What are you teaching next week? Do you know? How much of your teaching is planned and how much of it is spontaneous and driven by the moment? What’s your approach to improvisation?
I have always been a planner. In fact, I teach workshops on organization and goal setting to women in business at a yearly retreat. I like to know what is coming next, and I’ve found that most students appreciate this, as well.
In my early years of teaching, I was given courses to teach with no guidelines at all other than, perhaps, a sample syllabus. So, I would look at the course outcomes and the textbook and decide how I would use the text to create assessments. From there, I created a timeline for students–deciding what we would do each week to progress to the assessments. While I might add on activities or make adjustments, that semester plan kept me and my students on track to successfully complete the course.
Perhaps this is why Quality Matters makes so much sense to me. With QM, everything is aligned. Instructional activities lead to assessments which are tied to module outcomes which are, in turn, tied to the course outcomes. It’s all very organized and every piece works together to help students succeed.
So, yes, I do know exactly what I’m teaching next week. The plan was in place before the semester began. If I were teaching an in person class, I might add in a fun activity or incorporate something new that I learned about, but the overall goals for the week would remain the same.
Having a clear plan allows me to be more flexible, while giving students a clear path toward success.