An effective lesson makes the class more interesting. It allows the students to grow more interest in the subject matter and they participate in active conversation. This interaction gets the students thinking and helps them build new skills. Engaging lessons helps the students to concentrate more and memorise them. According to Peter Brunn (the author of The Lesson Planning Handbook: Essential Strategies That Inspire Student Thinking and Learning), “A lot of approaches to lesson planning are content-driven, giving teachers some boxes to fill in. While these approaches include what we want to teach, they don’t often contain how we are going to teach it. It’s the ‘how’ that makes all the difference in whether students actually learn.”
Technology is advancing rapidly and keeping up with it is a real challenge. Bookish knowledge is becoming obsolete and teaching with the help of online platforms is more frequent these days. The most significant advantage of using an online method is that we can have access to the latest update on a subject. Looking for information on a particular topic with the help of 3 or 4 books is more complex, whereas, the internet has made it available one click away. Effective learning can be incorporated by the educators of the institution. Collaborative work among the teachers who are creating a lesson plan is necessary in the process. Effort involved may be invisible to the outsiders, but they should not be discouraged by it. An effective lesson takes time and a creative mind to have a great outcome. Like an essay, that has three parts - an introduction, body and a conclusion, an effective lesson also consists of an objective, a body and a reflection on that subject matter.
One should always start with the objective - the area that will be covered in a particular day. The sentences should be chosen carefully. Active conversation helps gaining the attention of the students. So, instead of saying, “We will complete the murderous act of King Duncan in Macbeth”, in an english literature class, one should reframe the sentence to “Lets see how Macbeth managed to kill the King in order to fulfil his ambition.” The latter one would give the students the opportunity of imagining the scene and it would be open to any interpretation. Once the objective is given, the next part is put into work. It is the teacher’s job to keep the students focused on the lecture. It should be less of a lecture and more of a conversation. The teacher should always keep the students engaged by asking them questions about the particular chapter and ask for their opinions. A teacher should always be prepared for loose-end questions and encourage the students even if they don’t know the answer. “Find ways to let them reveal things, and put that into your plan. You might want them to interpret a map, analyse a document and so on. Always make sure they are building their skills,” says Judy Sheldon, an instructor in methods in secondary social studies and the field supervisor for student teaching at Syracuse University. The next part is the reflection on that subject matter. A lesson can be effective when the students can retain more of what they learn. The teacher should ask questions about his or her teaching method and see if they think about anything needed to be done differently. Criticisms help a person to grow in ways one cannot believe it can be done. The answer of the students would help a teacher to teach the same thing differently to the new students.
Designing a lesson includes collaboration, effective communication and creative thinking. A lesson should be designed in such a way that it helps the students learn more comfortably and in a more interesting way. No one should feel the lesson to be a burden dropped on their head that they have to carry it reluctantly just for getting a pass mark. One should strongly believe in making the change and let the education flow in both directions rather than the monotonous lecture of only the teacher. A teacher should throw open-ended questions to the students and let them discuss in a group. In this way more ideas and imaginations can be put together and the lesson can be interpreted in a whole new way.
Lesson planning workshops can be provided for the teachers to understand how to incorporate new techniques in designing lessons. The workshops should include strategies like determining the purpose of the lesson, how to create space for student thinking and discussion, how to push the student thinking further and how to make time for reflection. A teacher should always listen to the opinions and suggestions of the students and encourage them to do the same for each other. In these competitive times, lessons should be designed in a career oriented manner. One should always ask the questions like, ‘ Is the lesson useful in the current industries?’ or ‘Will the lesson help the student in his or her future career?’ Answering these questions will help the teachers design the lessons more effectively. Developing effective lesson plans can also be done by incorporating the interests of the students in the lessons. The needs of the students should be taken into consideration so that the students can visualise themselves in the class. They must relate to each and every word taught in the class. The lesson must reflect the cultures of the students. Activities and assignments should be incorporated according to the needs of the students. In that way, they will be engaged and involved in the activities, while building different skills side by side. Different students have different needs. The students should be given space accordingly to have a proper idea of a lesson. Designing a proper lesson can help the students to use their knowledge in a different way and lead them to a brighter future.