Why Teachers Need to Plan Lessons

FAIL TO PLAN = PLAN TO FAIL

When should we plan a lesson?

Avoid planning lessons several days or weeks ahead of time because a teacher will not be aware of the students’ needs or what problems they might be faced with at that particular time. It is best to plan lessons daily and bring them into class because as the lesson is progressing (as students are interacting with their teacher and with the language they are studying) things evolve and develop, depending on what has happened and what is happening moment to moment, and this way the teacher has a better and more accurate understanding of what students need to focus on in future lessons.

Why should we plan a lesson?

Lesson planning is essential because:

  • It helps the teacher conduct her lesson in an orderly fashion and it allows students to know what they are going to be learning and how it fits into the course syllabus.
  • Students also feel that the lessons are sequenced properly. Having a good lesson plan will also increase confidence in the teacher; on the other hand, not having a plan will result in complete failure for both teacher and students. In addition, a detailed plan clearly demonstrates that the teacher has taken the time, as well as, put in the thought and effort into making the lesson.
  • Teachers who do not produce a lesson plan are often lazy, or feel that they can create a lesson (known as jungle path lessons) based on what is happening in the room at that moment. This can sometimes work, but to continue to never have a lesson plan proves to be ineffective, besides, your students will become frustrated and feel a sense of negligence or carelessness on the teacher’s part as well as not getting their money’s worth.
  • Planning detailed lessons will avoid problems in class. This will give the teacher confidence that they have done their best to plan for any eventuality, or at least minimize some problems.

Should I ever change my lesson plan as the class progresses?

Absolutely! Classrooms are dynamic environments and our lesson is an interactive event in which people react with each other and with the language. Our lesson plan guides the teacher to help their students achieve the aim/objective of the lesson. Keep in mind that a LP is neither an exact script nor a lesson blueprint to be followed precisely, nor is it what we imagine should happen verbatim. What it does is it arrange our course of action and once we put it into action, many things may happen, maybe some we had not anticipated. In addition, if we outline our procedure and include useful information, it will minimize problems or unplanned situations. Have a good plan, but also be flexible in adapting to student feedback and teachable moments that arise!

In conclusion, it is paramount that we have a good lesson plan because it will always help you be a better and more prepared teacher. Furthermore, another teacher (substitute) should be able to pick up your LP, walk into the classroom and teach it.