Best Practice

NQT Special: A planned lesson, not a lesson plan

The art of planning lessons is a key challenge to master for the new teacher, both from the point of view of work/life balance and effective teaching practice. Matt Bromley advises

This article is about planned lessons not lesson plans. I do not advocate spending your evenings and weekends writing detailed pro forma. Life’s too short and you need to strike a work/life balance if you’re to survive your probation.

Although a lesson plan may help you in your NQT year (a written plan can be something to lean on in the hurly burly of the classroom), having a lesson plan does not equate to teaching a well-planned lesson.

Indeed, the more detailed a lesson plan is, the less likely you are to deviate from it. And yet the best teaching is fluid, it responds to the here-and-now circumstances of the classroom. The best teachers, meanwhile, are attuned to the dynamics of the classroom: they know when the pace is too fast or slow, when pupils are bored or stuck, when, in short, the lesson isn’t working and it’s time to rip up the plan and wing it.

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