Do a little research into the best teachers out there and you’ll discover that they have several things in common: knowledge, charisma and care for students, to name a few. However, if there’s one element that makes for effective teaching, it is planning. Here are several reasons that lesson planning is essential:
It gets you prepared. Some material you might know like the back of your hand, while other material might be new to you or more complex, and therefore more challenging to deliver successfully. Planning helps you get up to speed so you’re not figuring things out while trying to teach students.
It boosts your confidence. Confidence in the classroom is largely about having good control. Armed with a plan to impart learning upon your students each day, you’ll achieve learning objectives more easily and will avoid those “dead” minutes when you’re stalling or thinking on the fly (and your students get restless).
It solidifies you as a professional. When you are observed for performance evaluations, you’ll be graded on your effectiveness in the classroom. Thoughtfully prepared lessons are easy to spot, whereas “off-the-cuff” teaching can seem disorganized and unimpressive.
It makes sure lessons are meaningful. Arguably the most important reason to plan is that it ensures your students’ time in the classroom is worthwhile. As their teacher, you should tie all activities to specific learning objectives and connect your daily lessons to all long-term units. It is vital that everything flows together so you can help your students achieve grade-level standards.
You might be a fun and energetic teacher, but remember that anything you do in the classroom must have a purpose if your goal is to guide your students toward knowledge acquisition. Planning is an essential part of your job and an investment in your success as a teacher. Be sure to take the time to do it.
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