When things don’t go quite the way you planned

February 6, 2023


Does it ever happen to you that your lesson doesn't quite go the way you planned? I know mine does..

Estimated time to read this article: < 1 minutes

“Sir, we don’t have enough time for that”.

A little surprised I looked at my student and then I had a look at the clock.

We only had 2 minutes left for that lesson.

And, well, let’s just say I was not quite finished with what I had planned.

I guess I got distracted by some students. Again.

Or I deviated from the topic a bit. Again.

You know, it happens. I kind of you hope to recognise this too ;).

After all: we are only human.

Taking the time to plan your lesson

Yes, planning a lesson takes time. 

Maybe you don’t prepare your lessons, maybe you do.

I remember I used to not prepare my lessons at all and just improvise everything.

Although I personally thought everything went okay, I was really tired at the end of the day.

When I started preparing my lessons in a bit more detail, it saved me a lot of energy.

Or at least I wasn’t completely exhausted at the end of the day.

Yes, this takes time. But apart from the fact I wasn’t very tired anymore, I also realised I forgot fewer things.

(I still have to find a way to not forget my keys all the time though…)

And it helped me to think about a wider variety of CLIL activities to implement.

Key Take Away

If you plan a lesson, you don't have to improves all the time.

Which saves you energy. Obviously.

Finding inspiration to try new things

I noticed when I improvised that I kind of fell back on the same CLIL activities every time.

When I prepare my lessons nowadays, I take some time to think: what CLIL activity have I not done, for a while or at all?

That way I make sure there is some variety in my lessons. Fun for both my students and me.

Or maybe just me, I do treat my students as test dummies sometimes whenever I try out new things.

For the record: I still prepare my lessons within 15 minutes. So it still does not take me a lot of time to prepare all of this.

It helps to have a list of CLIL activities I can fall back on, organised by lesson stage.

I developed that over time and share it during training sessions I do. 

But even without this list, all you need to do next time you prepare your CLIL lesson is think: “What can I do to make sure all students are engaged and there is language output?”.

That is what makes your activity CLIL.

That’s all!

Key Take Away

Next time you plan a lesson, try to implement a new CLIL activity you have never done before.

What are you going to do?

So, what activity are you going to do during your next CLIL lesson?

Ow, and in case you are wondering what happened in the lesson I mentioned earlier: I did a really quick recap activity that did not require any prep time and wrote down to complete the activity I wanted to do in the next lesson.

After all, planning a lesson does not mean you cannot deviate from your planning.

I know I do, sometimes ;).

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