A commonly used tool of an educator is the lesson plan. Every teacher has to do one. They can come in many different forms and styles. Some do lesson plans that have required material on them deemed important based on their building administrator. Some teachers have a free rein on lesson plan design.
Here are some thoughts I was having when I began to really think out lesson plans: are lesson plans relevant to how well you teach? Just because you can make a killer lesson plan does that make you a killer teacher? What does your style of lesson plan tell about your style of teaching?
To get some ideas, I decided to create a poll to see what educators say about lesson plans. The answers really surprised me. To check out their answers click here.
The lesson plan you write must be able to be understood by another teacher if the occasion arises. Lesson plans should be a guide to what you are teaching, and should be a record of what you covered with your students. It should be clear to others what you are teaching and what you are assessing.
I believe that whatever form you write your lesson plan you need to have the following: objective(s) that are measurable, clear steps or procedures, and some assessments which assesses your students’ learning. If you don’t have these basic elements I am not sure how you can know what you taught, and what the students have learned. It doesn’t matter if you write lesson plans weekly or for whole unit you are teaching. You need to make sure to have the elements. I think how you write your lesson plans do reflect your teaching. If you are prepared to challenge your students and to be flexible with your students interests, you will have a lesson plan that give you the flexibility to move in different directions. I know you can’t be ready for everything that comes up. Trust me, teaching gifted children, my lesson plan can be changed and headed in a different direction one or two times in a class period. I think of lesson plans like guides for my teaching, they are not set in stone.
So, does making killer lessons plans make you a killer teacher? In my opinion, lesson plans are adjustable guides that help to prepare you for the material you are teaching. Writing lesson plans for special needs students, average students, or gifted students you must have activities that are engaging, short, and relevant. You can make the best lesson plans, but you must have the delivery down. Without the delivery, the passionate teacher won’t bring the lesson plan to life.
A lesson plan is just a tool to be used to help the teacher to give a successful lesson. Just like hammers come in different sizes and weights so do lesson plans. You just have to find the style that fits you and your teaching style.
I would be curious to hear from you how you design your lesson plans. If you would like to send me an example, or suggestions about lesson plan design that I could make into a GoogleDoc to share with others you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.