Saturday, November 18, 2006

On the Joys of Planning

My students spend a great deal of time writing lesson plans. This semester, we are focused on elementary science and social studies. Students follow the lesson plan format devised by the department some time ago. This basic outline ensures that throughout their preparation they have some stability in expectations across courses and instructors. It also allows us to see growth over time as students progress through the program.

In speaking with colleagues at other institutions in recent weeks, I was surprised to find that they require their students to create all their lessons from scratch. FROM SCRATCH! Okay, so I'm a bit confused. Why ask a novice, with no real ideas about how to teach a topic, how long it will take to do so, how to organize it, etc. (I could go on here), to reinvent the wheel? We don't expect classroom teachers to do this, why would we expect those new to the profession to undertake this task? With so many wonderful resources available, I cannot for the life of me understand this position.

This recent posting, Planning Insanity, only serves to confirm my views on this matter. Read on for an enlightened perspective from a first year teacher.

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