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Can't plan lessons in less than 3 hours, what am I doing wrong?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by dave200, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. I'm happy that they're still good people like you. At newman MFL trainees plan 10 pages ( it has tobe very detailled) and mentors aren't helpfull, some are jealous and rude.
     
  2. dont give up alright? it's not your lack of knowledge or anything wrong with you. This PGCE course is hard. Planning/teaching/finding resources and people (mentors and uni teachers) expect the best they ignore that the night before you didn't sleep, even secondary planning is hard hard and mentors make it even harder. I have seen nasty mentors, liars and unhelpfull. just carry on you will complete the course very soon and planning will be over. good luck.
     
  3. Teaching Skills for Dummies by Sue Cowley is one of the best things I came across. I got my PGCE two years ago - I really struggled with lesson planning, i.e. I could spend all night on one lesson. Be warned, there is an ocean of useless advice out there.
     
  4. PeggyDee

    PeggyDee New commenter

    I am doing my PGCE for secondary science and I was having the same issue of spending hours every night and weekends planning lessons and resources. I spoke to my mentor about this and he and I planned my next lesson together - in 15 minutes!! The tricks and tips that MasterMaths has given above really do work. What I have learned and found best is:
    1. Start with the lesson objectives and decide on the activities that will achieve this. (Should take a few minutes)
    2. Decide on how you are going to measure achieving the LO (should take a few more minutes)
    3. Look at the timing in your lesson - you have already chosen the main activites and means of assessing them, now allocate some lesson time to activity and assessment and suddenly you will see that you don't have to plan much more (another few minutes). This will also allow you to make a quick judgement on the pace of your lesson.
    By now you have the basic outline of your lesson and all done in about 20 minutes or less and you should only have a few tweaks to make with the following.....
    4. Which functional skills are you going to emphasise (literacy, numeracy, ICT skills?). You might find that your activities above already include some of these. If not can you modify the activities above before adding new activites to address these skills and if you do not want to adjust the above activites then see (5) below.
    5. Add a starter and plenary - tailor this to your class ability, behaviour, skills. Starters and plenaries can address any functional skills you decided you still need to include from (4) above.
    ALL DONE - LESSON PLANNED IN HALF AN HOUR. [​IMG] Admittedly without resources so you will have to spend some time preparing those but use the resources from others. TES has brilliant contributors and I am extremently grateful to them, but your school might have SOW with resources or beg them off other teachers if they are helpful and supportive of your training. One reason I was taking so long to plan was because I was making sure I could do every activity myself, to feel confident in my subject knowledge, so I was "doing" all the work I expected the pupils to do. Don't do this!! Trust yourself and your subject knowledge.
    Remind yourself that the pupils need to learn something, not necessarily have all singing, all dancing fun. I started my training year hoping my classes like me, now I hope they learn something and don't care if they like me or not as long as they are learning.
    I choose my starters based on the behaviour of the classes I have. One class in particular is notorious in the school for being a very difficult class to manage (when I broke down in tears after a bad lesson with them my HOD told me to stop panicking because other teachers in the school were also having problems with them and their teaching and behaviour management experience probably added up to a few centuries). For this class their starter is very structured and calming. As a science teacher I am tempted to start with "cool" demos, big explosions, and fun stuff but with this class those type of exciting enthusiastic starters mean the class doesn't settle at all, so they get things like writing exercises to assess prior learning. By using these regularly I am setting a routine and making it clear that entering the classroom means they are ready for science and learning.
    I have a long way to go and still get bogged down by planning but by using the techniques above I am finding it easier and quicker. Often now I finish planning a lesson and think "is that it? It can't be because it was too quick and easy I must have forgotten something" and then start going over the plan again, wasting time, but I'm learning to trust myself.
     

