I have made several lesson plans already since the day I ventured in the teaching profession. Some of those plans were adapted; some were revised. Almost all of them were implemented in my classes. Indeed, a lesson plan is a piece of document that is prized by any teacher who passionately takes his profession seriously.
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” is a common adage that compels teachers to plan their lessons. Like the blueprint of the engineers, the lesson plan is a sacred compass that guides every teacher on how they’ll undertake their lesson.
Yes, lesson plans are vital; but there are times that the teacher may deviate from what has been planned.
Last Friday, I did it. I deviated from my lesson plan.
I was prepared. My lesson plan was well-written. I brought my instructional materials with me when I entered my classes. I mastered my subject matter, but I chose not to stick with my plan.
The night before that day, I was reading a book about balancing metrics from magic in educational reforms. According to the author, there are times that the educational sector is pained because legislators and policymakers force teachers to do a lot of things, follow standardization, and ensure that standards are being met that they become prone to missing the point why they are teaching in the first place: making a difference on the lives of their students.
I guess I was really affected of what I read that I was compelled to do something that might touch my students’ lives.
When I entered my classes, I was really sick, and I hardly had sleep. In fact, I was suffering from common colds and fever, and I also slept for only 2 hours. We just had our summative test during our previous meeting, and I sensed that my students were not ready to absorb a new set of lesson. I know that my test was between average and difficult. I also felt that that noisy environment (there was a program in the covered court) will distract my students from learning a new lesson.
I did not deviate totally from what I planned, but I modified some activities that I gave my students. I stick on announcing the contests for English club and giving the instructions for final performance, but instead of teaching how to write a paragraph, I gave an illustration on making mistakes.
At first, I asked my students to describe their experience the first time they dressed themselves, the first time they rode a bike without training wheels, and the first time they colored a picture. I asked them what they felt and what they thought about it. I made them connect the three situations and figured out a lesson from their realizations. Then, I emphasized the role of mistakes in everyone’s learning. I saw that incident an avenue to encourage my students to try harder no matter how many mistakes they have committed in the past and will still be committing.
For the past few days, I had enough grammar lessons with my students, and I felt the need to touch not just their intellect but also their hearts. In one of my classes, I commended their behavior in my class, and I assured them that we will continue to enjoy each other’s company if their behavior will stay the same. I was trying to strengthen my rapport to them, and I believe that I did.
That was just a normal day, but as an eager teacher, I will remember it as one of my precious teaching moments.