An instructor asked us why lesson planning was important in keeping up with classroom management.
There was a time when I wasn’t so sure all that extra preparation was worth it. But with education and experience I have to say I have changed my mind completely.
Lesson planning is a vital component in classroom management as it provides several tools for effective administration of the class. Perhaps the strongest argument for careful lesson planning is that it allows the teachers to successfully teach across a variety of student levels and learning styles. Lesson plans also allow for smoother, deliberate transitions, an area in which classroom management often fails. A smart conclusion and introduction to the next, related lesson helps the student build on the knowledge as they gain it.
As Vince Welsh eloquently states, “The lesson plan is the blueprint and sets up the foundation for educators to reach students with different learning styles.” (Welsh, 2010, para. 1) A properly planned lesson will include direct instruction and activities that fall under indirect instruction. It will incorporate activities that both offer something for each of the learning styles where students are strong – auditory, kinetic and visual – as well as helping students to develop skills in those learning areas where they weak. Knowledge of the upcoming student requirements and abilities combined with careful planning will also allow a teacher to include methods to meet the needs of any disabilities including physical disabilities such as deafness, and development disabilities such as reading disabilities.
Carefully planned and executed lesson plans provide an opportunity for the teacher to keep transitions smooth and efficient. Gaps created by rough transitions between activities are a major opportunity for disorder and misbehavior. (Burden, 2013, p. 197) According to Burdon, this is when most behavior management issues occur for several reasons. Students have a difficult time finishing their task and are not ready to move on. Many teachers do not plan adequately for these transitions and therefore they get out of control. Students may also bottle up reactions to other students or distractions that get uncapped during transitions. As a result, teachers need to build transition management into their plans.
The plan should also include a smooth transition at the end – a conclusion that helps the student wind down mentally (and perhaps, physically) from the activity and to begin to assimilate what they have learned. The conclusion might also provide a sneak peak or transition to the next lesson.
There are many components to the lesson plan and that many reasons to implement it for successful classroom management. At this point in my education at Liberty, I cannot imagine attempting to wing it. I remember when I was in school. Some of my teacher’s idea of classroom management were real simple. Come in, sit down, shut up and work on the assignment that was on the board. It involved reading a chapter in the book and and answer the quiz questions at the end on a separate piece of paper to be turned in. There was no issues with transitions – we simply did not have any. Guess how much I learned in those classes?
Burden, P. (2013). Classroom management: creating a successful K-12 learning community (5th ed.). Hobokin, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Welsh, V. (2010). Lesson planning: how to design an effective curriculum. Retrieved from http://www.articlesbase.com/education-articles/lesson-planning-how-to-design-an-effective-curriculum-2063977.html