All the media is full of back to school features focusing on UT Athletics or local high school coaches talking about their up and coming seasons; newspapers, television and radio stations are constantly updating the public with the number of days left until school begins again. Television commercials are promoting “back to school” sales at their companies focusing in on what returning or new students will need. But, nowhere do we see any article on teachers, instructors, professors, or adjuncts and what they are doing to meet the needs of their students/customers.
So, what would these teachers be doing now?
Well, if you are a tenured instructor, you are probably doing nothing except enjoying the last few days of your summer vacation; but, if you are not tenured, then you are probably preparing your Lesson Plans for these new students that you will be teaching. Some of these teachers will be teaching the same courses again and should be updating their Lesson Plans with relevant new information. Other teachers will be teaching new classes and will be developing their Lesson Plans for the first time.
So, what should go into these Lesson Plans?
Lesson Plans should be tied to the course Syllabus and Grade Categories should be set up with the various assignments that the instructor plans to have in each category. For instance:
- Written Assignments
- In-Class Assignments
- Research Assignments
- Final Exam
During the quarter or semester, the teacher would decide how many individual assignments each category would have to represent the transfer of knowledge. Once this is done, teachers should develop a Lesson Plan Template, incorporating the following:
- Objectives for this lesson
- What you should know at the end of the lesson
- Lesson Topics
- Assignments (both written and reading)
So, what is next?
The teacher should then be laying-out the minute by minute unfolding of the class. For instance, what will I be doing first? Introducing myself and having the students introduce themselves. How long will that take and record the minutes. Then, talk about the course syllabus and an overview of the course, grading categories and how long would that take. Make room for questions to be asked by the students. Then, begin to introduce the first topic with an opening statement to get their attention. Whether your class is 60 minutes, 90 minutes, 120 minutes or 4 hours, each segment that you plan to deliver should be assigned a certain amount of anticipated minutes and always with the understanding that your lesson include extra segments in case you move too quickly or segments that can be easily removed in case you move too slowly.