Thursday, March 7, 2013

Lesson Plan or no Lesson Plan

OK, let’s face it: Writing Lesson Plans is not the most appealing activity in the world of teaching, but it is necessary and quite useful, too. It gives teachers a clear view of a lesson, aspects to develop and improve in time and an effective use of classroom time. Even though I work independently and I have no need to and no one to report to with my lesson plans, I do, in a way, follow the script, but mostly by memory.

What I mean is after time, in my case, I have developed a sort of memory databank of the different syllabuses I have worked with and, thank God, I have a great recall of structures for each level and lesson I have taught. This way, I only have to thoroughly profile my students, their strong and weak traits in the language, their best learning style, personality, likes and dislikes, as well as closely monitor the advance of each lesson during the school year.

This way, for each lesson plan I just write down a brief mind map, usually on a medium sized post it and follow my notes on the structures, activities and discussions for a particular class. Also, with this method I quickly review the development of the lesson, point out activities that prove to be better and at the end of the month I have many little notes to reflect on my students’ progress.

Sometimes it seems to me it is too little, but when detaching from a particular discussion in class and paying close attention during monitoring time, I realize my students have improved, developing accuracy and fluency in the language. Furthermore, when I come to the end of the school year, I happily find out I have covered all major goals of my proposed lesson plans, I have effectively managed my classroom time and my students have learnt a lot. All in a piece of paper!