Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
As an experienced teacher, I can teach classes without lesson planning or needing to write notes, but I never would. What is the value of Lesson planning? Why would I take the time to write a lesson for each class? It gives me the freedom to be creative when I teach!
I store all my lessons on Google Drive, giving me access to my lessons going back years. This gives me a deep well of different drills, warm-ups, and topics I can pull from when planning my next class. This means I can pull parts of previous lessons and plug them into future classes.
Disguising repetition/ Notes on Drills:
It also allows me to find different ways to teach the same technique or skill. When teaching Side Kick, I know all the points I want to high-light for my students. I have drills that cover those points, but having historical lesson plans allows me to be inventive and mold new drills or modify old drills. For example, teaching students to bend their knee properly for side kick, one go to drill is to have students hold onto a wall and practice the kick. By having those previous lessons available, I find that I can also teach the same concept by stacking shields and having students kick over them or having a partner hold a target in-front my their stomach and have them hit it when bending their knee. By looking over all the different ways I have previously taught a concept, I can be more inventive in finding new ways to teach.
As a Taekwondo teacher, I have a curriculum that my students learn as they advance, but there are skills beyond just curriculum. Teaching is more than just having students learn the material they need for their next belt test. It does not matter if a student has a fantastic round kick, if they do not know how to apply the kick. Writing lesson plans encourages the spontaneity/ flexibility to teach beyond my curriculum. Without lesson plans, I would not know that we practiced kicking combinations last week, so I might feel obligated to practice them this week. With my lesson plan, I can schedule practicing them again next week and spend time on round kick, teaching students to kick long, short or focus on speed.
The lesson plan should not constrain you. I know what I want to teach, even if sometimes I need to change my approach. If I am teaching off my lesson plan and it is not working or I want to change a drill, I do. The lesson plan gives me the framework and drills that I want to teach, but it also gives me the freedom to adapt.
With lesson plans I come to each class knowing what I am going to teach. I never have to think about what to do next, because it is written down. This gives me more brain power to focus on my students and means I have to focus less on what I need to do next.
Now that you have reasons to lesson plan, I challenge you to spend a month and write a lesson for all your classes. Next blog I will talk about writing lesson plans.