by: Ahmad Lizamuddin*)
Are you a teacher? Or are you a lecturer? Well, if you are a good teacher or a good lecturer, of Corse, you must understand what we will be discussing.
Anyway, as we know that learning can take place at various times and in various situations. For example, a 5 year old boy who touches a glass of very hot water. He would have learnt in order not to touch hot water again. However, we cannot conclude the same where teaching activity is concerned. Teaching does not happen incidentally especially for the context of professional teaching.
Therefore, a lesson plan is an important tool which all teachers or lecturers must deal and have before teaching. With a ready lesson plan, we, teachers and lecturers can focus on executing the plan maximally and not stay stuck thinking of what to do next.
Discussing about this, I have an interesting experience in this semester. I get to teach 8 English classes. All of them focus on TOEFL. Before teaching, I always prepare all of classes very well with my best effort of lesson plan. Someday, I had very tight schedule causing that I could not prepare the lesson plan for all classes. I only made 1 for all. See, what happened? A class of economics faculty majoring on accounting could run smoothly while other rest classes of engineering, and education could not.
The lesson learned from this practical experience is that using lesson plan must be switched to the learning condition.
A good lesson plan
What are the components of a good lesson plan? The truth is there are no hard and strict rules as to what are the components of a good plan. Plain logic will show us that a successful plan must have at least two components which are: learning goals for student learning and sequences of activities. In addition, there must be also mechanisms to check students’ understanding as the lesson progress. It is easier said than done isn’t it?
Experience will tell us that there are some basic principles to follow. First, all learners may vary in many ways: age, gender, ethnicity, proficiency level, and so on. There are also differences in attitudes in the class which are usually governed by factors such as motivation and cultural background. Hence, we should take into consideration such variations while planning lesson. This will be able to ensure that the lessons are delivered at the proportional level of majority of the students in the class.
Another factor that should be considered by teachers is the learning style (using visual teaching aids such as: pictures, diagrams, etc). moreover, we must also be aware of at least two other learning styles in language classroom which are auditory and kinesthetic learning styles. Choosing appropriate learning styles is also dependent on personal traits. The more extrovert learners will enjoy speaking activities while the introvert ones may prefer something quieter like reading or listening. Here, teachers must understand well what learning styles are appropriate and when they apply them.
The two principle factors can be considered by teachers to respond students’ needs that re implemented on lesson plan. So, let’s start make lesson planning a habit. There are a lot of reference materials available on the internet and books that provide innovative and creative learning activities. Let’s invest our time for reading them and planning our lesson well. The more innovative and creative we are, the more credible we will be.
*)The writer is a teacher of CILAD Unissula, a student of mater degree program, Sebelas Maret University. He is also an awardee of LPDP Scholarship.