Out with the old, in with the new?

I am about to graduate and become a new teacher. Is it a good idea to use lesson plans that are handed to me and maybe need to be tweaked or is it better to write brand new lesson plans each year?
—G., Florida

Since I never had an entire class comprehend 100% of what I taught, I always made changes to my courses.
The most important thing, in my opinion, is to reflect on everything you do! You need to have a real willingness to learn and change in order to make things work in your classroom.

You do not need to create everything from scratch! There are a lot of bright and intelligent people out there producing great resources. You should make decisions about resources in this order:

  1. If you find or are given a resource that, after thorough review, fits perfectly to what you want to accomplish in your classroom, then use it unmodified.
  2. If you find a great-looking resource that doesn’t quite fit, then modify it.
  3. If you can’t find a great resource— make your own.

Most of your lessons, obviously, will revolve around modifying something out there.

After your lesson reflect and re-evaluate everything you used and the impact it had on your students. Make modifications as necessary. Don’t beat yourself up if a lesson bombs…just figure out why it did and do something about it.

Hope this helps!


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