Teach English in QishAn Zhen - Xuzhou Shi

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In Ukraine we have a saying: “Parents create a body; teacher creates a soul”. I think that everyone in the world would agree that teaching is a tough job, being incredibly rewarding at the same time. Becoming a teacher gives you the opportunity and privilege of making an impact on society. That`s why it is absolutely understandable that it might be a bit intimidating for new teachers to start their career. This is where lesson planning comes handy, especially if you are a newcomer in the field. Writing of lesson plans has a number of important functions. It is helpful to write down what you expect students to achieve by the end of a lesson and how you are going to make that possible. Lesson plan can help you to stay on track as when teachers do not have to think so much about what they need to do next they are able to focus on other parts of the lesson. At the same time don`t forget to be flexible, as the class might need to spend more time for one or another activity. It is good to keep record of what has been done in the classroom and which materials have been used, such record can help if another teacher needs to cover for you. Each teacher has to find their own way to create a lesson plan, it can be a formal plan or some general notes, whatever will allow to make a proper record and help to make lesson smooth. There are some basic tips that a teacher can use while constructing a lesson plan: keep it simple, so it is easy to refer to it whenever is needed; do not script the lesson, as you need to be flexible if changes are required; make sure that all skills are balanced during the lesson to make learning flow smoothly and be all-areas-covered; pay separate attention to time-management for activities while being flexible and realistic about it; always be flexible and open to adaptation. Teachers decide themselves what to include in a lesson plan. In the course provided there is a sample lesson plan which, to be honest, is very helpful, especially for a new teacher. However, it doesn't mean that you must follow that exact plan forever, as with practice comes experience; maybe later on in your career you will be ok with having some brief notes Instead of a very detailed plan. What is recommended to include in the lesson plan? Here are some tips to add to the list that I myself find very practical: General information – language level of students; number of students in the class; date/time; topic of the lesson Learners objectives – things that you want the students to learn and be able to produce in language by the end of the lesson. Personal aims – things you would like to improve in your teaching. Anticipated problems – problems that can appear during the lesson with a solution you can provide. Phase and procedure/teaching aid – Engage, Study, Activate stages with activities which are going to be used in each one; aid materials that you will need for activities. Timing – this is a very crucial point, as teacher needs to plan how long each activity is expected to take, but be realistic and flexible with your timing. Board planning – very important to keep the board neat and accurate, this step better be planned ahead. In order to develop as a professional in any field you would like to make sure your skills are advancing. Teaching is not different in this case – good teacher will want to monitor the quality of the lesson by evaluating it and make notes on what went well and what needs to be improved. I believe that self-evaluating is essential for new teachers especially. What else you might need to do apart from the lesson plan before you can start your lesson? You need to make sure that all equipment works. Check if you have all required materials and aids that are mentioned in the lesson plan; it might help to get them in a ready-to-go position so you can find them easily. Arrange the seating in advance as desired. Be positive, smile, chat with students as they are coming into class, as it will help to create a welcoming atmosphere and they will be less intimidated to use English during the lesson. Learning to plan is just like any other skill, it requires time and practice. At first lesson planning may seem like a time-consuming process but for a beginner teacher it is very important. With time and experience creating detailed lesson plans can become an easier routine procedure, that will be as easy as 1-2-3.