Thursday, September 3, 2009

Unit Plans

I remember taking education courses in college and being required to construct unit plans. It was grueling work but worth it. During my first year of teaching, I planned extensively, creating unit plans just like I did in undergraduate school. Then, I started planning on a weekly basis and moved away from the comprehensive unit model. Although I was still a highly effective teacher, I believe not looking at the whole unit and preparing for six-week blocks was a poor decision on my part.
Fortunately, years later, I am rediscovering the worth of such plans; this time, however, I’m required to produce them. With a new evaluation system in place in DCPS, I, like thousands of others, must have lessons that reflect many hours of thorough planning and research and a long-term outlook. It does not suffice to just know what students will be learning for the week. Yes, this requires more exhaustive work on my part, but already, I see the obvious benefits of such planning—my students are excelling consistently, and they are more invested in their learning. In large part, I attribute the latter to my effective unit plans.

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