The Importance of Timing – and not just with Lesson Planning!
Lesson Planning and Timing
Timing is so important on many different levels in the life of a TEFL teacher. From lesson planning and teaching time, to personal time. All are key elements in ensuring a successful TEFL career.
As I’ve talked about in my previous blog, all about lesson planning, timing is a crucial part of planning and teaching lessons. It is key when planning lessons to make sure that the material you are using, fits into the length of the lesson. Whether the lesson is half an hour, one hour or an hour and a half, its important to make sure you stick to your schedule. As my schedule has improved and more bookings have come in, I have found myself with a lot of back to back lessons. This is great, and definitely what you strive for when starting out on your TEFL journey! But it can easily lead to problems if your lesson overruns or you haven’t planned your lesson material correctly.
Once you know the length of your lesson, planning can start! All lessons need to follow the same structure of introduction/ warmer, main topic and summary/cooler and CCQ’s, so make sure to split the lesson time accordingly to make sure each section is covered correctly. It is key to make sure the lesson runs to time and you cover the material you have planned and haven’t missed anything out. It is also key when planning, not to under plan! You don’t want to reach the end of your lesson plan and still have time left in your lesson – panic will set in! It is always better to plan an extra topic/ game/ activity that can be left out if it isn’t needed, than not to have enough content.
Timing is also crucial when teaching lessons that have been pre planned. Generally, when companies have provided the lesson plan, it reduces a lot of your time and all that is needed, is to go through the material to ensure you are confident teaching it. However, it is still important to make sure you are confident teaching the content and you know how long each section will take/ plan to take.
Making Time for You!
The majority of TEFL teachers work as freelance or self-employed and when starting out on your journey, you want to make yourself available 24/7. This is great initially, as you are building your empire, however it can quickly become overwhelming. It’s key to make time for yourself as well as getting booked up with classes. By managing your schedule, you can have the best of both!
Once you get regular bookings or see a common pattern when lessons are booked and you have availability, you can close your schedule to have down time, time away from the screen, and importantly time for you! And if you work with an online company (as long as you give a few weeks’ notice), it’s quite easy to take a week (or more!) off if you want a proper holiday! Teaching is such a great career and each lesson brings a fun and new experience, but it is also important to make time for you. After all, how can you provide the best lessons to your students if you are tired and run down!