, or current progress (within the school curriculum, textbooks, etc). With effective lesson planning in place, a new teacher should be able to review previous lessons and come up with recommendations to help students that may be having difficulties which ultimately allows the class to progress. Creating and maintaining a class structure will also help the students from deviating and straying from a class topic. Using a lesson plan helps instructors prepare for all lessons in the day and ready for any problems that may arise through its course. A clear class structure and flow should and will instill confidence in the students and allow the teacher to be fully aware of what is happening throughout the lesson. This would mean spending less time fumbling and clambering over materials or papers, and more time focusing on the little problems in the classroom that students may be having a hard time with.
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Lesson planning is an incredibly important and essential part of teaching, and one must always be sure to keep in mind who is being taught, what is being taught and why.
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