Do you plan lessons the way you learnt them?
Do you try to learn what you are teaching the way you are presenting it to your students?
To put it another way.
When you begin to plan lessons do you see it through the eyes of your students or do you rely on the way you learnt it to plan your teaching?
This is an important question not only for those starting their teaching career but for those who have been at it some time. I believe learning is a personal thing. What motivates, engages, enthuses, or frustrates one learner is not always the same as another. We can feign enthusiasm, hide our lack of engagement, or explain a lack of motivation but hiding frustration is difficult. This is why the first step in teaching has to be building relationships with learners. Frustrated learners with whom you have a relationship tend in my experience to be a little more ‘forgiving’ than those with which you do not. I am not talking about the ‘compliant learner’ who will feign engagement but those who can be more disruptive when not engaged.
To build relationships we need to understand something about the other person, as a teacher we need to understand our students. One aspect of building this relationship is to see the learning experience through their eyes as if we too are encountering it for the first time. Do you do that when planning lessons?
Take a moment to consider the conditions under which you learnt what you are now planning to teach.
- How long ago was it?
- How were you feeling at the time?
- How successful had your prior learning been?
- What relationship did you have with the teacher?
- What relationship did you have with your peers?
- What resources were available to you to help you learn?
Now think about how you plan to teach the particular topic. Will you make any changes as a result of this reflection?
Perhaps you will take a moment to judge how confident your students feel at this moment. Perhaps you will consider your own feelings when you approach something new or challenging. Lesson planning is more than just about content.
You can see much more about lesson planning at:
If you are finding it hard to remember what it feels like to be a learner, to learn something new, to face new challenges for the first time then may I recommend John’s rule # 12 which says:
“Always have a project on the go.”
This is translated as ‘always be a learner’. More of John’s rules at: