Lesson planning is vital to teaching effective lessons, especially as a new teacher
. A lesson plan serves several purposes. It is a guide
to keep teacher
s on track, a written goal with the purpose of the lesson, a way to be prepared for both the foreseeable and the unforeseeable, and a record of that day's lessons so that the teacher
can make changes or refer back to great lessons or ideas. Just as lessons should be flexible to allow the best learning possible, lesson plans should be as well. Overall, most lesson plans cover the same three aspects: details, intentions and procedures.
At first, creating lesson plans can be a bit overwhelming but with practice and some tweaking to your own taste, a lesson plan can be the teacher
's best support in the classroom. For starters, a teacher
should include the details of the lesson: time, date and location of the class, the number of students in the class and if there will be an observer, the language level of the class, and most importantly - what teaching aids are needed for that day's lesson. Although it's the easiest part of creating a lesson plan, having basic details is key to preparedness.
The middle part of lesson planning is more complex as it involves the intentions of the lesson for the students as well as the teacher
. First, a teacher
should devise the Context of the lesson, the theme around which the lesson is based and has been influenced by the last lesson and will influence the following lesson. It's the goal of the lesson. Next is the Learner Objective, which expands on the Context by stating how that goal will be achieved. But goals aren't just for students; a teacher
should include Personal Aims in their lesson plans to guide
their improvement as a teacher
. Also important to note for both students and the teacher
are Anticipated Problems. A teacher
should think both directly and traditionally as well as ‘outside the box' to anticipate a variety of problems and note them or make changes to the lesson to avoid them. The intentions section of the lesson plan is important to revisit once the lesson plan is finished, as this section should be thought about thoroughly.
The third step in building a lesson plan is the list of procedures needed to conduct the lesson. teacher
s list the activities for all three phases (engage, study and activate), in whichever form of lesson is appropriate to create the structure of the lesson. Depending on preference, comfort and experience, a teacher
can add details to help guide
them. However, a lesson plan is not a script so a teacher
should not be looking down at their lesson plan constantly. The details that should be included are the minutes to be spent on each activity and who will be involved. For example, ‘S' can stand for a student working solo, ‘3S' means a group of three, ‘S-S' is for pairs and ‘T-S' involves the teacher
in the activity. Although the list of procedures makes a structure for the lesson, a teacher
cannot always predict or change the energy of the class – perhaps procedures will take less time than anticipated in the lesson plan. For this reason, a teacher
should always have a backup activity for the students to work on. Collectively, this part of a lesson plan outlines what should be happening in class.
Writing down the details, intentions and procedures that make up a lesson plan prepare a teacher
for each class and help ensure a satisfactory level of learning. After each class, a teacher
should evaluate both themselves and the lesson plan they made to note the strengths and weaknesses, and make any changes necessary to improve the lesson. For example, if a teacher
feels there was not enough writing during the class they can implement a writing activity into the lesson plan for the next time. Being flexible is imperative when teaching a new language, which is why it is important to be prepared and have a record of each class that can be catered to the students. Lesson plans allow a teacher
to adapt and learn along with the students.