Rethinking the Lesson Plan

Rethinking the Lesson Plan comes from one of my favorite ed minds, Katie Martin.  If you have not had a chance to follow her on Twitter, read her blog, or see her TEDTalk I would highly recommend her.  She does a wonderful job sharing her views, connecting them to research, and inspires her followers to be better educators.

For me just listening to her TEDTalk sold me on who she is as a person and educator because you can just feel her passion.  I also participated in IMMOOC with her and George Couros and wow do they do a great job covering, highlighting, and discussing The Innovators Mindset.  I would highly recommend you participate if they ever collaborate on Season 3!

So I am out in left field so back to this post from Katie!  This post is great because I believe that highlights what most of us feel about the lesson plan.  Some may think that a well thought out, document plan is fantastic but for me, quite honestly, it is a waste of time!  You can perform a well thought out, planned lesson without dedicating 30 minutes to an hour typing it all out, spell check, grammar check, all just to submit to an administrator (who probably does not review it) to verify that you are “prepared”.

My view is that we, as teachers, have SO many other things that we have to do each day so when planning a lesson, documenting EVERY step can be a waste of time.  If we simply step back, review the principals that Katie outlines in her post, and put our mind to what is best for our students vs. writing great lesson plans I believe you will make improvements as an educator.

One of my biggest take away’s is the discussion over engagement vs. empowerment.  As Katie references, it is talked about several times in The Innovators Mindset but if you sit back and think about how you learn doesn’t it make SO MUCH SENSE!?  I am engaged DAILY at work, doing my job, completing tasks on time, but I am never has happy as I am when I am empowered to do something different.  I can explore my passions and then maybe even find ways to bring it back to my work.  What if you find that your passions NEVER connect to your work, maybe a career change would also improve your lifestyle?  All of these questions and more can be discovered and answered just by taking time to be empowered vs. engaged.  Can’t we also do this for our kids while they learn?  Imagine what they could learn about themselves while also learning math, history, science, and english!

Katie discusses how we can potentially shift the gears and change this discussion.  You need to read her post for all the details but here are the highlights of the areas that she discusses:

  • From Engagement to Empowerment

  • From Standardization to Personalization

  • From Scaffolds to Agency

  • From Skills to Application

  • From classroom management to classroom community

  • Experimenting or Evolving?

Enjoy the read – you will not be disappointed and I hope that it opens your mind to potentially investigating other ways to do things while still getting a similar result!

Featured image was borrowed from her post which was borrowed from!

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