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Saturday, March 11, 2006

Someday I'll get better at lesson planning.

I have reached the portion of the semester where I have to (get to?) write lesson plans again. 

If I don't get better at writing these things, I won't ever make it as a teacher.  I guess that's why we write so many lesson plans before we even get to our student teaching semester.  But I have completed two methods courses, and written unit lesson plans for both of them.  And now in my 3rd methods class, I am not feeling any more confident in my ability to lesson plan.  With a lot of help from my professor, I am able to churn out something I am kind of proud of.  But without her help?  I would be lost.  And in fact, I kind of hated the lesson plans that I wrote for a methods class I took with a different professor - one who I do not find as helpful (probably because I think her teaching style is different from what I want my teaching style to be.  Whereas the more helpful professor has overall teaching objectives that mesh more closely with mine.)

I know it will get easier with time.  Like everything, practice will result in improvement.  But currently, ugh.  I probably just need to get over this mental block and write something.  I actually will get to use these lesson plans, with real live children in a real live classroom.  So at least this will feel more purposeful than in the past when I have written theoretical lesson plans for theoretical students.  Unfortunately, I don't know what grade I am going to be teaching.  And yet I still have to write at least rough drafts of the lessons.

I should stop whining about my inability write lesson plans, and instead just write them.  I think I'll go do that.


Blogger Ms. Sigh Ants said...

Good teaching is so much more than writing good lesson plans. The teacher that I'm student teaching with types out her notes on one page and concept maps the remaining portions of her semester. The teacher I did my practicum with hand wrote out notes and those were her lesson plans. Both of them are phenomenal, outstanding teachers. If I am ever half as good as they are I'll be doing something right.

There are skills that you learn in writing lesson plans. It is challenging to take thoughts and put them into words and make sure they meet state standards and national standards, etc. but thats what makes us better at it.

I just got done writing a huge 5 day lesson plan for my methods professor. It is far more in-depth than anything I've ever submitted for my university grader.

I guess what I'm rambling about is, don't beat yourself up if you can't write lesson plans. I'm sure your lesson plans are fantastic and even if they aren't you have something to keep working on. No one is perfect but we all try to be. :) Hang in there!

5:20 PM  
Blogger elementaryhistoryteacher said...

I had a professor who was so hard on me that I even thought about abandoning the idea of becoming a teacher. No matter what I did it wasn't good enough for him even though I copied the examples he gave us verbatim. You know what? People love my lesson plans so much I have strangers in my district contacting me to ask me about them. Don't give up.

9:03 PM  
Blogger Not Quite Grown Up... said...

Ms. Sigh Ants - you mentioned the difference between your methods professor and your university grader. What does that mean? My school doesn't have a distinction like that.

And, thanks for the encouragement. :-) I have heard (from students who have graduated) that once you leave college, and don't have your professors critiquing every little word on your lesson plans, it's much easier. So, I'm banking on that, and the fact that practice does result in improvement.

ElemHistoryTeacher - I wish I could just take my professor's criticisms (or to use a less pessimistic term, suggestions) with a grain of salt. But the problem is, I really respect her! I think she knows what she's talking about. When I had a professor who I didn't think so highly of, I both a) put less effort into the lesson planning, and b) cared less what she thought about them. (What does this say about me as a student? I could write a whole essay on that!) But the moral is, I really do want them to be "perfect," and they won't be, for so many reasons. So I just have to get over that desire and write something that makes sense, that follows the standards, and that is engaging.

(Also, congrats on being famous for your lesson plans!)

6:42 PM  
Blogger ecm said...

I just stumbled upon your blog. I've been teaching for awhile and while I think you always need a plan, I think you also need to be able to be flexible and respond to the needs of the students. And I know I've had many a day when I've had to cover my class longer because someone was absent etc...and then you just need to think on your feet. Good luck! Having kids will make it real and you'll be able to figure out what works best for you.

3:56 PM  
Blogger nick said...


6:10 AM  

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