Of course it is! But the advantages of using a written plan allows you to analyze, synthesize, apply, and understand what you did in the classroom so that at a future date, you can remember, review, and save information to become more efficient, effective, and enjoy your teaching.
Great thoughts here.....I would add one thing- A written plan is even more valuable if it is treated like a living document. I always update my lesson plans at the end of a unit noting lessons learned and marking areas for improvement.
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Well, why do up a lesson plan? For me, part of lesson planning is more like a study plan so students acquire the necessary skill for independent studies later, and then hopefully independent skills. A large segment of my lesson planning is anticipating the kinds of questions students will be pondering. I strongly think that it behooves us to consider our students thinking when designing what I used to call lesson plan which in my opinion should be a learning plan, nomenclature. Additionally, lesson planning affords us the avenue for self-reflection. Sorry, this is long enough. What does everyone else have to say?
I think it is not possible to teach well without a written lesson plan. If you write down gyour plan for the lesson you are about to teach you are making sure you will get your students to learn what you need them to learn, otherwise it will become extremely hard.
Thanks Michael, Alvaro and Eric. Your posts give us something to think about. I think reflection is the greatest gain for written plans. However, I don't think it's the only means of reflection. You can also reflect through journaling, observation, etc. If my time is limited, I'd rather research a topic I'm teaching, or gather lots of resources for students.
In conclusion, I'm on the fence about written plans because I know highly effective teachers who don't write them (but they do plan) and developing teachers who spend oodles of time on written plans without much student gain.
Thanks, again, for you inspiration!
You're welcome Jewel. Lesson planning is actually one of a teacher's professional duty in light of educational accountability. It shows evidence of how time was used or supposedly used in a classroom. I've known principals that spotcheck on their teachers and I wouldn't want to be caught flat footed without evidence of how you planned on having students achieve some outcome or standard. Where I find lesson planning most useful is when colleagues (and this includes admins) are there to support/observe especially when doing lesson studies in a PLC. Don't expect that winging it is a mark of excellence in a teacher even if you might think it doesn't translate to good test scores. A mentor once told me that "if you fail to plan, you plan to fail" and evidence of planning must be written. On a related now, I'm curious how teachers of phys-Ed, home-ec, shops, band/music do their lesson plans. Do they write them out?
I do not need a full blown lesson plan to teach. I do plan, though. I make sure that I have a list of topics that are to be covered and have the materials for it.
Planning a lesson is really important
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