As a teacher, I’ll bet you’ve gotten to the end of a lesson – the time when the biggest insights and learning goals occur – and found that you’ve run out of time.
Here are five tips for staying on track:
Add timing notes to the lesson. Pencil the times in at the margin. Stay on track at each stage of the lesson.
Understand the purpose of every chunk in the lesson and watch out for black holes. Anticipate where the discussion could get hijacked or go on for too long. Remember the purpose for each lesson component and move on when you know you have achieved it. If your group has profuse energy around a topic, suggest continuing the discussion at lunch or after class.
Make use of your smart phone. Set the alarm to vibrate at a specific milestone to remind you to move forward. This technique is especially useful as a 10 minute warning before the end of the session.
Appoint a timekeeper. Ask a student to keep time and give you a sign at specific moments. This is also a great way to get more quiet students involved.
Create a dance card. On an index card, list each important milestone and when you should be reaching it. Place this card where you can quickly glance at it to check your timing.
The ultimate success of any lesson is demonstrated by what students take with them into the future. As teachers, it’s our role to ensure that scholars have the opportunity to reflect on new knowledge and ways to apply that knowledge to their own lives.
Good pacing of your lesson plan will help you make sure that happens – every time.