Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Struggle is Real: One Admin's Battle for Lesson Plans

Why do teachers write lesson plans? Is it for me, their principal, or for them? 

If you had asked me this question 8 years ago, I would have told you without hesitation that the lesson plans I wrote while in the classroom were for me. I did not write them for my principal or any other admin that wanted to stop in a see what I was doing. 

Well, today the tables have turned. I am now the admin marching up and down the halls trying to get a pulse on what's happening in my building. And unlike the administrators I had when I was in the classroom, I actually reference my teacher's plans when I visit their class. I use these plans to help inform what I am seeing and to guide my weekly write-ups where I highlight what students are learning in class each week. But lately, trying to get an idea of what students are learning has become more and more difficult to decipher, which is why I decided to write this blog post. 

Lesson Plan Survey Results.PNG

Above I have included the results of my staff survey regarding what a well-written lesson plan contains. As you can see, my very small staff of 20 educators do not agree on what a well-written plan consist of. Even so, it is my job as the instructional leader in the building to streamline this process and get everyone on the same page.

So why should I ask my teachers to write lesson plans and require that certain components be a part of them? I now believe lesson plans should be required because teaching cannot and should not be winged. As teachers, it is our responsibility to know before we begin a lesson what we want students to know, understand or do; what we plan to do to get them to be able to demonstrate this learning; and how their level of learning will be assessed.

Is there more to writing a lesson plan than considering these three factors, of course, there are. But, we must begin somewhere and this is where my staff and I will begin. From this point forward, all lesson plans must include these three components, something my cooperating teacher Mrs. D called OAA; they must include
  1. a lesson objective
  2. the activity(ies) students will complete to achieve said objective
  3. any assessment the teacher will use to gauge his or her students' level of understanding
Would love to know what other administrators/districts are requiring for lesson plans. Feel free to share in the comment section below.

Until next time...