Here’s one simple, actionable idea to help you make lesson planning a little easier:
Always Be Listening. The best source of future lessons is not your course book. It’s your students. If you are listening carefully to what they talk about, their problems at work, things they are curious about, and how they perform in class – you’ll very quickly have a growing list of future classes. I always have my lesson planner handy in class. If I hear something that could be a future class, I write it down.
The other day, one of my students who is a manager, said he was trying to learn more about the influences of Boomers, Gen-X, Gen-Y, etc on the workplace. That got written down. Today I came across a really great read about the Re-Generation over at HBR.org. I instantly recalled my student’s words, and starred the article in Google Reader to share in class. Maybe even tomorrow.
Time required: 10 seconds to spot the article. 5 Minutes to read it. 1 Second to realize that my student would love it.
Two Big things to listen for:
- Errors. Don’t just correct them, notice them. After you class try to write the errors you remember hearing. Are their repeating ones? Future lesson fodder! What can you research to help solve the problem? Can you present old info in a different way?
- Frustration at work. Can you help become or create a solution for a problem your student is facing at work? What resources could you bring to bear? Future lesson content! Presto!
Remember: “Our opportunity to matter hides within the needs of others. ” – Dan Rockwell
How are you building better lessons?