All entries for Tuesday 09 May 2023
May 09, 2023
My understanding of the principles of effective planning has developed because at the start of my placement I was extremely naïve as didn’t think planning would be hard. I assumed I could write a few notes on the lesson plan and the pupils would have a deep understanding of the learning. I believed because my classroom teacher didn’t have formal plans that I could do the same. I found that effective planning is a difficult skill and for a lesson to have purpose it must have certain aspects. Ashcraft (2014) made clear that to be an effective teacher you must have effective lesson plans. For example, my first lesson plan lacked substance and I found myself getting stressed when teaching. The stress from a lack of detailed planning didn’t make me an effective teacher as I started to panic that the learning wasn’t clear. However, it has been argued that detailed daily lesson planning is a ‘box-ticking’ activity and adds to the teacher’s workload (Teacher Workload Review Group, 2016). Yet, I would argue that this is regarding experienced teachers.
My planning has been a journey. At the beginning of the placement, I put more emphasis on the activity than the learning. This became evident at the end of the lesson when I asked the class questions about the learning, and they couldn’t answer. I swiftly changed this and put more effort in making sure my lesson objective was clear to the class and that the activities reflected the lesson objectives.
I was very fortunate to have a supportive class teacher who encouraged me to take risks when teaching. Hattie (2012) argues that the most effective planning is when teachers support each other and discuss what is the most important to teach and the impact of their teaching on their pupils. In our shared PPA time the class teacher would suggest ways that I could adapt my teaching for all needs in the class. However, I am aware that this might not be the case at every placement. For example, Mutton et al (2011) mentions that it can be a struggle for student teachers to teach other teachers classes. Yet, in the future, I would like to work with my class teacher or mentor to plan low threshold, high ceiling planning so all needs are met.
Throughout my placement I struggled with my workload as mentioned previously I quickly understood the need to plan thought provoking lessons where all pupils learning flourished. I was encouraged to use the schemes that the school subscribed to and the class teacher’s previous resources. I found that the schemes were extremely helpful, but I had to use them as a guide because they were generic and I had to fit them to my class due to the different needs of the pupils. However, I did find some pressure to use the class teacher’s resources in certain lessons. In the future, I want to be confident enough to use my own creativity to make the resources and use the class teacher’s as a guide like I did with the scheme.
Ashcraft, N. (2014) Lesson Planning. Alexandria, VA: TESOL Press.
Hattie J (2012) Visible Learning for Teachers, Maximising Impact on Learning. Routledge, pages 67-74.
Mutton, T., Hagger, H. and Burn, K. (2011) “Learning to plan, planning to learn: The developing expertise of beginning teachers,” Teachers and Teaching, 17(4), pp. 399–416. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/13540602.2011.580516.
Teacher Workload Review Group (2016) Eliminating unnecessary workload around planning and teaching resources Report of the Independent. Available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/511257/Eliminating-unnecessary-workload-around-planning-and-teaching-resources.pdf (Accessed: 20 December 2022).