Few will doubt that there is a point to lesson planning. It boosts confidence. By taking care of certain questions in advance – what, how, and with what you’re going to teach – you free yourself to concentrate on the class in front of you and the business of actually teaching.

The most important point is that lesson planning enables you to optimize things. Without planning, you may find you’re able to get by or produce a good lesson, but you’ll not be teaching with maximum effect. When planning lessons, therefore, ask yourself not “What can I teach them?” but “What’s the best thing I can teach them?”, not “How can I teach this?” but “What’s the best way I can teach it?”

Questions of individual thinking style are inescapable, and they do need to be accommodated by your planning.

Psychologist Ned Hermann divides the brain into four sections, and proposes that people tend to think predominantly in one of the four sections: blue, yellow, green or red.

According to the descriptions in the four boxes, decide to what extent each description fits you. You will probably find you are a mix of colours, with some more dominant than others. Consider the following questions:

  • What kind of professional development activities will suit your colour?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of your colour?
  • How does your colour affect your teaching style?
  • How can you adapt your planning to suit your style?

This activity helps you reflect on your own thinking style and how it might influence your teaching and your development as a teacher.