Every teacher strives to find new and interesting ways to improve their lessons plans to ensure that all of their students have equal chance to reach their full potential.
Yet how can teachers help their students to maximise their learning experience when everyone responds differently? How can they ensure that the ‘penny drops’ for them all?
In this article we shall look at 5 things that all teachers should consider when coming up with a lesson plan:
Try something different
Trying something new in the classroom can help to keep your students interested and motivated. One particular trick involves keeping students on the edge of their comfort zone – where every new skill/piece of information is new but an achievable challenge.
Now whilst it is important to keep things fresh and interesting in the classroom, you should also strive for a semblance of routine. That is why when planning your day, you remember the Daily Five.
For those unfamiliar with this term, the Daily Five represents the first five and the last five minutes of the day. These first five minutes should always start in the same way, where children are given the chance to get everything they need for the day. In terms of the last five minutes (of every session), these should be used to give them time to pack everything away.
It may be simple, but it is effective and is also a great way to help maintain a smidgen of routine.
Create high but achievable goals
These days going to school comes with a lot of expectations, and for some the temptation to set ‘lower standards’ – in order to give students a sense of achievement – is strong.
Yet this couldn’t be further from the truth. Studies suggest that by setting high expectations (that are achievable), this can offer your students a greater sense of satisfaction – when they achieve/complete the task – as it is real and tangible.
NOTE: with these goals, remember to throw in lots of praise along the way to help keep your students motivated.
Vary how you teach your classes
Most teachers tend to keep to a set curriculum and rarely deviate from the outline/detailed plan that comes with teaching the subject matter/topic. Within this curriculum they will have set objectives that by the end of the course will mean that students are able to demonstrate certain skills/pieces of knowledge. In turn, these objectives will be split into units/lessons.
Now the beauty of being a teacher is that despite this curriculum, the way you deliver it to your class doesn’t have to be prescribed or predictable. You can easily modify it to suit the learning styles/preferences of your class, allowing you to incorporate visual, kinaesthetic and audio techniques into your approach
You may be assigned to a particular class but that doesn’t mean you have to teach in isolation. Instead, your classes can benefit from the collaboration and assistance of others such as fellow teachers, parents, teaching assistants and those outside of the classroom.
Develop your profession
The key to continued success is not allowing yourself to get caught up on the successes or failures of educational policies, but to instead look at developing your own profession i.e. building on your own professional development.
To do this you can try specialising in a particular field or you can take a pastoral path. Similarly, thinking outside of the box and looking at what drives children to behave and act in a certain way, can help improve the way you approach your lesson plans. Online educational psychology courses are one example of where you can add an invaluable skill to your arsenal. With this course you can learn how to deal with a range of personal and private issues that may affect your students. Plus they are easy to do as you can study them in your own time, at your own pace and from the comfort of your own home.
Each of the above points can make a massive difference to the way your students engage and embrace your lesson plans. So if you are looking to maximise the way your class learns, then why not consider collaborating with others, expanding your learning and modifying the expectations that are placed on your class? By registering onto online courses, to consciously adapting your teaching skills; you can offer your students a greater chance to learn, grow and flourish.