Five P's for a Successful Teaching Career
No beating around the bush. Here are my five P's to having success in the classroom throughout your teaching career:
Part II: Planning and Preparation
Though closely related, planning and preparation are not the same. In the planning stage, you create your roadmap for success and in the preparation stage, you develop the necessary tools to carry out the plan. It may be tempting to skip much of the planning and jump right into the preparation phase to save time. Try not to fall into this trap. A carefully laid out plan will help you avoid pitfalls, increase your productivity, and keep you on course to reach your goals. The advice of Margaret Thatcher comes to mind: “Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan.” (See Tip 74: Ready-Set-Teach!).
A wedding reception provides a good analogy. Can you think of anything people put more time into planning? It’s such an important day and they all want it to go off without a hitch. Where and when will you hold it, who will you invite, and what will you serve? These are just a few of the things you’ll need to consider. Seating, flowers, invitations, entertainment, photography…the list goes on and on. Next comes the preparation stage, where you physically put your plan into action. You will need to select or create your own invitations, meet with the florist, examine the layout of the hall, plan your décor, and sample the cuisine. Certainly the menu is planned in advance, but then the food must be prepared.
In teaching, the development of a course is a planning process that lays out units of study complete with topics to be covered, timelines, methods of presentation, types of evaluation, and resources available to achieve desired outcomes. The creation of actual lessons and evaluation instruments, such as tests, assignments and presentations, are part of the preparation phase. These are the tools teachers use to deliver the curriculum or "work the plan." Good planning allows for flexibility and you should always be open to grasping the teachable moment. (See Tip 51: Ready-Set-Teach!).
On occasion, we’ve all shown up to teach less prepared than we would have liked. Sometimes we get away with it and sometimes the results are disastrous. (See Tip 48: Ready-Set-Teach!). Students are very observant and if you’re off your game just a little, they are sure to notice.
I used to do as much planning as possible during the summer, and once my plans were laid out I would delve into preparing my lessons. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll need a good vacation—some down time to recharge your batteries and get caught up on projects you may have neglected during the school year. However you choose to go about it, both planning and preparing are time well spent.
With Ready-Set-Teach! I’ve done a great deal of the planning and preparation you can use to effectively manage your classroom. Click on the link below and buy your copy of Ready-Set-Teach! today.