"What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to a human soul." - Joseph Addison
Planning great teaching lessons does not come naturally or easily to everyone. It takes hard work, lots of effort and practice to create amazing lessons that your students will both enjoy AND learn from. In this post we share our secrets to the Ultimate Teacher Lesson Plan to help you keep your lessons exciting and engaging so your students can learn the most from your time with them.
There are many different classroom management styles, but we believe that regardless of your style, there is value in dividing your lesson plan strategy into three parts: preparation, presentation and analysis. Breaking it down like this will help you focus in on certain aspects of your lesson in order to optimize them for student learning, growth and development as well as optimizing your classroom management plan.
The first step in creating a successful lesson plan is to prepare. Teacher Tools: 5 Things You Need for a Great Lesson Plan offers a great description of things to consider while planning your lesson. Once you've created a draft of your lesson plan, it's time to imagine yourself in your classroom presenting your lesson to a classroom full of students.
There are many benefits to practicing your presentation prior to teaching it live. Running through a draft of your lesson plan will help you find potential problems so you can fix them before presenting to your class.
Other benefits of going through a practice run include: knowing how to time things (so you can optimize your teaching time with students), breaking up big topics into smaller sections that are more easily digestible for students, and allowing yourself to imagine how students may react to different styles of teaching if you are trying new things. Knowing this information will help you optimize your lesson plan presentation when it's time to do it live!
Strategizing your lesson presentation will help you give the most value to your students. Relevancy is key to ensuring your lesson is successful. Lessons should be relevant both to previous (and future) lessons and to the world we live in. When possible, try and relate the lesson's classwork and homework to a bigger theme. Doing so may help students grasp concepts more easily. Authenticity is key.
"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." - Benjamin Franklin
Be flexible with your lesson presentation. Let's say you went through your preparation: scripted your lesson, practiced walk-throughs of your presentation, and timed everything perfectly. Now it's time to present and students are asking more questions than you expected and their engagement is exceeding expectations. What do you do? Stick to the script? Or do you embrace this? If students are engaged in an activity that adds value to their education, let them continue until it becomes redundant. The ability to adapt on the go is extremely valuable in the classroom and will help you present your lesson successfully.
Analyzing and Adding Variety
Once you've prepared and presented your lesson, the hard part is over. It's time to analyze your class session. Ask yourself these questions: What worked well? What didn't work well? When were students engaged? When did students show a true desire to continue learning?
While analyzing your lesson, consider these two questions: How can I relate this subject to future topics? What teaching styles worked well for all the students?
Relating different lessons together is a valuable teaching tool to help your students grasp bigger concepts and have a better understanding of all the content you teach them. Some teachers use Ted Talks to help promote deeper learning of his/her teaching subjects.
"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." - William A. Ward
Think about the way in which you presented the material; Was it engaging? Did students show signs of understanding the content? For your next lesson, try different activities to cater to all different learning styles: "classroom discussions, group/partner activities, in-class handouts, individual writing assignments, games, critical thinking activities, writing poems, etc." Look for ways to inspire your students, as this is the greatest outcome of education.
We're here to help make your life easier as you "activate the magnets of curiosity, knowledge, and wisdom in the pupils" (Ever Garrison). With these tips to optimize your lessons and presentations, we hope your students are strengthened and empowered through education. Looking for helpful teacher resources? Check out Teacher Tools: Lesson Plan Templates and Other Resources or download our Lesson Plan Template word document now:
How to change PDF to Word Document:
If you'd like to edit the Lesson Plan Template on your computer, you can do so by opening up the PDF in Acrobat. Click on Export PDF tool in the right pane. Choose Microsoft Word as your export format, and then choose Word Document and click Export. Name the Word file and save it in your desired folder.
Looking for helpful teachers tools?
Check out Teacher Tools: Lesson Plan Templates and Other Resources for access to a teacher resume template, classroom newsletter template (and other teacher newsletter templates for outreach), and other tools to help you strengthen your classroom management philosophy.