Wednesday, October 01, 2008

God, I Hate Formal Lesson Planning



I'm sitting here right now making a formal lesson plan for the Teaching American History Project, and I'm being reminded why I hate making these damn things.  The actual lesson plan asks for so much hoop jumping crap that a teacher that is excited by an idea eventually becomes totally exhausted by writing down pages of information that is just not necessary.  Good teaching is good teaching.  Writing down every single English Language Learner instruction model is not necessary.  It provides nothing to making the lesson plan actually work.  Neither does writing down every single Social Studies Standard, Language Arts Standard, or any other government mandated crap that does no good to teaching the lesson. 

Those rookie teachers that start from the Day One need to know that in the beginning, having all your own instructions for the lesson (the actual application of the lesson) is the most important thing.  It helps give you a point of reference and a sense of direction when you begin to teach your class.  The rest is "standards and practices" telling you that they need evidence that you know what you are teaching.  For now, start with details for the content part of your lesson.  Eventually you will find that you don't need it and everything will flow.  For instance, I haven't had a formal lesson plan in about 6 years, but I still plan my ass off for the semester because it makes my teaching better.  However, writing down every standard known to man does nothing for my teaching except make me wish I wasn't doing it.   Seriously, if teachers had to make daily formal lesson plans, I probably wouldn't be here.  There comes a time when the cost of making them outweighs any benefit they give.  Credential program instructors should know that. 

Ok, back to it.  Let me read through those Language Arts standards...........

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