Today’s guest post comes courtesy of Christina Appleworth, an education recruitment specialist based out of London. She brings a wealth of knowledge about how to get a teaching position. Such as, what educational institutions are looking for in 21st century educational practices, and tools for becoming an effective teacher. Today’s post focuses on her top tips for planning an outstanding lesson. Welcome, Christina!
Lesson planning is a vital part of a teaching career. While you will receive instruction in lesson planning and delivery during your training, the best way to develop the right practices for yourself is to build up experience through trial and error. Lesson planning does not always mean following written instructions to the letter, and should be flexible in terms of dealing with unexpected problems.
There’s no science guaranteeing the right responses. So, try to combine an understanding of basic learning outcomes with a range of resources, while negotiating the specific needs of groups and individuals.
The following tips represent some ideas for developing good practices for lesson planning:
1 – Understand National Standards
Again, this is something that you should be instructed on during your training. However, understanding what national standards and frameworks mean for your particular subject and examining board. These standards might vary depending on the subject, but should meet US curriculum standards, as well as the specifications set out for different Key Stages, GCSE and A Levels. In many cases, you will be required to teach to a set curriculum, with lessons always keeping to a set structure for a term or year.
2 – Work to Learning Outcomes
Learning outcomes basically refers to the kind of knowledge and skills that students should receive as part of a lesson plan. These can range from specific knowledge of a maths equation, through to the ability to correctly use a verb in a sentence, or complete a basic experiment. Outcomes should consist of a few points that form the backbone of different plans.
3 – Use of Different Teaching Resources
When planning lessons, try to use different teaching resources, but donít overdo it. Paper handouts, board presentations and activities can help provide structure and engagement for a lesson. Particular subjects will also reward more creative resources, with clippings and media examples used in arts subjects. Other resources might include online links or homework, as well as school trips and activities.
4 – Break Down Timing and Participation
A good lesson plan should involve flexibility in terms of breaking down different forms of timing and student participation. Simply trying to lecture at students, or giving them a worksheet and hoping that they get on with it is not enough. Give enough time within a lesson for students to work on their own, but also make sure that you provide clear instructions and question and answer sessions. At the same time, break down different tasks and lessons to make sure that you donít repeat yourself.
5 – Differentiated Teaching
Differentiated teaching basically means setting the same work, but with variations for different classes. These differences might involve adjusting the level of literacy needed for different tasks. Additionally, changing the difficulty of problems. Understanding different students’ needs is ultimately crucial to providing the best kind of lessons for specific groups. Failure to do so can alienate particular students.
6 – Set Homework Appropriately
Always make sure that homework is clearly flagged and explained at the end of a lesson. In addition, ensure you spend time answering questions about particular problems. Along with, what the expectations are for timing and quality. The homework should also naturally flow from the lesson taught, and should be appropriate to the difficulty of the week’s work.
7 – Share With Others
Sharing good practices with other teachers is essential to both helping others to improve their lessons, while receiving ideas on your own. Online resources can be used to share different lesson plans, while communication between teachers within a department is also important for making sure that any good ideas are integrated into general practice.
About The Author
Christina Appleworth has many years experience within the field of education specializing specifically in education recruitment. If you are currently seeking education jobs in London contact GLS Education!
Susan Riley is the founder and CEO of EducationCloset.com. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, Common Core State Standards, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and STEAM education.
Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter.