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Sunday, December 11, 2005

Clarification in regards to my lesson plan issues.

I don't really hate lesson planning and writing lesson plans.  I hate writing them for my professors to grade.  Because when I write them as an assignment, I am required to mention every little thing that I will say or do.  This makes them seem like an overwhelming task.  I must rationalize every move I make.  I must write down everything I am going to do, no matter how small.  I must write multiple response I could make to students, depending on their answer to the question.  Everything must be perfectly connected to my objectives.

And while it is important to be prepared, like I mentioned earlier it is difficult to be prepared when I don't know what student population I am teaching or what materials I am going to have available to me.

I know that an important part of teaching is flexibility, and I feel that writing lesson plans like this, complete with dialogue, is just not realistic.  Things will not necessarily go according to plan, no matter how many theoretical conversations I create between myself and my students.

The times I have "taught" my lessons to a small group of "students", I think that my professors have been surprised by how well I did and how smoothly the activities went.  I didn't necessarily follow my lessons exactly, but I accomplished my objectives and got my students to the point I wanted them to reach before the next lesson occurred.  Based upon the difficulty I have writing the lesson plans, they were expecting my lessons to go much worse.

So, I guess lesson plans aren't my arch nemesis.  Lesson plans are good and necessary.  My complaints stem from lesson planning to excess.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Jamie said...

I completely agree. What bothers me most about my professors is they all say that all your plans must be laid out exactly, but as someone who's already worked for years in the field of teaching I'm getting my degree in, I know that there is absolutely no way anything is going to go 'right' (right being the way you've planned it). Flexibility is so important.

I always worry that professors are setting up future teachers for burn out and frustration by not teaching them 'real world' classes. Too many teachers I know got their degree and went out in the world, and even though they had practicum and whatnot, still were floored at how different actual teaching was from what they were taught.

2:23 PM  
Blogger The Science Goddess said...

Most "seasoned" teachers do very little lesson planning---in a physical sense. And you're right, few things in the classroom will ever go completely as planned.

I would hope that more ed schools would work towards helping students craft a "skeleton" plan and then focus more attention on reflecting on it after it's been presented.

2:19 PM  
Blogger Not Quite Grown Up... said...

Science Goddess, I like that idea of a "skeleton" plan. I think it would be helpful if I learned/practiced creating a more skeleton type plan, and then talked about, or even wrote about more specific ways I would implement it. That may, in reality, end up looking very similar to the incredibly specific lesson plans I have created. But, it would feel more real-world in that I would know I had the plan with my main objectives and goals, but then would also have a separate document describing different ways it could be adapted to different classroom dynamics, ability levels, etc.

12:14 AM  
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