Supporting beginning teachers with lesson planning

Bates, Gareth and Littler, Ralph and Findlay, Morag and Salehjee, Saima; Salehjee, Saima, ed. (2020) Supporting beginning teachers with lesson planning. In: Mentoring Science Teachers in the Secondary School- A Practical Guide. Routledge, Abingdon, UK. ISBN 780367023126

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The planning and teaching of lessons are integral to the role of a teacher. In our experience as teacher educators and school-based mentors, a series of lessons which are carefully planned and clearly articulated by the teacher are the ones that are most successful for pupils’ learning. Our experience aligns with the quote allegedly by Benjamin Franklin, ‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.’ However, as experienced teachers, we know that not all lessons go according to plan. As a mentor, you need to be resilient and accepting of the fact that a beginning teacher could ‘fail’ due to insufficient understanding of the long-term effect of planning on pupils’ learning. As a consequence, you need to have well developed strategies in place to support a beginning teacher to cultivate understanding of advanced practices of lesson planning. This chapter addresses issues that a beginning teacher might have with lesson planning. It draws on strands from Chapter 4 on reflective practices by adapting Kolb’s learning cycle (Kolb, 1984) to the planning process, exploring potential strategies that you can implement to support a beginning teacher. Using Daloz’s mentoring model (Daloz, 2012) (see Chapter 1) and Rogoff’s (1995) adapted model, this chapter explores when and how you can support and challenge a beginning teacher to become autonomous in planning for pupils’ learning. Additionally, using perspectives from cognitive psychology on learning, the chapter frames how you can facilitate a beginning teacher to plan lessons that support a long-term curriculum plan.