In his play Henry V, Shakespeare wrote,
‘All things are ready, if our mind be so.’
Each success is a result of a prepared mind and focused efforts. It is important to figure out what needs to be accomplished before the actual event happens, so that it becomes effortless and effective. Preparing for a class is thus like back-stage work. Unless all is okay there, the show cannot run. So how do we as teachers ensure a well-planned, well-executed class?
Planning an Activity
Always plan your activity based on the strengths and weaknesses of your students. Try to gauge their progress levels/patterns. And based on that bar, determine what according to you will the child need to attain her/his learning goals. There need to be objectives behind each activity. The more specific, the better.
Planning Your Resources
A lack of resources can mess up your activity in a big way. Rather, it is better if you have got some extra, just in case. Prepare your resources just as soon as you have determined what your class’ activities are going to involve. Also, plan to have some variety. Making a variety of resources available to the children helps bring out their creativity.
Visualizing the Activity
Making your presentation/presenting your lesson or activity in front of a mirror is always helpful. It will give you a real-time understanding of what’s right and what asks for improvement. Visualize how this activity would feel and look in the classroom, to you and to your students. You could think about questions that might arise from your students. Give feedback to yourself or ask for it from others (friends, family, or colleagues who you trust for giving you honest feedback). Figure out if you would like to think of alternative ways to conduct the activity and tweak it to better achieve the objectives you seek.
Always Have Backups
Having backups gives you two-way benefits. One is, if for some unforeseen reason the activity you have planned does not seem to be working out, you are left stranded. In that case, it is useful to have some ideas handy to keep your students engaged and their interest stoked. This does not mean that your pre-planned activity goes to waste. This only means that you will use all the preparation at a more appropriate time so that your activity is more fruitful and effective. Backups can also come to the rescue at times when you run out of ideas. This happens sometimes, to the best of us and there is no need to panic. Just pick up your backups and show up.
In the teaching-learning process, a teacher must achieve various things, in one class, and with each passing class. In his presentation on Lesson Plan, educator and mentor Athan Mensalves, elaborates all that a teacher has to do. He says, the teaching learning process involves challenging, recording, reporting, managing, adapting, explaining, discussing, interrogating, reviewing, evaluating, modifying, adjusting, establishing, demonstrating, and questioning. Imagine doing all this without a plan!
That is why planning your class needs you to have a deep understanding and knowledge of various issues. And above all, a mind and heart that is open to change. So plan fellow leaders, and plan well. Let your plan be impeccable.
Writer Prashanth Jamol is a Thinker, Listener, Creative Writer and Community Leader at Touching Lives. He loves watching the seas and sharing his life’s wisdom with his friends and students.