Managing Your Prep Time
The ability to manage your time will come in handy especially if you have split shifts which can be…trying, to say the least. Preparation can generally be done when you decide to do it, and you’ll be much happier if you manage your time well so what needs to get done in fact gets done, and you don’t spend all your free time doing it.
EFL can require a great amount of preparation, especially for new teachers, but for me, after a certain point, the time spent preparing is not necessarily reflected in better lessons.
What I like to do is this: prepare a very general idea of what I’d like to cover for a couple of classes, including noting down if I need or already know of a supplementary activity to use. I wait a bit and come back later, so I’ve had time to mull it over. I return to it, make a more detailed lesson plan, then collect materials and make copies and whatnot. If I can set a reasonable timeframe to accomplish this within and stick to it, all the better.
I used to try to be prepared much in advance – even over the weekend perhaps for several weekday classes.
I found this though not only to take longer than preparing a bit later, but also to give me lesson plans that I would change anyway. Part of it comes from experience I’m sure, but nowadays I like to wait until a day or so before the lesson to prepare – sometimes the day of, though I like to go into the day with at least some idea. I still get a bit scared of getting stumped at the last moment.
In a sense, it takes as long as it takes to prepare…but in reality creativity doesn’t work like that. Sometimes the ideas just aren’t coming and sitting around with the textbook isn’t going to help – and you just need to do something else.
If that’s the case, why not check out the TEFL Logue’s Top 10 TEFL Blogs while you wait for inspiration?