Teach English in Zhaoquanying Zhen - Beijing

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Lesson PlanningEvery teacher has his/her own on opinion on the topic of lesson planning; how important it is to teaching, how much planning is necessary, whether planning is beneficial or a hindrance to teaching and so forth. Some believe planning out lessons is necessary to keep on track, to stay organised, and to deal with problems before they arise while others believe that planning hinders flexibility and is too teacher oriented. Some believe lessons should be centred around what the students want to learn and what they want to do in class. There is no real right or wrong answer however there is little doubt that some amount of planning is beneficial and even necessary in order for a lesson to run smoothly. For instance planning is beneficial in regards to achieving an goal for a lesson through setting aims for students and the teacher, and focusing activities on those aims. Planning a lesson is also beneficial for keeping track of time, filling in time, and planning solutions to problems that may arise. lesson plans can be kept for future reference and notes should be taken down on what worked and what didn't. Teachers can keep track of what has already been taught. More experienced teachers will find they need to do less planning since experience has taught them how to deal with certain problems/situations while new teachers will find they need to do more planning. However, it should not be assumed that just because one is more experienced he/she can deal with any situation as each class is different because the individuals who make up the class are different. Also learning difficulties and problems differ between different age groups, cultures and countries. It is always better to be over-prepared than unprepared as students look to the teacher for guidance. If a teacher is at a loss for how to handle a situation or runs out of material to teach students will lose respect for the teacher. Therefore although planning involves setting things down on paper, there is always room to adapt and change up lessons during a class depending on the needs of the students. If a teacher plans back-up activities they can be used to fill in time or substitute for an activity that may not be working. lesson plans should be written clearly and to the point. They are simply a guide for the lesson and therefore should not be written down and read word for word. They should be structured and easy to follow but also open for adaptation/modification. lesson plans should include the main idea of the activity, the learning phase (which sets a certain aim for that activity), and a set time frame for each activity. This helps to manage the flow of the class but it does not mean that it cannot be changed to meet the students' needs. They should also include an aim/goal for the students and teacher, the context of the lesson, any anticipated problems and solutions (student and teacher related), the teacher's personal aims for the lesson, a list of materials needed for the lesson, the date of the lesson (for future reference), the teacher who taught and names of any observers, the number of expected students, and the level of the students. All these are necessary not only for the lesson being taught on the day of but also for keeping track for future reference in case the teacher needs to refer back to what was taught or if for instance there is a substitute teacher. Also included on a lesson plan should be the type of interaction for each activity. This helps the teacher anticipate how the class will need to be set up and to see if the students are getting enough interaction with their classmates. Overall there are many benefits to planning out lessons. Although some may find lesson planning to be constricting there is always room for adaptation or change. In fact, what happens during a lesson is always unpredictable and therefore teachers should be flexible with their lesson plans to suit the needs of the class.