Elly Setterfield has just written a very useful guide for beginner teachers with tips on how to plan on a daily basis. At the end she asked what her readers’ plans looked like. Here’s one of mine from last year, as I was working out a new style:
My planning has gone through many iterations, but I’ve now been using this style for over a year. I always use scrap paper, and put it straight into my box ready to go to the classroom as soon as it’s done. I rarely have time to plan in advance nowadays, and occasionally have no time to plan at all. As Elly recommended, you’ll see that:
- I plan by hand
- I highlight key things: pink is for things I tend to forget, yellow is for language checking/clarification (though I added that after this plan), green is for answers, and blue is for reminders to offer and give points in YL/teen classes
- I underline in red any materials I’ll need, so I can do a quick check before the lesson to make sure I have everything. I normally write the plan first and produce my materials afterwards.
- There is a note of approximate timing for each activity, plus a running total for the lesson. This almost never happens in the lesson, even when I add lots of extra time. I normally only skip one or two activities though, which is a lot better than it used to be!
- It’s not necessarily clear to anyone else, though sometimes I add more detail if I know it’ll be the basis for somebody else’s plan later – we work with a lot of teachers who are fresh off CELTA.
- There are various abbreviations on there, and I haven’t written out everything for exercises I use all the time.
- It takes me about an hour to plan each lesson, give or take.
Previous versions of my plans included typing them up in my post-CELTA over-enthusiastic phase, often in way too much detail, and right at the other end of the scale, scrappy bits of paper with four or five words written on them, in my post-Delta I don’t have the energy for this phase 🙂 I feel like I’ve now arrived at a happy medium.
So what do your plans look like?