Brown book, lesson plans just fall out

Lessonplan book.jpgI’ve always kept a book for my lesson plans, in the thought that I if I ever had the chance to repeat the lesson, I could. There are some ESL teachers that can do without written notes, and some that need them. I, sadly are the ones that need notes. I’ve only ever repeated a lesson plan once. Or maybe twice. This was an old book, and there is another book that followed it. The brown book wasn’t used up, it was just getting a bit, plump. Too many photocopies of handouts. Now days my material is in electronic form, with many gigabytes of data used up in this effort.

When I put it out to stud with the other books and recycled it, it was a hefty and over-stuffed with handouts. The page corners were stained brown from water when my bag got wet. Valuable, and I cite it as a point in time when my teaching was at a certain stage. That is, without CELTA training but, trying to teach within a system that was definitely teacher centered.

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Lessonplans, long forgotten

Old lessonplans.jpgFor some reason or another I have rarely gone over old lesson plans. It does make sense though, since, I’ve taught the same years twice in some schools.

The lesson folder I had uncovered dated back to the 2006-7 time frame. It contained printed material for a lesson, a very loose procedure and that was about it. I comparison, I do still ‘write  up’ the lesson plan up (in a notebook) and this is to clarify what I want to teach and what I need to prepare to teach it. I’d use circle in green pen the resources I’d written down that needed to be prepared. So much more organised than what it was before.

Looking through the book, the lessons were adequate, if you wanted to teach like a KET. But since that time I’d moved on. Even more recently, I’d been taught to focus on communicative teaching/ lessons. The ones where my TTT is minimized and where the STT is maximized. In doing this, I as a teach, maximize the amount of student talk time. That’s what they’re there for, right? Pedagogy aside, following the PPP schema is relatively easy. Once you have the materials in hand, it makes writing lesson plans easier. Looking through the clear-page folder at the lesson plans I’d written back then, I had come to realize that the lesson plans were incomplete. Even if I was teaching vocabulary, I was teaching it properly, as in meaning, form, grammar, and speaking. Thanks, Paul Nation.

But back then, it was an awful lot of talking on my part, and very little in the way of practicing productive skills. I knew that I had to get the students talking, even back then, but I was missing the know-how (theoretical and practical) to do it. How far I’ve come! That extra training does pay off; firstly it was CELTA, and then it was TESOL. Both tough but, useful courses to have done.