The requirement of detailed lesson plans is the single most divisive issue between administrators and teachers.
Many teachers feel elaborate lesson planning is a complete waste of energy. Some are resentful of the time it takes away from more important teaching tasks. In contrast, many administrators feel in-depth plans are the magic bullets that ensure high-quality instruction and effective methodology. They drank the Kool-Aid.
If ever there was a time to eliminate the time-suck of intricate plans, it is in this post-pandemic season of readjustment and change. Administrators should give teachers the freedom to plan and prioritize as they see necessary.
Here is why requiring extensive lesson plans right now is asinine:
1. We already make a schedule online.
Teachers are now using Google Classroom, Canvas, and other learning management systems to communicate their learning tasks to students and parents.
We list the times, the activities, and work to be completed. Writing it down twice is well… utter insanity!
2. Our plates are full.
The recent pandemic left us fatigued and overstuffed with knowledge of more planning resources than we’ve ever needed to deal with. We had to explore various ways to teach. Our time was spent finding lessons on Seasaw, Google Slides, and the million other programs that we never heard about until the pandemic hit. Frankly, we know what we’re doing. And we are tired.
Please don’t assign us anything to be turned in and checked that is not necessary. Our plates will crash to the floor and break into a million tiny pieces.
3. Trust is destroyed.
When teachers are given busy work that is perceived as micromanagement, resentment is created.
Does a dentist have to turn in plans of how they are going to fill a cavity? No, patients trust them to do the job because they are professionals.
What does that say about us? If we don’t turn in a bunch of words on paper, are we really going to show Disney movies all day?
4. Teachers still plan.
Let’s be clear here. I am not saying teachers should not plan. I am saying let us choose how we plan. Requiring pages and pages of lesson plans with questions, standards, and materials is overkill.
Ways we can plan instead:
- Write down our ideas and daily plan in the note sections of our phones.
- Annotate with sticky notes the Teacher’s Edition that contains our scripted lessons.
- Put all our online resources in Google Files for the week.
Here is an “I Can statement” for you. “I Can teach effectively” without writing a million “I Can statements” in my lesson plans.