A plan is one of the very best ways to ensure something gets done, and done correctly. Almost all professions use plans: contractors use blueprints, dancers choreograph routines and teachers plan out their lessons.
Without plans, the contractor doesn’t know what to build, the dancers are out of sync and students struggle to learn.
If you’ve ever tried to teach someone how to do something without an outline of the information or materials in your hands, you know how difficult it can be.
Remembering to cover everything, ensuring the information makes sense and having a point to everything you’re teaching becomes a struggle when improvised.
These are fatal flaws when it comes to teaching because if you can’t express your points, your students cannot grasp and understand them. This is why a lesson plan is essential for every teacher. Below we will go into more detail about how lesson plans can help.
Helps Achieve a Goal with the Lesson
Regardless of the grade level or subject, each teacher has a goal for the year for their students. This could be to prepare them for the next grade, to instill early interest in different subjects, to get them to pass standardized tests and more. To accomplish one or all of these goals in a single year relies on steady and consistent progress throughout the year.
A great way to ensure progress throughout the year is to establish daily or weekly goals for lessons, called learning outcomes. There are only a specific number of days in the school year, and if lessons are poorly planned or not planned at all, progress can slow down.
When progress slows or the class falls behind where they should be, making up that time can divert time and attention away from subjects later in the year, lowering the overall quality of the lessons. However, when goals are closely monitored it allows the teacher to more easily stay on track throughout the year and accomplish the goals set for their classroom.
Allows for a More Complete and Educational Lesson
With limited time in each class and a lot of information to relay, it can be easy to run out of time if you don’t set a schedule for yourself in your plan. Questions and disruptions can lead to delays, and when delays occur it can lead to information not being given the appropriate time or attention required. Additionally, without a lesson plan it can be easy to become sidetracked, forget to mention important information and leave your students with more questions than you can answer in the timeframe.
Great lesson plans include timelines. These timelines allow for the lesson to be guided and flow seamlessly, minimizing lost time. A timeline reminds the teacher of the different topics to cover and makes it clear which are the most important points so that less important points don’t take up too much time.
When planned properly, lessons can include a time to reflect on the lesson, ask questions and elaborate further on points you want to drive home while ensuring all important points are addressed completely.
Ensures All Types of Learners are Engaged
A normal classroom includes all kinds of different learners. Some students learn quickly while others learn slowly. Some learn best when taking notes while others learn best by watching videos. In order to teach effectively, it is important to offer various methods of learning to ensure no student is left behind.
Planning a lesson allows you to see an overview of the day or week with the activities to be performed and the topics to be covered. It also helps you evaluate the scope of the lessons.
Students learn best when they are actively engaged, and many students can get bored when sitting through standard lectures and taking notes constantly when they aren’t that kind of learner. Learning occurs through establishing connections with the learning materials, and the more connections that can be made through the curriculum of the lesson the higher the chance that everyone will be able to learn. Therefore, including a wide variety of activities in your lesson plan allows for the lessons to engage more students.
Lets You Keep the Progress Going While Away
When surrounded by tons of other people every day, it is incredibly easy to get sick. When you are a teacher, this can often mean minimal progress and a wasted day of learning for your students.
However, a complete lesson plan can be easily followed by anyone, including substitute teachers. A lesson plan can turn your sick day into a normal day even when you aren’t there. By planning your week in advance, you can ensure you have learning materials ready for the substitute to hand out and can still make progress on the lessons for that day. This helps you keep to your schedule and maintain progress throughout the year.
Lesson plans are incredibly helpful for any teacher, new or old. They make it easier to address every important part of a lesson without running out of time, keep your progress on track and let the learning continue even when you aren’t there. Without a plan, a teacher is not at their best and every teacher owes their students the best education possible.