Lesson plans are a record of what a class or student has done. They remind us which materials we’ve used. They’re also useful to structure lessons, to anticipate the length of time for each activity, to identify goals, and to plan for a balance of reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.
When it comes to teaching online for a company, will lesson plans be provided to me?
Different schools and companies, of course, have different approaches and resources available for their teachers. Most contract based companies provide lesson plans and teaching resources. So teachers spend less time and energy trying to source their own ideas. Teachers should have their own props/visual aids to encourage students and reward them for effort. Also, prepare extra activities if it takes less time than anticipated to teach the provided lesson content. Check with each company you sign with regarding its policies and procedures for teaching their lesson material. On the other hand, freelance online English teachers are responsible for creating their own lesson plans and content. This will require considerable time, research, and effort to make your material suit individual students’ language needs, addressing both their strengths and weaknesses.
Alternatively, you can use resource or course books that range from grammar exercise books to communication gamebooks. There are literally thousands of these on the market. Resource books are useful for adapting, supplementing lessons, and replacing material that doesn’t quite fit the context or student demographics. Go over the lesson plan and ensure you’re fully prepared to achieve the learning objectives. Do this regardless of whether the lesson plans are given to you by your contracted company, or you need to write some up yourself. Afterwards, self-evaluate the lesson content, teaching, student participation and understanding, and constructively use those ideas in the next lesson(s).
What to Include in a Lesson Plan?
At the start of your teaching career, you will probably want to structure your plans more so that you have a clear guide as to what you want to achieve and how you are going to do it. Lesson plans can be as detailed as the teacher prefers. However, the following main points should be on a lesson plan:
- Learner objectives – What you want your students to be able to do by the end of the lesson?
- Context – The theme around which your lesson is based and how it fits in with prior or future lessons.
- Teaching aids – Materials needed for the lesson.
- Anticipated problems – For both students and teacher, including solutions on how to overcome these!
- Procedure – The method by which you’ll achieve these aims, as well as the activities and approaches.
- Interaction – Who will be interacting between each stage (e.g. teacher – student (T-S), student – student (S-S) or students working individually (S)?
For more information on how to create a winning lesson plan, read this blog post.
Join one of our TESOL courses for further insight into creating lesson plans, get practical teaching experience, and ultimately become fully prepared to teach English online.