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How New Teachers Create Lesson Plans

Posted On Sep 8, 2021

New teachers have plenty of on-the-job learning during their first year of teaching. Becoming a teacher is more than simply passing education classes. When you are in charge of your own classroom, you are given a great deal of responsibility, and that responsibility can be daunting. Creating lesson plans is a good way to take control of the situation.

Teacher helping a young student with their class work.

Challenges of Becoming a Teacher

Becoming a teacher is challenging. While you’ve had plenty of practice in writing lessons, teaching mock lessons to your classmates, and student teaching, taking charge of your own classroom can be a lot different, and at times overwhelming. What do your students need to know? How will you present it to them? And most importantly, how will you know if they learned it? Veteran teachers begin to develop a good sense as they move through their careers, but in the days of first becoming a teacher, you need your lesson plan to guide you.

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What is the Purpose of a Lesson Plan?

A lesson plan is more than just a to-do list. When you create a lesson plan, you are really thinking through the lesson. Becoming a teacher means understanding the total process of a lesson, and a lesson plan can help you focus on each aspect. When you build your lesson plans, you’ll think about the needs of your students, the strategies you plan to use, the groupings, the timing of the lesson (and the timing of each step!), what materials you’ll need, how to best sequence the lesson, and how to determine the success of the lesson. Finally, a good teacher should use the plan to understand why they are teaching that specific lesson. What are the objectives and why are they important? If you go through your lesson plan focusing on all these things, you will be much more successful when it’s time to teach the lesson.

What Does a Good Lesson Plan Include?

A good lesson plan will not only outline, but also detail the activities and content you’ll be teaching. This will include your lesson objectives, procedures for delivering the instruction, methods of assessment, student groups, materials needed to carry out the lesson, and next steps. Some schools and districts like all the teachers to format their lesson plans in a standardized way, while other districts will allow their teachers to develop the format that works best for them. Some teachers, especially new teachers, like to script their lessons, while others prefer more of an outline form. No matter what you choose, your plan should be readable and detailed enough that another teaching professional will understand your objectives, materials, and procedures.

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How to Create a Good Lesson Plan

There are a few steps to creating a quality lesson plan. 

  • Plan in Advance

Give yourself ample time to plan the lessons and gather the materials. Depending on your teaching assignment, you may be teaching many small lessons or a more complex lesson multiple times. It is usually best to begin outlining your next lesson right after completing the prior lesson so the objectives are still fresh in your mind. 

  • Balance Your Strategies

Different students are different types of learners. Make sure you are finding a balance that meets your audio, visual, and kinesthetic learners. Vary your groupings and activities and make note of which activities and groupings are the most successful.

  • Make a Master Template

Once you find a template you like, make a master copy of the template and give yourself a few extra copies for drafts. Keep the blanks organized in your master plan book so that you are always prepared.

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With good lesson plans, you will have a clear guide to get you through each year that you can change as you see fit while you get some experience in the classroom. Sometimes things sound great until you apply them, and the more successful you are with the lessons you teach, the more confident you will become. If you are well-organized, you will begin to understand and know your class, as well as each individual student, and this will shine through in how your students learn. You can be a great teacher, and we can help. Contact Athena Career Academy for more information about our accredited programs and flexible class schedules.

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