Sunday, March 6, 2011

Structuring Lessons: Leaning to be Flexible

You casually glance at the clock, only to realize that there are a mere FIVE minutes remaining before the lesson time is up. A quick glance at the lesson plan and what's been accomplished thus far leaves you wondering just where the time went and how you can bring things to a close in such a short period of time...

How many of us teachers have found ourselves in that type of scenario? I know I have! I'd like to take a few moments this afternoon to think together about the question of lesson structure and how we as teachers can make sure we stay on schedule while getting the most out of the limited lesson time we have with each student.

The most important thing to remember when preparing a lesson plan is flexibility! I don't know how many times I've meticulously planned a lesson only to see it go off completely differently. I used to feel frustrated when that happened, but over time I've gotten to the point where I'm ok with it. We can never predict how a student will react. Students aren't machines, and no matter how hard we try to cater to individual personalities there will always be surprises.

It's also important to remember that outside influences we can't see and have no control over will impact a students' level of preparation for the lesson and their attitude during the lesson.

With these factors, it's easy to see that if you as the teacher are not prepared to bend a little from your set lesson plan you're setting yourself and your students for frustration and perhaps failure.

So yes, there are things we as teachers can't control about lessons. In the coming week, I will be posting my thoughts on what we can control in our student's lessons and how to make the most of those elements. I'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback as well!

But until the next post, try to enjoy the challenge of a lesson that goes slightly different than expected/planned! Learn to think on your feet and make the most of what you have to work with. Expect the unexpected and learn to capitalize on it! That's what good teaching is all about ;)

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