Thursday, March 22, 2012

Lesson Planning...the Celta Way

For the Celta Course, there are these intense lesson plans that you have to do for each of your teaching sessions.  For first-time teachers, it would have a lot of value I think. Thinking about timing, possible logistical and linguistic problems, the goal of the session, concept checking questions, etc.  After teaching for 7 years, I think about all of this (and do it) kind of naturally.

Anyway, writing it down makes me a bit insane.  But I see how it's a necessary part of the process.  My first 40 minute teaching session is coming up on Thursday and I've written out the formal lesson plan, in its 6 page entirety.  Now I have the dilemma in whether I should actually bring that 6 page lesson plan with me into the session that I teach.  I could see myself getting easily confused since I always put my lesson into a 1-page plan with numbers to keep myself on task.  For example, this is what my normal lesson plans are like:

1. Attendance
2. Talk about Internet Homework
3. Warm up Game: ________
4. Review from last week: ________
5. Introduce Grammar: Simple Past.  Practice page 13B.  Pencils down, talk with partner.  Answers together.
6. Activity: survey handout.
7. Review/remind about homework.

So, I'm thinking I'm going to condense the 6 pages into this and avoid any chaos.  A confused teacher is not a good thing.


Jen said...

Thinking back on what my education college professors wanted of me to earn my US teacher certification, I can empathize with you. A lot of my lesson plans that were required of me in college or during student teaching were nearly 6 pages in order to get "full points". Though the plans were very detailed to where anyone could pick it up and teach it, it could get confusing for me and didn't feel very "natural" when giving the lesson because there are always little things that come up that you can't prepare for.

I would like to get the CELTA at some point in the future (likely after I finish this current public school job in Korea), so thanks for posting information about the course so I know what to expect!

Michael said...

Bring the CELTA plan.

Script your ICQs.

Script your CCQs.

Trying to think of adequate ICQs and CCQs on the fly can be challenging (esp. while being observed). Scripting your lesson may also help you get your TTT time down (they will look at that). Trust me, if you write out everything you want to say, you will start to cut it down.

Good luck!

praxidice said...

I am in the same phase as you with regard to lesson planning: I hammer out some bullet points to keep me on track, and the rest (comp. checking, how to transition, etc.) comes naturally.

However, I took a TESOL certification course (Trinity, comparable to a CELTA) before I started teaching. So, I can appreciate the value of the long-form lesson plan.

All the same, the long lesson plans *are* confusing to follow in class. If I do use/make long plans, I read the long versions several times before class to internalize the details, and then make a one-page "reference" plan including:

--main lesson steps (same as you)
--any important phrasing that is harder to remember
--any important details (page/track numbers, for example)
--references to the page in the longer lesson plan, so if I do need to refer back, I know where to go.

The long-form is for getting your thoughts nailed down before lessons, and for giving to whomever is observing you so that he/she can see your thought process. For the same reason, sample lesson plans for job applications should also be long-form, I think.

I hope you are enjoying the CELTA, and I am confident that it will ultimately be useful. I can only imagine what it would be like to go through that training after several years of teaching, though! I think I would have a really hard time keeping my mouth shut. ;)