Lesson Preparation: It Gets Easier

Tonight on #Teacherwellbeingchat we were talking about planning.

When I think about my early years of teaching, there was so much planning. Every single lesson I taught for the first year was being taught for the first time, and every teaching situation was being encountered for the first time. I had no repertoire and  no experience to fall back on. It was hard. I had to not only learn the content, but figure out how to teach it. A I was new, I didn’t trust my choices and I spent a lot of time second guessing myself, trying to figure the best way to teach a concept. I would spend most evenings staying up late, planning my lessons and creating resources for the next day. It took as long to plan the lessons as to teach them, if not longer.

If you’re in your early years of teaching, you’re possibly experiencing a similar sort of stress. You feel like you’re a constant slave to the job and you can’t slow down, because if you do, your students will suffer, or your class will be out of  control, or you just might not be asked back to teach again next year.

Well it gets easier – much, much easier.

As you build your experience a few things happen:

  • You learn to trust your judgment. When you stop second guessing yourself, planning becomes a lot quicker and easier.
  • You stop being such a perfectionist. After experiencing more than a few lessons that don’t go the way you planned, you start to realise that its not a disaster, and you start to work out how to plan lessons that might not be perfect, but are good enough to get the job done.
  • You build a repertoire. Every time you teach a successful lesson, you store it away – both the content and the strategies, so next time you teach that subject, you have it up your sleeve ready to go.
  • You know your content – you do eventually become familiar with all your content. So there’s less time spent on researching and understanding it.

There are also some fabulous resources out there to help you like this:

Do you have any tips to help with the planning process? Share them in the comments below.

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4 thoughts on “Lesson Preparation: It Gets Easier

  1. Loved reading this. A friendly reminder for those of us who may have (cough!) forgotten what it’s like… My son (doing post grad teaching course) told me how much time he spent working on lessons over the weekend. I nodded in agreement and made noises of understanding. It’s like a rite of passage. Nothing comes quickly or easily but it does get better. Denyse

    • Hi Grubbypandas, thanks for commenting.Yes, it must be true for all jobs.. It’s hard to see that sometimes. When you’re in the midst of things it can feel like nothing will change.

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