Is it possible to plan the perfect lesson?

7th June 2017 at 15:15
How to plan in the best possible way and what this will mean for your pupils – and for your sanity

Many NQTs desire absolute perfection when it comes to lesson-planning – they see the perfect lesson in their mind’s eye and spend hours and hours agonising over how to plan it.

Actually, the ‘perfect lesson’ is an illusion.

Every time we teach, we are faced with more factors than we could ever have taken account of. And, once the illusion cracks we feel that we have failed.

But this is the truth of things. Any lesson is bound up in the relationship between teacher and students, and your plan must take account of this – it has to be flexible enough to respond to the unexpected events which happen in every classroom.

So, does this mean you should stop trying to plan great lessons if you want to save time? No. It just means you should stop trying to plan ‘the perfect lesson’ every time. This way, you’ll continue to aim for something good, useful and effective, but you’ll be acknowledging the element of unpredictability which is ever-present in the world of teaching. This will save you from disappointment and frustration.

Perfection is no longer the goal. Instead, it's to deliver something good, flexible, practical and pragmatic. Something that can be planned in a reasonable amount of time, delivered in a way that works for pupils, and that can be adapted depending on the circumstances. This is something that is much more achievable.

And perhaps you will find that perfection can emerge from such a plan, but only ever as a result of your teaching.

Mike Gershon is a teacher and trainer who has published a number of books on classroom practice

Get Tes online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to Tes online and the Tes app for just £1.90 per week.
 
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off Tes Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the Tes online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today