Make sense of your thinking as you articulate the what, why, and how of your lessons.
G. FAITH LITTLE
21st Century Learning & SEL Specialist
My most common resistance and response, when prompted by our director to articulate my next workshop plan in one of our templates is, “We don’t have time for that. I need to get in there and get the work done. I don't have time to also articulate what the work is going to be.” After I express my frustration with a lack of time, I take a breath and sit down with my thoughts, our goals, and the template.
Thankfully, the template has been through our usual practice of draft, revision, practice, and more revision, so that I’m working with a helpful, useful, and practical tool. As I move through prompts like driving questions, objectives, skills, activity, assessment, and resources, I see what’s in my head come together on the screen. By the time I’m done, I’ve experienced the magic of a pre-planning template. I’ve actually done all the work of thinking through what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, what skills I need to teach, and how I will confirm what students know and can do throughout the workshop.
Not enough time to plan? I actually don’t have enough time NOT to plan!
As it turns out, articulating my plan supports me in grounding the lesson in its larger context and provides a way to make my thinking visible to my students, my colleagues, and my supervisor. Bonus: I won’t need to reinvent an agenda the next time this workshop rolls around. I have a lesson plan I can reuse and customize going forward.
Our lesson planning resource supports teachers like you in experiencing this same process — moving your thinking from inside your head out into the world, and considering all of the pieces of a lesson, because the template reminds you with supportive prompts. You can leave yourself room to think more deeply about teaching and learning by relying on our preset categories to pull you through your planning time.
It’s important to be confident and clear about your plans, and articulating your thinking is an excellent way to get there. This is what will allow you to be more flexible, because you’ve got a plan from which to work. You know what’s essential and what might be able to shift when unexpected changes occur in your classroom, as they so often do!
You can use this resource as a tool for yourself as we teach, your students as they engage in the work, and your colleagues as you offer each other formal or informal coaching in this challenging and rewarding world of teaching.