by: BRYAN C. SILVESTRE, TEACHER II – BALANGA CITY NATIONAL SCIENCE HIGH SCHOOL
Teaching is a complex process that requires careful planning and organization to ensure effective learning outcomes. One common approach is for teachers to create and follow a lesson plan, which outlines the content, objectives, and activities for a class session. However, some educators argue that teaching with all the ideas on their minds, without relying on a predefined lesson plan, can lead to more engaging and dynamic instruction. In public schools, it is customary for teachers to submit their lesson plans every Friday or Monday for the following week. Generally, teachers can successfully execute what is outlined in their plans. However, there are instances where the classroom dynamics differ from what was initially intended. In combined thoughts shared by Ramos and Trinidad (2023) a teacher in City of Balanga NHS – Senior High and Balanga City National Science High School, there are moments of regret when they are unable to adhere strictly to the lesson plan. Nevertheless, they adapt and strive to achieve the desired educational objectives during their class sessions. Some educators even believe that deviating from a rigid lesson plan can foster creativity and innovative thinking among students, allowing for “out of the box” ideas to flourish.
As a new teacher in a public school, it’s important to consider different approaches to teaching and how they can impact your classroom. A study by Sahin-Taskin (2017) found that new teachers or pre-service who utilized lesson plans reported feeling more confident and prepared in the classroom. Lesson plans provide a roadmap for instruction, enabling teachers to anticipate potential challenges and tailor their teaching strategies accordingly. This level of preparation can significantly enhance the learning experience for students, as teachers are better equipped to meet their diverse needs. However, critics argue that excessive reliance on lesson plans may stifle creativity and flexibility in the classroom. According to Capel et al., (2018), teachers who strictly adhere to their lesson plans may miss opportunities for spontaneous engagement and meaningful student-teacher interactions. This rigid approach may limit the teacher’s ability to adapt to unexpected situations or capitalize on teachable moments that arise during instruction.
Teaching with spontaneous ideas refers to adapting your teaching approach based on the needs of your students at the moment. A study by Ryan & Rigby (2019) found that incorporating spontaneous ideas into teaching can foster student curiosity, motivation, and active participation. By tapping into students’ interests and incorporating spontaneous ideas, you can keep them engaged and motivated.
Moreover, teaching with spontaneous ideas encourages teachers to be responsive to the unique characteristics and learning styles of their students. As discussed by Schiavio et al., (2021), this approach allows for differentiation and personalized instruction, promoting a deeper understanding of the subject matter. Allowing room for spontaneous ideas can empower students to take ownership of their learning and contribute their own ideas and perspectives. Spontaneous teaching can lead to authentic learning experiences that are relevant to students’ lives, as they address real-time issues or events. However, critics argue that teaching with spontaneous ideas may lack structure and coherence. Without a clear plan, teachers may struggle to cover all necessary content and meet curriculum requirements. Additionally, new teachers may find it challenging to improvise effectively without extensive experience and subject knowledge.
As highlighted by Han (2021), a balance between spontaneity and structure is crucial to ensure effective teaching and learning. To achieve that balance, start with a well-structured lesson plan that aligns with your curriculum and learning objectives. Allow for flexibility within your lesson plan to incorporate spontaneous ideas and adapt to your student’s needs. Regularly reflect on your teaching methods, lesson outcomes, and student engagement to adjust and improvements for future lessons. Encourage student feedback to understand their preferences and areas where spontaneous teaching can be incorporated effectively. Collaborate with colleagues to exchange ideas, strategies, and experiences to enhance your teaching. Remember, teaching is a dynamic process, and being open to both planned and spontaneous approaches can create a vibrant and effective learning environment for your students.
In conclusion, both teaching with lesson plans and teaching with spontaneous ideas have their advantages and disadvantages. Lesson plans provide structure, organization, and preparedness, which are particularly beneficial for new teachers in public schools. On the other hand, teaching with spontaneous ideas allows for flexibility, creativity, and personalized instruction. Finding a balance between these two approaches is essential for effective teaching and learning in the classroom. While this article provides valuable insights, further research is needed to explore the specific contexts and conditions under which each teaching method is most effective. By considering the unique needs and characteristics of the students, as well as the curriculum requirements, teachers can make informed decisions about the most suitable approach for their instructional practices.