Planning Lesson A Tale of Irony, Fear, Tragedy, Reflection, Denial, and Finally...Resolution. Ata Shakir ILAS 301
A Nightmare in Aurora 2010, Simmons Middle School, Aurora Illinois. It was finally his turn to plan and deliver his first lesson. He knew that by the conclusion of the day, each student would know each aspect of America's Industrialists just as well as a History Channel narrator.
A Nightmare in Aurora An entire week was spent in preparation. Dozens of hours were spent on picture selection and PowerPoint tweaking. Finally, the presentation was ready. Time for a masterful delivery and grand recognition from the cooperating teacher. So he thought...
A Nightmare in Aurora The Lesson was an abysmal failure. The students did not care about Andrew Carnegie. The student teacher spent so much time on the actual content, that he lost sight of the objective weeks earlier. The lesson was turned into a salvage mission. The new objective was to regain control of the lost classroom of eighth graders and locate a shred of dignity. Each consecutive hour was effectively no better than the last. Delivery had become an exercise in futility.
A Nightmare in Aurora The lesson was followed by the longest ride home in the history of longest rides home. What went wrong?
A Nightmare in Aurora What went wrong? Everything went wrong! He never taught the students anything because he lost the audience before beginning. Many lesson plans begin with a “Set Induction” to soften the crowd, awaken the crowd, or humanize the presenter. Your PowerPoint usually cannot do that for restless children that would rather play games on their phones.
Redemption After significant reflection, the answer was a revelation and a challenge. Of course by now you know that I am referring myself and not some other handsome guy. I challenged myself to not get so enthralled in content and presentations that I forget my objective and the goal.
The Magic Number By the age of 35, and as a functioning adult in our society, can a person be successful and not know the details of Andrew Carnegie’s life. I say yes. My Goal was to follow the state standards. The goal is broad and easy to locate. My objective is smaller and straight to the point. My objectives are how I reach the goal. The goal is the big picture and the objectives are my day to day lessons. I add something that is not in my standards or my objectives...I add Myself.
For Example As a social studies teacher, I can inundate students with minutia. I can tell them a certain president was left-handed and walked with a limp (who cares).
The Prestige If the actual goal is to teach about making sound decisions, then I will tell them a story from my own life about real people. I make it interesting, funny, suspenseful, and personal. I add drama and intrigue. Then I tell them how another famous person in history had to do the same thing. That we all have to make decisions at some point in our lives and why it is important. The connection is the key, not the minutia. Children are people, and people like a good story. I plan all the time to teach them a lesson. Student actually request story-time in high school.
Quick Tips Time your lessons and know where your clock is located at all times. Use the clock or it will kill your lesson. Add reminders for yourself and students. Add notes about events as well.
One More Tip Hey Mr. Miyagi, I have this great Presentation. The kids are going to love it. Daniel Son, What lesson are you trying to teach? What is our objective? Do not lose focus Again. Last time you lose focus, You got beat up. Lol!
One Last Thing In case anyone was wondering about the irony that was mentioned earlier. I did create a lesson plan for the lecture on lesson planning. The actual lesson should accompany the presentation. (See document entitled “Lesson Plan”)
One Last Last Thing Live Long and Prosper Love,Peace, and Soul