Friday, July 20, 2012

Planning My Way Into Fall

In my former life as an Inclusion Teacher, my Type A Personality was always sharply glaring through my lesson plans.  What do I mean by this? Well, my lesson planning was very prepared, very detailed, and very meticulously constructed. This was in part due to personality, and part strategy, if I may defend myself!

I can’t help it, but I’m just not a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of girl. I have never been able to just walk into my classroom and “wing it.” I always had to overthink things in advance, and expect the unexpected. And talking through my lessons via a detailed plan really helped me cover all my bases and know best what I was going to do.

So what did my planning look like? Binders and binders filled with 1-2 page lesson plans that were completely scripted out. For very lesson. Yes, it’s true.

If you’re not already thinking I’ve lost my mind, let me point out there were some positives to this:

1.     Anytime I had a substitute, there was no question as to what they were going to do that day, or how to go about doing it.
2.     My scripted plans were a great reference for others and myself. My lessons could easily be shared with colleagues, were set to go for observations, and were perfect for when I wanted to look back over time and remember how I did something in the past.

The problem, as I’m sure you can imagine: This was incredibly time consuming. 

And as I transition to my new classroom in the fall, I know that this will need to change. Next year I will just simply need to be more flexible. My day will be more about creating interactive activities that are engaging and that students respond to, than it will be about whether or not my lesson was scripted and executed perfectly according to plan. I also have more adults to collaborate with and more meetings, meaning my planning time will be more limited, and the plan will always be changing to fit the needs of my students.

So does this mean I will toss away my lesson planning obsessiveness? Of course not! Type A Personality, remember?

But, fear not, I will be tweaking my lesson planning!

As I blog hopped around the Internet, I found a lot of teacher planning tools that were similar to this:

A simple, blocked schedule with just enough room to jot down objectives and a few quick notes. I know this plan works for a lot of teachers, but, honestly, it gives me anxiety. So unless I wanted to experience a serious shock to my system transitioning from scripted lessons to a 1X1 square, I knew I had to find something else!

Luckily, I found this planning page from The Ladybug’s Teacher Files!

This is perfect for me! I love that this template shows you a day at a time, not a whole weeks plan or month. This is much more manageable for me, and is also helpful considering my schedule is different each day of the week; a one size fits all schedule just won't work for me. I love the simple schedule outlined on the side to reference, and of course, that there is still room to write for those subjects or activities that may need more then a casual note or two!

<Insert gigantic sigh of relief>

Type A personality gratified, more flexible 2012 teacher in effect!

Here is a peek at my lesson plan template, adapted from the Ladybug's Teacher Files!

 Here's to a better lesson planning year - and to The Ladybug's Teacher Files!


  1. aw thanks Nicki!! I am so psyched it was of use for you! Happy summer and happy blogging! :)

  2. Enjoyed your post. LOVE the "Keep Calm and Pretend This Is on the Lesson Plan" -It's Priceless!

    Ann Marie Smith @ Innovative Connections