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Forward planning... how much?

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by jhalkyard, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. Hi everyone,
    I'm starting as an MFL NQT in September and am panicking a bit about
    forward lesson planning - any advice as on how to approach this?
    The school I trained at had extremely detailed Schemes of Work and did not use textbooks - very different to my new school, so I feel a little lost!
    Any advice much appreciated!
  2. I plan in 6 week blocks, so uptill half term. Lots of people don't though, so do what you've got time for and feels best for you! I'd just rather spend a week planning for a half term, and not plan again till the half term hols!
  3. I only ever plan a week in advance. No point for me planning further than that as I don't know how long I'll need to spend on anything until I start teaching it, or what will need more consolidation, so if I planned further than that I'd just have to re-do it anyway.

    Good advice above about getting your home life organised as school will sap enough of your time during terms.
  4. I plan a week in advance at most, but I have all my paperwork completed (as far as possible) before we start: i.e seating plans (required at my school), school lesson plan set up for each class I teach, class lists, mark books. Also I have all the SoW printed off for all the classes I teach, with resources provisionally allocated.
  5. I agree with alot of what has been said. I planned too much when I started and then found the classes got through more (or less) than I had planned or were not capable of discussing etc and had to amend everything. now I just try and have one or two weeks sorted in pencil as it were. I would love to write registers and seating plans but unfortunately we do not get registers until sept. always annoys me as then rushing at last minute to work out seating plans etc. However, the year we did get class lists and I did the registers and mark book etc everything changed on the first day and I had to start again!
  6. Plan a generic introductory lesson that can be used with all of your classes and will incorporate classroom expectations, laying down the seating plan, etc. This will help to get things started smoothly, and will buy you a little extra time in the first week, when things can change a lot.
    In terms of the actual SOWs, I find it impossible to plan ahead more than a week - if you're assessing, responding to what each class needs and personalising the learning for different groups then it can be hard, and sometimes pointless, to plan far ahead, as you end up adapting and changing everything anyway, thus increasing your workload. Acquaint yourself with mid- and long-term plans so that you know in advance what you need to cover and how long you are going to spend on each topic. If you're desperate to use your holiday time to get prepared, you could search for possible resources for each topic and save them on to a hard drive. This may save you time once term starts.
    Personally, I find that I do very little actual planning during the holidays, then work very hard during term time - but everyone is different. I do agree with the previous respondents about getting other areas of your life sorted, as you won't have time once term kicks off. Sort out any outstanding bills or niggling household jobs; clean your house top-to-toe the week before school starts; stock the freezer; see your family. This is the most valuable preparation of all.
  7. After 6 years teaching MFL, I still don't plan lessons more than a day or so ahead. It is obviously important to know where you are going with your classes in the medium and long- term, but, given the multitude of variables, the notion of working out the minutiae of each lesson weeks in advance is farcical. HODs who demand of teachers a term's detailed planning and such like have lost sight of how learning works.
    Good luck and be prepared for a very busy year. It gets easier though!

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