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You may have heard of the commonly used quote from Benjamin Franklin “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. I believe that this quote directly applies to teaching English as a second language, and in this essay I will explore the reasons why I think that lesson planning is an essential practice of a successful TEFL teacher, and I will also include some of my own personal experiences as examples. I believe that without the structure of a lesson plan a teacher may not have any appropriate activities planned for the lesson and it may be easy for them to lose track or focus throughout the lesson. In making a successful lesson plan, the aim of the lesson should be at the forefront of one’s mind. Having an idea of what the class should accomplish by the end of the lesson can help the teacher in planning a successful sequence of activities. From my experience, when I plan lessons on my computer it is essential to think about how I want the lesson to go. This in turn makes it easier for me to think about games or activities that I want to include in a logical fashion. I believe that without lesson planning I would most likely use the same games and activities repeatedly and I am certain that my lessons would be dull and boring as a result. A lesson plan can be used as a reference to refer to when completing the lesson, and can include both what the teacher would like to cover in the lesson, and any activities that they would like included. I teach English as a senior High School in Japan and I team teach with other teachers. I have found using lesson plans invaluable as I am able to quickly explain to my colleagues the general idea of how I wish the lesson to go, and explain any activities or games that I would like to use. I have had feedback from my teachers that they really appreciate my lesson plans as it makes it easier for us to support each other during the lesson. A lesson plan can also be used as a record to keep track of what has been covered in the lesson and what the classes have achieved. The nature of the lesson plan is that it can also be used as a working document, so modifications to the lesson plan can be completed after the lesson. A teacher can edit the lesson plan after the lesson to include how they thought the lesson went, including things as what worked well and what didn’t. The lesson plans that I use are in a word document format and I refer back to these sometimes several months later to see what I can include in assessments or tests, and to make sure that the class is on the right track learning wise. In conclusion, I believe that lesson planning is important because it allows teachers to plan a lesson in advance whilst also having the aim of the lesson in mind and this in turn allows for a better focused lesson. Lesson planning is also useful because the teacher can use the lesson plan to refer back to during the class, and by doing this it keeps the teacher focused and the lesson on track. Lesson plans are also invaluable as working documents that can be edited in the future, as the teacher can make notes of improvements or record activities that went well for the class to include again. They are also helpful as records of what the class has covered, and the teacher can then refer to these in the future as necessary. Personally, I have found lesson plans an essential part of being a teacher, and I am constantly trying to improve upon my lessons. I feel that without lesson plans I would not be a successful teacher, and I would find it very difficult to effectively organize and run a class without one. References: ITTT 009 – Unit 9 Lesson planning