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This is how our TEFL graduates feel they have gained from their course, and how they plan to put into action what they learned:
Research says that lesson planning in considered to be important but some theorists tend to disagree, saying that it is not a good idea, because there is too much structure. Lesson planning helps teachers set goals as to what they want their students to achieve and what they want to work towards. It is an indicator of whether or not they have achieved what they wanted to or not at the end of the lesson. If they have not reached their target they know what to focus on during the next lesson. During the lesson the teacher can refer back to the lesson plan if it happens that the teacher forgets what they wanted to do next and it allows the teacher whether they are on target or off target, therefore a lesson plan is a working document. It also acts as a record, keeping all the work that the teacher has already done in class. The teacher can refer back to the records if they are not sure whether they have done something in class or not as it is written down and previous lesson plans can be filed. Therefore teachers will be able to avoid what they have already done in class. This will ensure that the students won’t lose interest during class as the teacher is always changing lesson plans and keeping it fun and interesting by coming up with different activities and exercises. Although lesson plans are fixed plans it does not mean that teachers have to follow it strictly, it can be serve as a guide as to what the teacher wants to achieve by the end of the lesson. If throughout the lesson the teacher sees that the students are busy losing interest, he/she can make them stand up and run on the spot or clap their hands or do something they were not expecting at all. If the teacher sees that students are enjoying a particular activity, the teacher can allow them to continue and work on that specific activity for a bit longer as what the teacher has written down on the lesson plan. Lesson plans allow teachers to be flexible. If teachers are inexperienced lesson plans could be very helpful as they are not able to be as flexible as teachers who have experience in teaching and making adjustments on the spot. It is important to remember that lesson plans should be kept simple, flexible and open to adaption at all times. A lesson plan should include; the expected number of students, date and time, class level, context, teaching aids, leaner objectives, personal aims, anticipated problems for learners and teachers as well as solutions to those problems, procedure, the phase, timing and what type of interaction each stage will be. This is an example for when teachers are inexperienced, but as they gain experience their lesson plans might contain less detail but they will still know what exactly it is that they want their students to achieve. Both students and teachers benefit from using lesson plans, because it provides structure to a lesson and students tend to learn and focus more in well-structured classes. Before starting a lesson the teacher must remember to check whether all the equipment which they will be needing during the lesson works and is available, the class as well as the board should be clean, check that they indeed have their lesson plan, arrange seating and go read through the lesson plan to ensure that the teacher does not spend too much time reading the lesson plan rather than actually teaching the students.