Standard #7: Planning for Instruction
The teacher plans instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.
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.
Student teaching taught me a lot about effective planning. At the end of each week, my cooperating teacher and I would collaborate and discuss how the week went in each class. Afterwards, we would share our ideas and goals for the upcoming week. Each of us had our own plan book that we would fill out together, suggesting what we wanted to work on and how best to organize those goals through the week. I would then create lesson plans for each day and each class I was teaching and compile these plans in a binder that I kept in my office. Not only was this a good reference tool for myself when planning out future lessons, but my C.T., a substitute, administrator, or university supervisor could access this resource to reference as they are observing, evaluate what I am working on with my students, or use as a tool to teach in my absence.
My LAMP project also taught me a great deal about unit planning. For my project, I had to develop an objective statement for the unit, create a unit timeline, construct daily lesson plans, administer a pre-test to evaluate my students’ prior knowledge on the content, and make adjustments and accommodations throughout the unit based on student needs and performance. The project can serve me as a template for any future unit plans or data collection I need to complete, and the results and experiences throughout the unit will help me determine which areas of my teaching I need to improve.