Lesson planning and preparation “The new trend”

Preparation in the new trend does not differ much from the essence of preparation in general, but it places more emphasis on “mental preparation” as the teacher, in this case, is not asked to write down notes about the objectives, the techniques, the procedure, or the various activities his/ her students will have to carry out to achieve the objectives or to measure what they have been taught. Actually, the Teacher’s Book provides the teacher with all this information. For each lesson, the teacher should go through the plan recommended in the Teacher’s Book to have a clear idea about the lesson objectives, the procedure and the activities suggested for practice and evaluation. Then he/ she should start a mental journey where he/ she imagines the situation in the classroom and makes assumptions about what is and is not appropriate. Conscious and careful planning helps teachers to modify the procedure or the activities suggested in the Teacher’s Book until they become more appropriate to their own situation and students’ needs and abilities.

 

A lesson plan in the new trend is drawn under the following headings:

1- Anticipated problems

Having thoroughly examined the plan recommended in the Teacher’s Book, finished his mental journey and made clear assumptions about what is and is not appropriate, the teacher should then try to anticipate the problems that might arise in the lesson and can inhibit students’ understanding and participation, and write them down under the title “Anticipated problems”. Not only should a teacher identify the problems, but he should also suggest possible solutions to these problems.

2- Modifications and additions to notes in the Teacher’s Book

A teacher might, in some cases, not be convinced with the assumptions made in the Teacher’s Book or might think the procedure or the tasks recommended are not appropriate for his own students. Since the classroom teacher is considered a better judge of the needs of his students than any textbook writer, he may modify these assumptions or tasks or create activities and tasks of his own that are feasible and appropriate to his students’ needs and abilities, ensure students’ active participation and help achieve lesson objectives. Any modifications or additions to the notes in the Teacher’s Book that come under this title should always be made explicit.

3- Teacher’s remarks

The main goal of a lesson is to bring about learning. The problem is how to judge whether learning is in fact taking place. We can usually make a fairly guess, based on our knowledge of the class, the type of activities students were engaged in, and some informal test activities that give feedback on learning.
After giving a lesson, it is important to stop and think whether it was a good one or not, and why. To evaluate lesson effectiveness, a teacher may ask himself these questions:

  • This lesson was good, what was it exactly that made it so?
  • This lesson was unsatisfactory, what could I have done to improve it?

The main purpose behind this is to have a basis for better performance and experience.

In the section entitled “Teacher’s Remarks”, the teacher has to write a brief evaluation of his performance, his students’ performance as well as evaluation of lesson effectiveness and to what extent the objectives of the lesson have been achieved. The teacher may also write, in this section, about the problems which arise spontaneously during lessons and which he did not think of as anticipated problems.

The following criteria could be very useful in evaluating lesson effectiveness:

  1. The class seemed to be learning the material well.
  2. The learners were attentive, responsive and active all the time.
  3. The learners enjoyed the lesson. They were motivated.
  4. The lesson went according to plan.
  5. The language taught was used communicatively.
  6. The lesson objectives were achieved to a great extent.

Of course, the teacher can make good use of the above criteria and add more evaluating criteria of his own.

4- Assignment (s)

Here, the teacher assigns the type of tasks to be given as homework. It is supposed that assigned activities should consolidate what has been taught.