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Lesson planning is essential to the smooth running of a class session. It is also one of the responsibilities that most educators least look forward to. The truth is that lesson planning can be time consuming and a bit tedious, especially when there are so many other things to focus on. Yet, it remains the most effective way to achieve maximum results from your lessons.

What is the point of a lesson plan?

A lesson plan is an educator’s road map of what students need to learn and how to do this effectively during class time. It offers a detailed description of the course of instruction for one class. It helps to maintain focus on the particular subject/topic. It provides the educator with a solid account of what has been taught. It allows the educator to track students’ progress as well as the various teaching techniques, learning aides utilized and the efficiency with which all were used. Having a lesson plan means that there is an actual outline with thought out goals and objectives, some of which may have impacted the learning experience in meaningful ways. This tells you how to proceed for your next lessons because your lesson plans have given you a clear picture of where your students are and how you can improve them learning particular topics going forward.

How to approach lesson planning

Lesson planning is similar to creating a story. You begin with what your motivations are. Why are you planning your lesson? Is it to improve knowledge of a particular topic or is it to reinforce something that was already taught? How badly do you want your class to grasp what you are teaching? These are easy questions to ask yourself when you are about to begin your planning. Educators who have students who take a while to understand particular topics will need to get creative and realistic with their objectives, goals, instructional materials and the activities that are used to explain and reinforce what is being taught. Students are great at providing feedback on lessons based on their facial expressions and body language during the session in addition to what is presented by them in evaluative exercises.

What do educators get from lesson planning?

Many educators are good with teaching  a particular topic without the use of a lesson plan. However, these same educators, lesson plan in tow, are a pleasure to observe in the classroom. Their planned lesson allows them to show off their skill in the classroom as well as their accomplishments. It also gives them something tangible that may benefit their colleagues. Their creativity and imagination come to life as their lessons unfold and even if adjustments are made; it is still highly rewarding to their students.

What are some of the lessons in lesson planning?

It is easy to say that students are the ones who benefit most from lesson planning. Educators also learn a lot during a class session even with a lesson plan that they wrote. Here are a few points that highlight some of the lessons in lesson planning:

"Plan" handwritten with white chalk on a blackboard

A lesson in patience – Even the best lesson planner has to spend some time doing research and marry the appropriate teaching aid/materials with the goals/objectives for maximum results from the lesson. Research also includes being acutely aware of each student’s learning ability and potential in order for each to get something from the overall lesson.

Ÿ A lesson in knowledge – Often times, educators surprise themselves with new discoveries when prepping for new topics through research. This allows for their lessons to be interesting and meaningful not only for the students but also to them and/or colleagues that they may share their discoveries with. Students can be great teachers of something new at points in time. A well-executed lesson will reward both the educator and the students in the process. It almost always furnishes those present with a new discovery or several.

Ÿ A lesson in individuality – Sometimes a class of eager faces is grouped as just that. They are individuals with different learning abilities despite having a myriad of similarities. There are a few students who are good at learning complex topics easily and then there are others who take a bit more time. Added to this, each student has his/her own personality and experiential background that may impact the rate at which he/she learns. Once an educator understands the individual potential of students, he/she will know how to best plan lessons.

A lesson in planning – Most take the idea of  lesson planning and apply a similar approach to life events. Educators who love to plan, understand that even if changes are made to the plan, it can still work. This helps them to adapt to changes in their personal life a lot easier. The time and effort placed in doing research affords them a wealth of resource persons and material to draw on.

In conclusion, it always helps to have a plan and to make that plan worthwhile. Students are great at detecting un-preparedness and they will act on that especially if they are very alert. Once there is a solid lesson plan in place, educators easily cut down on distractions during the lesson, improve upon what has already been introduced and can effectively manage the class time.

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