Lesson Planning


Like what I’ve written as the tag line of my app for its submission to App Store; it takes a teacher to understand the teachers’ pain in lesson planning, it has been in the back of my mind ever since I’ve started to teach.

I’ve read some of the English lesson plans in the foreign lands, they don’t seem to be as complicated as ours.  The essence of planning a lesson is to document and follow up whatever that you do in the classrooms in order for you to help your learners learn better.  Nonetheless, it has become more like a saddistic pleasure imposed on the English teachers; all sugar coated under the name of quality teaching.  It quickly back fires as most teachers that are exhausted and overwhelmed with paperwork will just simply “recycle” their lessons, year in, year out.

I agree that we need a form of documentation to track a classroom teacher’s performance.  I have encountered administration that forbids me to digitise my lesson plans.  Frankly, I just wonder whether this person that I talk to comes from the stone age or what.  What is the rationale of not allowing a teacher digitise and preparing his or her lesson plans on the laptop when the whole education system is moving “e”?  We have so much “e”; ESPLG, EPANGKAT, APDM, SAPS … And what the teachers are doing is record whatever data required in the hardcopy, and then they move on to key in AGAIN the same data online.

I tell you this is a waste in Human Resource Management.

Besides feeling frustrated, I constantly “fight” for it.  Now, all you junior teachers out there don’t get me wrong.  When I say “fight”, I mean largely “reasoning politely”.  I have seen too many teachers shouting at the principals in their faces.  Rude and uncivilised.  That is not what an educator should behave.  I try to convince my supervisors that we should move forward.  But of course I get turned down too sometimes.  I resort to doing what is required and at the same time continue my “search for a solution”.

When the Frog VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) was introduced, I was pretty positive and happy about it.  Though I somehow question the need of spending billions to develop such platform.  I did a MOODLE in less than a thousand, but of course the project dies off as well as there was no support from the fellow comrades.  But Frog has drowned because the supplier failed to provide the promised hardware utilities to school.  I just don’t understand why things can go so complicated when comes to “e”.

Our government also tries to provide laptops, tablets, build labs for the realisation of e-learning.  But we all have mobile phones.  Can’t we just make use of whatever we already have instead of spending more?

Last December, I have the privilege to attend an intensive Xcode training.  A course to write iOS app.  There are two things that I’m not sure about; 1.  App store’s approval of my app.  2.  Again, support from fellow comrades.

Sometimes change is difficult when everyone in the organisation seem to be resistant but at the same time whine about the situation.  I’m a doer.  I will search for a solution and execute it.  It doesn’t matter to me the reasons, obstacles, difficulties that we will face if we choose a different path.  My understanding is if we don’t try to do it differently, how can we ever find a solution?

I want this app to be used and utilised.  I want teachers to spend their time wisely; let’s say you are stuck in a jam, think and plan a lesson.  Maybe you are waiting for that soup to boil, think and plan a lesson.  You are waiting for your child to get ready to bed, think and plan a lesson.  You are waiting for your colleague to come for the meeting, think and plan a lesson.  You have to wait because your colleague blocks your car, think and plan your lesson.  And, guess what, you’ve done your planning for the next day, all in the matter of minutes, and with one thumb ~

When I went to a school for coaching, I told the teachers to work together and plan the lessons together.  Instead of writing lesson plans alone, they should collaborate and come up with lesson plans that are to be shared by all.  And guess what, one of them asked, “Can we do that?”  What is wrong here?  What is your understanding of lesson plans in reality?  Lesson plans are plans that how you are going to carry out your lessons in the classrooms.  Why can’t they be shared?  What is wrong if two different teachers teaching two different classes are using a same lesson plan?  If you have similar ability class, I say, by all means, share the lesson plans.  That is why we have teacher’s guide, which you will find detail lesson plans in it.  Do you not use those lesson plans?

What matters or differentiate your lesson plans should be your reflection, where you pen down whatever outcomes, observations, decisions to act after a lesson.

So, don’t kill yourself.  Collaborate and utilise your time wisely.

My Apple Developer license allows me to distribute 100 apps.  I hope I will write more that can benefit our education system.  If you believe in my philosophy, do support me by downloading the FREE app.  I will update the link soon.