  5. Hi I have just finished a flexible PGCE over 2 years (in Secondary) and I found it difficult to plan evaluate make resources etc and was exhausted too. Don't take any notice of teachers being protective of their ppts etc. It is good to make your own but impossible to achieve all the time. Use TES resources where possible obviously but go to the Learning Support department they may have comprehension templates or worksheets that can be adapted on topic for differentiation and then go and see G&T teacher for advice and ideas about extension. Once you have taught a good lesson copy the format adjusting the LOs activities etc to make it relevant. Use note book and copy and paste ppt into it adapting them to your ideas. I have found most teachers stick to ppt and the older ones can't use notebook so that might be a way of impressing unhelpful mentors. I 'stole' some ppt and resources and SOW from one placement ready for the other so if that's possible ask your last mentor to email across anything that might be helpful and SLEEP!!!
     
  6. Cassius82

    Cassius82 New commenter

    Another thing that noone has mentioned yet is the amount of time that you can waste forcing yourself past a mental block. 30 mins to an hour can pass with no progress at all. Sometimes you need to realise you are getting nowhere and give yourself 20-30 minutes off. Your brain needs a rest every so often.
    Also, you shouldn't be afraid of asking a colleague how they have taught lesson 'X' in the past. You don't need to copy it, but it'll give you a good place to start.
     
  7. If your mentor isn't giving you positive advice and encouragement, regardless of how poorly they think your lesson went, then they aren't doing their job. PGCE is a tough year, and you need all the support you can get.
     
  8. MasterMaths and Jenerena: really useful posts, thanks for taking the time to write them!
     
  9. thequillguy

    thequillguy New commenter

    Yes, three immense posts here. At this stage I prune a list of starters that I want to try from a generic bank (the TES have starter and plenary generators created by the community.) From those I add grammar, and speaking and listening, starters. I decide on the content of the lesson based on the assessment. Finally I introduce the L/O in an interactive way (anagram, myrebus.com, most important word etc.)

    At this stage in my career I combine the above components during the lesson as I see fit. I also differentiate the outcomes depending on my judgement too (ensuring that the top level differentiation is not just 'more of the same.') I might complete the work myself ahead of time, and use that as either modelling, or as a conversion into support material.

    The benefit of the above system is that it is rapid (can plan the outline of a week of lessons in 60-90 mins on a Sunday.) It does require a bank of resources for quick searching and time in each morning (45-60 mins) to refine each lesson for that day.

    Also, perhaps most importantly, it gives me time for a bit a life (amidst the marking!)

    I have, and never will plan past 9pm. Of course, there are a few occasions when I must: they are exceptional. We've just had OFSTED and it took me 2 hours to put into lesson plan format what I had already planned and written, so I must admit I do not find writing onto an A4 sheet proforma conductive to productive planning.
     
  10. No probs - happy to help! :)
     
  11. In addition to it, collecting different resources in advance which are related to the topic in the coming week will be very helpful for future use. I am in secondary math, every weekend I sort out my USB stick by making different folder under topic name and resources inside. This help me very much, I just have to go to the relevant folder one day before and teaching and everything sorted out in very less time.
     
  12. Conrad81

    Conrad81 New commenter

    My subject knowledge is very good, and I arrange my time quite effectively. I'm on a GTP, and the amount of content needed on each lesson plan is high with an extremely intensive workload.
    Being up until 3am everynight is quite usual for myself and other GT's.
     
  13. Captain Obvious

    Captain Obvious New commenter

    Can you show an example of what your plan looks like? 3am should never be usual.
     
  14. My first placement was the same with my mentor who was really mean and refused to help...just threw everything on me and then blamed me for anything that went wrong...didnt help that it was year six so needed to study before planning every lesson too as i had forgotten lots of maths things!
    After going back to uni people said that its shouldnt have been this way and i shoulda talked to someone...so maybe u should call someone at uni and tell them how things are. get advise.
    I went in to that school one day to telll them that I am quitting but somehow during the conversation I decided that I am not gona give them the pleasure and i am gona prove them wrong, I hung in there and the *** barely gave me the satisfactory.
    GOOD LUCK and make sure u talk to someone

     

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