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Lessons planning vs using the Teacher's Guide

Posted: 31 Aug 2005, 14:36
by scarmanus
Hello everybody!

I am a newbie and I have a great dilemma: can I rely solely on the Teacher's Guide rather then drafting my own lesson plan for a lesson in a coursebook? I mean I am not underestimating the importance of lesson planning, but since the Teacher's guide purpose is the same as that of a lesson plan, am I committing a crime by not writing my lesson plan? I need to know whether I might be graded know because of this in case of inspection for instance.
Thanks a lot.

Posted: 31 Aug 2005, 14:53
by MattMaleham
Hey bro I also am new to the whole teaching profession, actually I'm still studying but have been on a few pracs and had a bit of classroom experience. From what I've seen, it has been essential for me to write my own lesson plans and this has been for no reason other tha the fact that it helps me out, and all those times when I forget what I was meant to say it helps out so much. This all comes down to you in the classroom and how comfortable you feel about your teaching. For myself I say rather safe than sorry for the moment, and as soon as I get a bit more experience and know what I'm doing properly, I'm gonna flag the idea of doing a solid lesson plan, and just stick to daily plans etc...I think also that the school prefers you to go out on a limb and do your own planning rather than taking it directly from someone else, it shows initiative and will make them feel more comfortable with you as a teacher and leader in the school environment. It also makes you take control of what your oing and feel more like its your class and being a part of the students learning rather than just using someones stuff and basing your work on theirs. The school will ultimately feel like they have a greater asset when you put in the hard yards and do the extra work to do lesson plans until you're copletely settled and they know you on a greater level. Hope that all makes sense, but I'd say ultimately it's up to you, if you even question that being a crime then I'd say that you do already feel a bit guilty about it and you should do it the long way until you feel completely comfortable leaving out your own lesson plans. I may be wrong, and it's each to his own in the classroom and we're all different, but hope this may help you a bit. Don't know if you agree with me there or not, but would love a bit of feedback, cause I also am a beginner and not too sure of what's going on in the teaching world either, I have a lot to learn and want to find out as much as possible from crew that are more experienced than me.

Posted: 31 Aug 2005, 15:27
by scarmanus
Hey bro (I actually am a sis lol :D ). It does make a lot of sense what you are saying and yes, it does feel a bit guilty not to do the lesson plan. BUT, here is how I stand in this school, so that you (and others) have the complete picture. I have been actually teaching for two years in a school (this is my third year) and a lot more as private tutour of English. Thing is, we are a tiny little school of about 120 alltogether (from Pre-K to highschool) and until last year I only had very very young students (ages ranging between 3-6), with no coursebook to base my teaching on, so you can say that the time I spent on the Internet searching for materials accounts for a hell of a lot more than the time spent on a lesson plan. I will carry on teaching the very young (I am struggling to make the school adopt a coursebook) and as from this year I will take the Juniors as well (6 to 9), with whom I will work from a coursebook. Now, as far as the teaching experience is concerned, the reason for a lesson plan for me is purely based on a need to single out the objectives of a given lesson. Other than that, I have learned that in a class of, say, 16, you might need 16 different teaching approaches.
One very important thing I have learned so far: make the students love you and you are a successful teacher. I must admit the feed-back i got from parents last year was beyond all expectations (they were looking for me to tell me that their kids loved me, which really is a reason to wow! about). Consequently, they were all looking forward for "English time'. Not having coursebook made things very difficult for me, but once having established a routine (now it's song time, now colouring time, now talk time) made it easy. Also, the "carrot technique" works: I would only sharpen their colour pencils if they asked me to in English, Cannot tell you the delight of both the teacher and the students to say and hear say, respectively "Can you sharpen it please?". In any case, always have back-up activities ready. At this age thay love colouring, sticking, cutting, doing things with teir own hands, it's a play/games-based teaching.
Well, so long for now, if you have more questions don't hesitate to ask them, measwhile I am waiting for more answers from the masters in the business.


Posted: 09 Oct 2006, 00:32
by ForumAngel
Well, it sounds like from your own experience that you know the benefit of making your own lesson plans.

Here are my thoughts on the subject: When you plan your own lesson plans, as opposed to using just pre-planned lessons from text books, several things happen. One, you will know what you're teaching because you've gone over it in your mind as you wrote out the lesson instead of always having to refer to the lesson written by someone else. You'll be more comfortable with the topic, the routine, the schedule because they are YOURS, not someone else's. Two, you'll be able to alter the lessons and ideas you glean from other sources to suit your needs and the abilities and interests of your students. Lastly, you'll be able to add a lot of variety and fun to your classes so that you can keep your students interested and motivated while they are with you.

These two qualities will make you comfortable in what your teaching and will make what your teaching as relevant as you can to your students. Even if you have a textbook with a teacher's guide, it is probably very beneficial to you and your students to alter it to fit the lesson you want them to learn.

That said, there is nothing wrong with using a pre-planned lesson when you come across one that fits your needs and your class's interest, level and abilities.

Kind regards,


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