Last year I attended a training course where we were discussing how effective teachers use ‘brilliant basics’ on a daily basis to create an atmosphere conducive for learning. One of such brilliant basics is preparation. What is the power of preparation?
This morning, I started out with a literacy lesson. The children were going to write a story from a video prompt and I wondered what to do to ensure that learning time was maximised. So what will they need for the learning to be successful? Did they need pens to make notes, will they need large pieces of paper to mind map ideas, is the video working ok? As I prepared for the children, it dawned on me that a large percentage of the success of the lesson will be dependent on my preparation for the learning.
Preparation and planning are a critical component of effective teaching. Lack thereof will lead to failure. “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ― Benjamin Franklin. It is best if as a teacher, you are over prepared. Effective teachers are always thinking about the next lesson and how to move the learning on. So they are in this continuous state of preparation. If a teacher is unprepared for a lesson, usually the pupils can tell and this can result in lack of motivation for learning. Preparing adequately shows that you care about your pupils and your career.
Other benefits of preparation are
- Minimal behaviour issues. It is not uncommon for pupils to kick off when a lesson is in chaos or when they are bored. Advanced preparation can help you minimise this.
- Instils confidence in you and this ultimately affects your delivery. If you are not prepared, it can knock your self-esteem.
- Advanced preparation actually saves you time and you achieve more!
What are some of the strategies effective teachers use to prepare ahead?
- Plan and store your plans. Save documents on a flash drive. Within your flash drive, create folders so you can easily locate files.
- Get organised. Look at your teacher desk. Is it cluttered and full of papers that you don’t need? File things away, get folders, label them and organise your papers.
- Plan ahead. Get resources organised. What do you need for the next day? Prepare ahead. Avoid leaving things to last minute. I know some people prefer working that way, however it is not always effective. Remember that within the school environment, things are always on the move. So you can reduce the pressure on yourself by planning ahead.
How have you used the power of preparation to create magical learning moments in your classroom?