It’s true that experience is the best teacher, but even so-called veterans can fall prey to mistakes in lesson planning. The key is to be aware of some common pitfalls and to be prepared to extricate yourself from them.
- Mistake No.1: Planning too much.
A teacher must learn how much can realistically be covered within a given amount of time. Once your lesson plan is constructed, you should do a mental run-through. How much time do you estimate for each step?
Identify in advance which exercises and activities are essential and which ones could be completed at a later time either as homework or in the next lesson as a review. As you observe your students’ performance, you might conclude that it’s sufficient to do half of an exercise in class and ask the students to complete the rest at home.
You should also bear in mind alternative formats for exercises and activities. For example, a multiple choice exercise may be corrected more quickly if you call out the answers yourself as opposed to having the students read each statement aloud.
Finally, remember to always place your students’ needs before all else. If a certain aspect of a lesson proves to be unexpectedly challenging for your class, you may need to revise your lesson objective. You cannot lead an unrelenting march toward your goal when more than half the students have fallen by the wayside. Address their questions and help them resolve any confusion before forging onward. On the same token, you cannot hold the entire class back by addressing the many questions of only one or two students. Instead, briefly address these students’ concerns and then arrange to provide further assistance at another time (e.g. during solo work or after the lesson).
(To Be Continued)