Your First Lesson Plan

Rigid control now

Make it too long

While I’ll devote another section to lesson plans, it needs to be said here that your lesson plan for the first few days should be one making you, or some individual seat work, the focus. There will be time for group work or noisy activities later. Now you are setting the stage for an organized class, establishing structure. Many teachers hand out textbooks on the first day. While that may make sense from an operational standpoint, it is a rather disorganized and loosely controlled activity. Conversations abound while you have your head buried in your grade book recording book numbers. If you must do this on the first day, assign the books by numbers already written on the seating chart. Have them stacked accordingly so they may be passed out quickly. Remember, you must devote the bulk of your time to leading the class. They need to see you in action teaching and controlling the academic environment.

Don’t make up a one-period long lesson plan. It won’t work. If you expected it to last one period and you rush to complete it, you’ll look unprofessional and kids will be confused and discouraged. Worse, if you complete it 10 minutes before the end of class, you’ll learn what an eternity a few minutes can be. It’s much better to design a lesson which will naturally flow over into the next day. That way your timing isn’t important. Lesson plan timing is very difficult and only comes with considerable experience. Also, to help you adjust your timing you might build some quiet time into your plan. Perhaps they could do a worksheet, write a paragraph or copy a vocabulary list. This has an added advantage of giving you some time to look over the seating chart to connect their names and faces.


Go to Should You Start Off Hard Or Easy?

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