For the teachers out there - how long does it take you to prepare and write a lesson plan?
All lessons require some preparation, but how much is too much? How much is too little? And how much is just right?
Obviously there will be differences between subjects, if you work with or without a textbook, if you have a curriculum to follow, and prior experience teaching the same subject.
I'm currently teaching adults, first time teaching an intermediate conversation course, without any textbook support, or prior resources to draw upon, and I'm finding I spend 2-4 hours in preparation for a 90 minute class. My students are happy, but I'm getting worn down.
I'd love some tips!
This is a great question and I can't wait to see the varied responses. When I was student teaching, it would take me easily an hour to plan one lesson. This hardly included the time in researching what others had done and supplemental texts and activities. So, if you tacked that on, I was at about a minimum of 2 hours. Then I got my template down and it knocked off about half an hour or so because I didn't have to type out all the section headings again, etc.
Once I started my first job at the high school level, it took me more around an hour and a half if it was a good day. Now that I teach at the college level, I hardly spend any time on lesson plans. They are more like an outline with jotted notes.
I find it varies for all the reasons you stated. What has helped me is to first plan in terms of scope and sequence. What are your long term goals? How long will it take? Where do individual lessons fall into the plan?
As you see what you will need and when, your sense of timing will be more realistic and your lessons will also flow better because you know what direction you are headed. As you plan for each lesson, keep your long term goals in mind.
I find that having some clear expectations for what you want your students to learn is the MOST important part of a lesson. Once you narrow that down for each lesson, create "bones" for your lesson that give an outline for what will happen during the lesson.
I hope this was helpful! It gets easier as you get use to your students and the subjects. Other resources that may help are other teachers and the internet. Finding resouces will cut your time down because you will not have to keep "reinventing the wheel."
Again, best wishes and keep up the great work!
Unless you are having an observation from a colleague, it is ridiculous to spend more time planning the lesson than you would delivering it. (although the advice given by an inspector says that the hard work should come before the lesson -in delivery you should do very little, merely facilitating learning) Make sure you use schemes and units of work available in your school; ask fellow teachers for resources and help; try to instigate team planning in your department. Look online for resources and lesson plans.
Once you have planned a lesson, save it and all the resources so you dont have to keep planning in such depth over and over again. (I am terrible at this!)
At most, you should spend 1hour planning a lesson that will last 1 hour - or at least that was how I was taught to lesson plan. Start with your learning outcomes and objectives, then devise the fastest way to achieve those objectives, with a plenary that will prove they have been met. Simples!
Spend most of the holidays roughly planning out the following term's work.
Thank you all for your suggestions!
I currently teach ESL - mostly elderly 'conversation' classes. There is no curriculum, department, textbooks, or notes from other / previous classes to use. On the up-side, I don't have to plan assessment tasks or mark completed work.
I focus on pronunciation and vocabulary building within a natural conversation setting, with an occasional 'grammar' intensive activity.
I aim to have the students speaking for over 75% of each lesson, and I don't want to spend any of their 'speaking' time writing on the board. In the 2-4 hours I spend preparing, I research topics and create handouts directly supporting the conversation topic(s) of each week. Writing the lesson plan itself takes me 5-10 minutes - my preparation time goes into handouts / printed resources, usually covered by a textbook.
As a new teacher, when I worked from a textbook in junior high school setting, with a clear curriculum progression, I spent 15-30 minutes preparing for each 50 minute class, and 10-30 minutes marking.
I definitely will spend the 2 week break between terms preparing for new classes, and thankfully can re-use notes/lessons for a new (higher level) conversation class. I hope the students in the newer class have (roughly) the same interests as my current students!
In different ways we can prepare our lesson plans, for example, it can be daily, weekly, monthly, yearly etc. In fact, I prefer to prepare my lesson plan semestral or yearly because by doing so , I can plan well ahead what to teach and prepare thoroughly in advance. Also, it gives me great confidence when I face my students.
For me it depends on the subject.
This last term I spent the most preparing my Estates and Wills class because the prior plans....well, they made me laugh.
This coming term I will probably spend the most time with Family Law.
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