View Full Version : Create your own lesson plan?

October 30th, 2014, 05:47
Just curious how many ALTs out there have to create their own lesson plans, vs just teach the exact plan the school wants you to teach? I could be wrong, but it seems like there is quite a bit of both out there.

October 30th, 2014, 06:36
A lot of people that visit different schools end up doing both depending on how long they've worked and how the JTE wants their classes run, but where I am it's heavily geared towards jets creating the lesson plans on a given theme or grammar point.

October 30th, 2014, 07:28
Just curious how many ALTs out there have to create their own lesson plans, vs just teach the exact plan the school wants you to teach? I could be wrong, but it seems like there is quite a bit of both out there.

High schools in my prefecture the ALTs seem to do everything in their lessons. ES you'll almost certainly have to prep everything yourself as well. JHS is the one where you might end up at a school that just wants you to read aloud from the textbook. I think a lot depends on how much your predecessor was trusted as well; if you come in after some dude who was there for 5 years he probably changed it to suit himself.

Also the higher level your school the more they'll rely on you, which might seem surprising.

The JTEs know they're supposed to plan lessons or at least plan the general structure and ask the ALTs to prepare specific activities. And if you stick your foot down they'll probably make them. But they will almost certainly be terrible, and by terrible I mean so terrible that an untrained, unexperienced foreigner of limited intelligence can almost always produce something better in a couple hours. They'll be completely unengaging, full of words the kids haven't learned and obscure expressions that nobody uses, not require the kids to actually understand and produce the target language point and reliant upon heavy amounts of translation to work.

Most JTEs don't plan their classes really, they just photocopy the textbook and rearrange it and do various "fill in the blank" activities. I sound bitter and angry, sure, but I think a lot of people on here would agree that the goal for most JTEs is "learn the textbook". Even the tests are just the same sentences and passages from the textbooks with slightly different questions.

October 30th, 2014, 07:43
JHS and ES ALT here - I lesson plan all ES classes - that's the burden of not having HRTs trained in English language education.

JHS I do 1/4 of first years lessons (aka 1 a week) and 1-2 second/third years every few weeks - usually I just create/lead reinforcement activities, be the human CD player, fix the JTE's English, and help the kids/circle shit on worksheets in the other classes. The JTE teach pretty much straight out of the textbook/companion workbook/worksheet book, so I do a lot of speaking activities.

October 30th, 2014, 08:10
I did all my lesson planning on JET. After JET it's been a mix. Currently I make all my own lessons.

October 30th, 2014, 14:18
It varies, but mostly I do my own lesson plans. I have 5 JHSs and 9 different JTEs that I work with. Some of them have an idea of their lesson and tell me what they'd like me to prepare (I really appreciate those teachers!), but 85-90% of the time it goes something like this:

Me - (often after having to track the JTE down) "What would you like me to prepare for next week/what grammar point are the 1/2/3年生 working on next week?"

And they respond with a page number from the book or a certain grammar point, and I pull a lesson out of my ass based on that.

Ta da!

October 31st, 2014, 17:10
I don't plan any lessons. Everything is usually taken out of the book, and sometimes designed by the teacher. Occasionally one will ask me to do something extra. I did a few Halloween themed games and assignments these past two weeks.

November 3rd, 2014, 05:09
For those of you that plan lessons, how many of you actually type up a plan outline on paper and make a copy for the JTE vs just planning in your head or with your own notes what you're going to do?

November 3rd, 2014, 08:52
If you type it up beforehand and give it to them reasonably far in advance then you get to feel more justified in your rage when they fuck it up. Otherwise you can only complain about their terrible listening comprehension rather than how shitty a teacher they are in general.

November 3rd, 2014, 11:37
I only type lesson plans when I'm doing multiple connected classes with expanded content that a Japanese teacher has never seen, or if I'm being evaluated. Otherwise I run on the "wing it" approach which makes the classes easier as the teachers give up and go "do it"

November 3rd, 2014, 13:34
I type it up if it's a little complicated, I just explain it to them if it's simple.

November 3rd, 2014, 21:07
I usually just explain it since if you give them a written script, they freak out when you need to deviate from it. I had a JTE that wanted me to write out plans down to what lines we were going to say when, and it always sounded fake and awful when we got to the actual lesson.

November 3rd, 2014, 21:35
My lesson plans consist of warm up activity + grammar point activity - my JTEs like to utilize me more as review rather than teaching new content. I think this is because I don't have a base school and I rotate between my schools/the different grade levels at each school, so I'm not with the students consistently enough. For example, when I go to my Tuesday school tomorrow I'll be working with the 1st years. It's been about a month since I last worked with them. Usually I come in the day of and discuss with the JTE what my plans are. Then, armed with an understanding of what I'm trying to do, I attempt to carry out the activities and my JTEs translate almost everything I say (*sigh*). The better ones actually help me out with leading the activity, asking the students questions about the content, or just generally attempting to get to students to do what I'm asking. The not so great ones just uselessly stand there.

November 3rd, 2014, 22:11
I end up writing detailed lesson plans in Japanese and English because they are for various combinations of different teachers and ALTs to follow.

November 4th, 2014, 11:17
I'm a HS ALT - I have about 8 schools, and 5 JTEs at my base school. For some I make the entire lesson plan, for some I'm asked to make a relevant communication activity for each lesson, and for my base school I just show up and wing it because I'm usually asked to come to a lesson right before it starts (except for one teacher). For those lessons, often I'm a tape recorder, asked to come up with hints for the vocab words they are currently studying, and asked to play a warm up games. I've heard of people that were able to persuade those types of teachers to give them more notice of lessons, and to let them help plan, but my teachers aren't interested in doing that.

For the full lesson plans I send it to the teachers that actually read them, and just explain it when I get there to the ones that don't read them.

November 4th, 2014, 12:03
I've got three JHS, whose JTEs use me in slightly different ways... Two schools immediately let me plan and lead the whole lesson which was good but scary seeing as it was the first time I'd ever done a lesson plan and taught in a classroom. The JTE at my third school always plans the lessons herself but lets me do a lot of teaching during the lesson. For the lessons I do plan, they're always focused on the next grammar point the kids are learning from the textbook so I can't just decide to teach them whatever I want that day (which is good cos otherwise I'd have no idea about following a good learning structure!). I usually ignore the textbook activities though cos they're booooriiiiiing.

November 7th, 2014, 10:12
I've got elementary school (all grades) once a week, and for those I have to come up with everything on my own. There are a good amount of flash cards already made from my pred, though I do not particularly like them, but it does make making lesson plans easier.

For JHS I follow along with the book though as the JTE leads the class. There's a 20 or so minute introduction part to the classes where we just talk to the students in English just to give them conversation practice. I teach each of the JHS classes 4 times a week. Class sizes are 10 people, 2 people, and 8 people (from grade 1 to 3 in order). Class sizes for elementary are about 5 (1st grade), 10 (2nd and 3rd grade combined), 14 (4th and 5th grade are combined) and 10 (6th grade).

EDIT: And for nursery school I read books to them and sing songs. And for kindergarten I teach basic grammar parts, play outside with them, and basically just make up games for them to play. Like today we played telephone (2 teams, whisper the color in the next persons ear, have the person in the front of the line grab the color, check to see if it was correct, yada yada).
EDIT: Nursery and kindergarten are also once a week, just like elementary school.