Standard #7: Planning for Instruction
There are very few teachers who are successful at teaching a lesson on the spot with no preparation. Those who are either get very lucky or have years of experience and resources to pull from. Planning for instruction is crucial because it ensures that the students receive the best information in the most efficient manner from the teacher. While planning a teacher should anticipate problems, implement any accommodations for his students, and consider the prior knowledge and abilities of his students. Planning can be done on a large scale, such as a curriculum plan for the entire year, highlighting goals that the students should achieve by each quarter and semester. However, other teachers may prefer to plan on a small scale, such as weekly planning or daily lessons for each class.
My methods courses and instrument technique classes have taught me a great deal about pedagogy, how to develop lesson plans, and how students learn. Something I have adopted from my MUSE 353 class is the use of questions and prompts during my procedures. Before an activity I ask my students questions to assess their prior knowledge of a concept. Then, I prompt them, giving them clear instructions about what we are about to do. After we have demonstrated the concept or have finished the activity, I ask them questions to assess their understanding or create discussion. This sequence for each procedure helps keep the pacing consistent and keeps the teacher organized. Something else I’ve adopted from MUSE 375 in my lesson planning is an Objectives category. By planning the objectives first I am creating a lesson that is content-focused. Furthermore, using a format such as “Students will be able to…” helps the teacher plan goals for the students to achieve by the end of the lesson. Lesson plans that are content-driven and student-centered are much more effective and enjoyable for the students.
One should always carefully and thoroughly plan out his instruction. To accomplish a comprehensive instructional plan, a teacher’s curriculum must be both organized and relevant. When planning, a teacher should consider any and all aspects that could impact his instruction; an ensemble’s skill level, financial constraints, community expectations, and personal commitments are just a few that should be considered.
I enjoy observing and thinking of all the variables and outcomes of a situation; therefore, I should not have much trouble in developing and applying this principle to my teaching. Furthermore, I pride myself in my organization and management skills both in and out of music and education.
I believe that Ball State University’s education courses do a great job instilling effective instructional planning skills. I will strive to continuously develop my lesson plans and teaching strategies so that they meet not only national standards, but community, classroom, and personal standards as well.